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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

INTRODUCTION TO 2 TIMOTHY (see also 1st Timothy Introduction)


KEY WORDS: (1) Not Ashamed, (2) Suffer Hardship, (3) Endure, (4) Word, (5) Charge, (6) Diligence

CHAPTER I (The Past)

1) The Apostolic Greeting’

2) Thanksgiving for Timothy

3) Foundations of Christian Sufferings

CHAPTER II (The Present)

1) Timothy Exhorted

2) Traits of the Christian Servant

3) A Good Soldier in Times of Apostasy

4) Separation From Evil Men

CHAPTER III (The Future)

1) Warning of Apostasy - Avoid it

2) Perilous Times and the Servant of God

3) Trustworthiness of the Scriptures

4) Fully Equipped Man of God

CHAPTER IV (The Future)

1) Paul’s Last Will and Testament (parting words)

2) The Charge to Keep, V. 1-5

3) The Wrestler, the Runner, the Sentry Soldier, V. 6-8

4) Victory ahead - V. 17-22 (Benediction)




A. The Writer(!: 1)

B. The Addressee (1:2a)

C. The Blessing (1:2b)

D. The Thanksgiving (1:3-5)

I. EXHORTATIONS (1:6-2:26)

A. "Stir Up the Gift of God" (1:6-10)

1. The Exhortation (1:6)

2. The Reason for the Exhortation (1:7-8)

3. The Basis of the Exhortation (1:9-10)

B. "That Good Thing ...Guard" (1:11-14)

1. The Example of Paul (1:11-12)

2. The Duty of Timothy (1:13-14)

C. "Suffer Hardship with Me" (1:15-2:13)

1. Paul’s Experience with Fellow-workers (1:15-18)

a. The Failures (1:15)

b. The Faithful (1:16-18)

2. Paul’s Appeal to Timothy (2:1-13)

a. The Urgent Duty (2:1-7)

b. The Glorious Example (2:8)

c. The Saving Purpose (2:9-10)

d. The Faithful Saying (2:11-13)

D. Be an Unashamed Workman (2:14-26)

1. Reminding Others (2:14)

2. Seeking Approval (2:15)

3. Shunning Babblings (2:16-18)

4. Confident in the Lord (2:19a)

5. Forsaking Unrighteousness (2:19b-22)

6. Exercising a Restrained Gentleness (2:23-24)

7. Correcting Others (2:25-26)

II. WARNINGS (3:1-4:5)

A. Perilous Times Shall Come (3:1-13)

1. Decadent Men (3:1-9)

a. Characteristics (3:1-5)

b. Actions (3:6-7)

c. End (3:8-9)

2. Delivered Men (3:10-12)

a. Paul (3:10-11)

b. All the Godly (3:12)

3. Deception’s Power (3:13)

B. "Fulfill Thy Ministry" (3:14-4:5))

1. Abide in the Things Learned (3:14-17)

a. From the Apostle (3:14)

b. From the Sacred Writings (3:15-17)

2. "Preach the Word" (4:1-5)

a. The Charge (4:1-2a)

b. The Manner (4:2b)

c. The Need (4:3-4)

d. The Duty (4:5)


A. Paul’s Confidence as He Faces Death (4:6-8)

1. The End (4:6)

2. The Record (4:7)

3. The Reward (4:8)

B. Paul’s Request that Timothy Come to Him (4:9-15)

1. Paul and His Fellow-workers (4:9-12)

a. Timothy (4:9)

b. Demas (4:10a)

c. Crescens (4:10b)

d. Titus (4:10c)

e. Luke (4:11 a)

f. Mark (4:11 b)

g. Tychicus (4:12)

2. Paul and His Cloak, books, and Parchments (4:13)

3. Paul and an Enemy (4:14-15)

C. Paul’s Praise of His Faithful Lord (4:16-18)

1. The Lord Delivered (4:16-17)

2. The Lord Will Deliver (4:18)


A. Added Personal References (4:19-21)

1. Salutations (4:19)

2. News (4:20)

3. Renewed Appeal (4:21a)

4. Greetings (4:21b)

B. Benediction (4:22)


1) "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ (paulos apostolos christou iesou) "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus." The term "apostolos" denotes one divinely, authoritatively, church sent, Acts 13:2-3; Acts 26:16; Acts 26:18.

