We will inquire who the "us-ward" are to whom the Lord is said to be long-suffering. They are undoubtedly the persons to whom Peter writes his epistles, including himself. Let us turn, then, to the first epistle, and see to whom he wrote: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia;" and he then gives them the honored appellation of "Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."
In the second chapter of this epistle, he calls them "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light."
It is worthy of remark, that the pronouns us and we, so often used by the apostles, in their epistles, are no other than the Lord's chosen people, to whom the precious truths contained in those epistles belong. As a confirmation of this fact, let me refer you to the following texts, in which these two terms, us and we, are often used: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."
"But let us who are of the day be sober, for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
(1 Thessalonians 5:8-9)
"Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
(2 Timothy 1:9)
You see, my friends, from these passages, and many more that might be produced, that the "us-ward" in our text are the objects of God's everlasting, electing love; and that their election is not founded upon any foreseen worth or worthiness in the creature, as the procuring cause of it, will be seen from the characters unto whom the Lord has been long-suffering.
By John Kershaw