Observe here, 1. A courteous and loving compellation, Beloved; people should study to render themselves fit objects of their pastor's love.
Observe, 2. How his love towards them put upon writing to them with all diligence: love must be the spring and fountain of all our ministerial performances; all services without love, are as sacrifices without fire. Christ first enquired after Peter's love, before he urged him to labour; God will reward no services to our people, but what have been done in love.
Observe, 3. The excellency and weightiness of the subject about which he was to write, it was concerning the common salvation; so called, not as if it were a salvation common to all persons, good and bad; but because common to all believers, who have a joint title to it, and a common interest in it; the salvation which the gospel reveals, is a common salvation; it is common in regard of the purchaser of it, Christ, our common Saviour; in regard of the price paid for it, the precious blood of Christ; in regard to the way and means by which it is obtained and secured, and that is faith; and in regard of the earnest of it, and longings after it, the Holy Spirit of God is common to all believers, and gives them a pledge, an earnest of, and sets them a breathing after and longing for, this salvation.
Observe, 4. The exhortation itself, Earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, that is, for the sincere doctrine of the gospel delivered by Christ. Once delivered; that is, once for all so as never to be changed or altered more, no new rule of faith is evermore to be expected; and therefore the articles of faith added to the apostle's creed by the council of Trent, can be no articles of Christian faith, because never delivered by Christ or his apostles, and never known to many Christians long after their decease.
Learn, That it is the duty of Christians at all times, but especially in times of error and seduction, to contend earnestly for that pure and uncorrupted faith which is contained in the gospel.