2) "By the will of God" (dia thelematos theou) "Through the will of God;" the high holy volition of God, not "boule," the rational will, John 7:17.

3) "According to the promise of life" (kat ’ epangelian zoes) "By way of or based upon a promise of life;" 1 Timothy 4:8; "Which now is and (of the body) that is to come," Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; Romans 8:23.

4) "Which is in Christ Jesus," (tes en christo iesou) "Which (exists) is in Christ Jesus," 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-10. This touching personal letter is the last of Paul’s life, written about 66 A.D., shortly before his death, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, from Rome to Timothy in Ephesus.

Verse 2

1) "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher" (eis ho etethen ego keruks) "Unto which I was appointed an herald, a preacher," 1 Timothy 1:11-12; 1 Timothy 2:7; 1 Corinthians 9:17. Paul affirmed that God put him in the ministry, but the churches ordained and sent him out.

2) "And an apostle" (kai apostolos) "And an apostle, one sent out on a mission;" by the Lord called, by the church sent, Acts 13:3; Matthew 28:18-20. It was the "church ye," not the "preacher ye," that Jesus commissioned to go unto all the world and make, baptize, and teach.

3) "And a teacher of the Gentiles." (kai didaskalos) "And a teacher," or instructor (of the Gentiles). The church, with "apostello authority" committed to her, effect the preaching and teaching through obeying our Lord’s commission and precept, by ordaining and sending forth and supporting missionaries, Colossians 1:25.

Verse 3

1) "I thank God" (charin echo to theo) "I have or hold thanks to or toward God," gratitude of an aged saint whose faith was mature in the experience of the sufficiency of God’s grace, 2 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

2) "Whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience" (ho latreuo apo progonon en kathara suneidesei) "Whom I worship from (my) forebearers in a clean conscience," Acts 23:1; Acts 24:16; Hebrews 13:18. This service Paul considered to be to the Christ who fulfilled the promises of the fathers, Acts 26:6; Acts 23:6.

3) "That without ceasing" (hos adialeipton) "As unceasingly," continuously, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Paul realized that he was the result of a God-fearing generation, chosen from his mother’s womb as the apostle to the Gentiles, for which he was ever grateful, Galatians 1:15-16.

4) "I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day" (echo ten peri sou mneian en tais deesesin mou nuktos kai hemeras) "I have thee in my remembrance, in my petitions, night and day." Prayer is an evidence of spiritual strength, not weakness, James 5:17; Colossians 4:12; Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:6.

Verse 4

1) "Greatly desiring to see thee" (epipothon se idein) “Longing to see thee." The aged Paul, leader and companion in near 20 years of missionary travel and labors with Timothy, lingering in a common criminal dungeon in Rome, longed to see, touch, and talk with Timothy before winter and his death, 2 Timothy 4:9-13.

2) "Being mindful of thy tears" memnemenos sou ton dakruon) "Having been reminded of thy (soft) tears," Acts 20:19. Timothy was given to tears; softhearted-weeping and timidity, an emotional condition Paul sought to strengthen in him and lead him on therewith to courageous and bold leadership, Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4; 1 Corinthians 16:10-11.

3) "That I may be filled with joy;" (hina charas plerotho) "In order that I may be filled of (with) joy," Romans 15:13-14; John 16:24; John 16:33.

Verse 5

1) "When I call to remembrance" (hupomnesin labon) "When taking recollection, while recalling (thoughts of), or having been reminded," Recall of another’s faith gives courage to one, Ephesians 1:15; 2 Peter 1:9.

2) "The unfeigned faith that is in thee" (tes en soi anupoknitou pisteos) "The unhypocritical faith in thee." 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Peter 1:22. Both love and faith must be without pretense.

3) "Which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois" (hetis enokesen proton en te mamme sou loidi) "Which indwelt firstly in thy grandmother Lois," "first" in order in the sense of Paul’s knowledge" of Timothy’s family.

4) "And thy mother Eunice" (kai te metri sou Eunike) "And in Eunice thy mother," Acts 16:7. This unpretentious, unhypocritical faith "with works", that Paul desired to continue in Timothy had been evident to Paul in his mother and grandmother.

5) "And I am persuaded that in thee also." (pepismai de hoti kai en soi) "And I have been persuaded that it also dwells in thee;" James 1:22. This kind of faith works by love, Galatians 5:6.

Verse 6

1) "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance" (di hen aitian anamimnesko se) "For which cause I remind thee;" He who will not learn from former generations is a fool. Note Deuteronomy 32:7; Deuteronomy 19:14; Proverbs 22:28. May the power of memory-recall of Divine matters be the daily Christian challenge, 2 Peter 1:12-14,

2) "That thou stir up the gift of God" (anazopurein to charisma tou theou) "To fan the flame of the charismatic gift of God;" the ministerial, call and ordination charge, 1 Timothy 4:14-16; to "stir up" the gift is the antithesis or opposite of to "quench the spirit," 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

3) "Which is in thee by the putting on of my hands" (ho estin en soi dia tes epitheseos ton cheiron mou) "Which is in thee through the laying on of my hands." The laying on of hands by the presbytery conferred no additional spiritual power to the "already called" prophet or minister of God - it symbolized confidence and trust that the church expressed, through the presbytery, Who laid hands on the minister, as in 1 Timothy 4:14; Acts 13:3.

Verse 7

1) "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear" (ou gar edoken hemin ho theos pneuma deilias) "For God gave not to us a spirit of cowardice," 1 John 4:18. God’s men must be men of courage-unfaltering; Joshua 1:5-9; Philippians 4:13.

2) "But of

(a) "Power" (alla dunameos) "But (a spirit) of power, or dynamics;" Romans 8:15. This spirit of power comes to individuals through the church, flowing from Pentecost, empowering men in harmony with their obedience to the Word, Ephesians 5:17-18; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8.

(b) "And of love" (kai agapes) "And (a spirit) of love." These three Christian virtues:

1) Power of Positive Holy Spirit leadership,

2) love for God, His people, and the lost world, and

3) a sound, well disciplined mind, are requisites to a successful ministry.

(c) "And of a sound mind." (kai sophronismou) "And (a spirit of) self-control," or self-discipline, a trained orderly logical mind, capable of meeting faculty or invalid reasoning, answering gainsayers and planting seeds of truth successfully instead, 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalms 119:46.

Verse 8

1) "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord" (me oun epaischunthes to marturion tou kuriou hemon) "Therefore be thou not ashamed of the testimony or witness of our Lord;" None is to be ashamed of the Lord or blush at testifying for Him, Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Romans 1:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:15. His moral and ethical teachings are not objects of shame.

2) "Nor of me his prisoner" (mede eme ton desmion) "Nor of me the prisoner of Him." To be ashamed of Paul for his stand for Christ and persecutions he must have suffered was to be ashamed of Jesus, 2 Timothy 4:9-11.

3) "But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel" (alla sugkaiopatheson to evangellio) "But (be thou) suffer thou ill with the gospel," or with the afflictions that the gospel endured, Colossians 1:24. If there be no cross for one, there shall be no crown, Romans 8:17-18.

4) "According to the power of God." (kata dunamin theou) "According to (the) power or dynamic energies of God," which enable one to suffer afflictions, 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-11; Ephesians 3:20. His power enables us, His people, to endure all kinds of afflictions and indignities in triumph, Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:19.

Verse 9

1) "Who hath saved us" (tou sosantos hemas) "Of the one having saved us." Salvation, deliverance from eternal condemnation, and the experience of eternal life is every believer’s present possession, Titus 2:11; John 1:17; Ephesians 2:8-9.

2) "And called us with an holy calling" (kai kalesantos klesei hagia) "And having called (us) with an holy calling." The Holy calling is by the Word of God and Spirit of Salvation and to service, Proverbs 1:22-23; John 16:8-11; John 6:44; Revelation 22:17; John 15:14.

3) "Not according to our works" (ou kata ta erga hemon) "Not (at all) according to the works of us," Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5; Romans 11:6. Doing good works is a reflection of gratitude for salvation, not a method of retaining it.

4) "But according to his own purpose and grace" (alla kata idian prothesin kai charin) "But according to his own purpose and grace," He called us, John 7:17; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 3:11.

5) "Which was given us in Christ Jesus" (ten dotheisan hemin en christo iesou) "Which (holy calling) was doled out to us in Christ Jesus;" our holiness is imputed through Christ, Ephesians 1:3-7; Philippians 3:14.

6) "Before the world began," (pro chronon aionion) "Prior to or before chronological measurements of eternal duration began," 1 Peter 1:18-20. NOTE: Redemption for all men existed germ-wise, in essence of nature, purpose, and intent of God, before the world began. But this redemption was revealed in Jesus Christ for man, after his need arose; and his calling to salvation came to man after man’s fall. The salvation is effected in individuals, in time, by their volitional, voluntary repentance to God, and trust in Jesus Christ, Acts 20:21; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-12, This is how personal salvation occurs, Romans 1:15-16.

Verse 10

1) "But is now made manifest" (phanerotheisan de nun) "But has been manifested now and without cessation." The shining manifestation of the fullness of God in Christ continues in and through His people and His church, until His bodily return and restoration of all things to the Father; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

2) "By the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ" (dia tes epiphaneias tou soteros hemon christou iesou) "Through the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ." He has appeared, does appear, and shall yet appear, 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13.

3) "Who hath abolished death" (katargesantos men ton theraton) "Abrogating on the one hand death;" or the eternal consequences of death, assuring the resurrection of all men, John 5:28-29; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Revelation 1:18.

4) "And hath brought life and immortality to light" (photisantos de zoen kai aphtharsian) "And bringing to light on the other hand life and incorruption," in contrast with death and corruption, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; John 8:12; John 10:28.

5) "Through the gospel." (dia tou evangelliou) "Through the gospel;" only the willing, obstinate, deliberate blindness of men to the gospel deprives them of personal salvation, John 7:17; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:8-13; Romans 6:23.

Verse 12

1) "For the which cause I also suffer these things" (dia hen aitia n kai tauta pasho) "On account of which cause I also suffer these (kind of) things," 2 Timothy 2:9-10. NOTE: the preaching of the resurrection was the occasion for most of Paul’s persecution. See also Acts 24:14-15.

2) "Nevertheless I am not ashamed" (alla ouk epaischunomai) "But I am not ashamed;" Paul was not blushing, disappointed, or regretful; neither should any Christian be ashamed of Him or His profession; Romans 1:16; Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 7:14; Romans 10:11; 1 Peter 4:16.

3) "For I know whom I have believed" (oida gar ho pepisteuka) "For I know, comprehend, or perceive whom I have trusted;" Acts 16:31.

4) "And am persuaded that he is able to keep" (kai pepeismai hoti *dunatos estin phulaksai) "And I have been persuaded that he is able to guard, safeguard, or protect;" as expressed in Romans 8:38-39.

5) "That which I have committed unto him against that day." (ten paratheken mou eis ekeinen ten hemeran) "The deposit of me (my soul) with relationship to that day," 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10-12.

Verse 13

1) "Hold fast the form of sound words" (hupotuposin eche hugiainonton logon) "Hold thou a pattern of (healthy) or sound words;" This refers to an expansion of teaching the Word from its simplest form to the more complex, from milk to meat, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2; Hebrews 5:12-14; Hebrews 6:1-3.

2) "Which thou hast heard of me" (hon par emou ekousas) "Which from (alongside) of me, under my tutelage, thou didst hear;" Paul had preached 1) Repentance and faith, Acts 20:20-21; Acts , 2) Declared the counsel of God, Acts 20:27-28.

3) "In faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (en pistei kai agape te en christo iesou) “In faith and in (real) love which (exists) in Christ Jesus." To hold the pattern of sound words Paul had preached in love and faith, indicated his doctrines were: 1) valid, 2) valuable, and 3) worthy of trust.

Verse 14

1) "That good thing which was committed unto thee" (ten kalen paratheken) "The good deposit," charge of sound doctrine. The guarding of the Word of Truth is a good thing required of each saint and each church and each pastor, 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:20.

2) "Keep by the Holy Ghost" (phulakson dia pneumatos hagiou tou) "Guard through (the instrumentality of) the Holy Spirit," Romans 8:14-16, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

3) "Which dwelleth in us." (enokountos en hemon) "Continuously dwelling in us," not going in and coming out, John 3:34; John 14:16; John 14:16; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 6:17-18.

Verse 15

1) "This thou knowest" (oidas touto) "This (thing) thou perceivest," knowest already. Timothy had been aware of the fickle apostasy and of so many of Paul’s converts turning away from his support.

2) "That all they which are in Asia be turned away from me" (hoti apestraphesan me pantes hoi en te asia) "That all those (the ones) in Asia turned away from me," in moral and financial support, the converts of the Asiatic churches, 2 Peter 2:20-22. Such reflects the fickleness of sheep without a shepherd or a church without a pastor, or with an hireling shepherd. 2 Timothy 4:10-16; Acts 19:10; John 10:12.

3) "Of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." (hou estin Phugelos. kai Hermogenes) "Of whom is Phygellus and Hermogenes," in contrast with Onesiphorous, who sent to Paul’s physical needs, gave him moral encouragement again and again, 2 Timothy 1:16.

Verse 16

1) "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus" (doe heleos ho kurios to Onesiphorou oiko) "May the Lord give mercy to the household of Onesiphorus." Paul asked that Timothy offer a special word of thanks to them, on his behalf, 2 Timothy 4:19.

2) "For he oft refreshed me" Because he often refreshed me;" by word of moral support, financial, material help, and personal visit, Acts 28:20-21. This word of appreciation and salutation in 2 Timothy 4:19 may have been to his household on his decrease.

3) "And was not ashamed of my chain" (kai ten alusin mou ouk epaischunthe) "And he was not ashamed or did not blush at my chain," bondage or shackle, Acts 28:20-21.

Verse 17

1) "But, when he was in Rome," (alla genomenos en Rome) "But when he was come to Rome, of his own accord, will or volition," perhaps at Paul’s trial referred to in Acts 28:21.

2) "He sought me out very diligently" (hupoudaios ezetesen me kai heuren) "He sought me out diligently (until) he found me;" a visit to express special interest in Paul as a messenger of God, though in bonds, Hebrews 13:1-3; Matthew 25:36.

3) "And found me" (kai heuren) "And he even found me, or until he found me." He did not forsake Paul in adversity, when trouble came, or his name was maligned, Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 25:40. In ministering to Paul Onesiphorus thus ministered to Christ.

Verse 18

1) "The Lord grant unto him" (doe auto ho kurios) "May the Lord give to him," a reward of mercy for the mercy he had shown, Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 5:7.

2) "That he may find mercy of the Lord in that day" (heuren heleos para kuriou en ekeine te hemera) “May the Lord give to him to find mercy alongside the Lord in that day," of rewards, Matthew 25:35; 1 Corinthians 3:8.

3) "And in how many things" (kai hosa en) "And in what things, how or as many things;" 1) his prayers, 2) he sought Paul out, 3) he refreshed him, 4) he was not ashamed of him, and 5) Onesiphorus ministered to him.

4) "He ministered unto me at Ephesus" (diekonesen en Epheso) "He did common service (to me) in Ephesus;" Even while Paul was in Ephesus for near three years, Acts 20:31.

5) "Thou knowest very well.” (beltion su ginoskeis) "Thou very well knowest. " Timothy was familiar with Onesiphorus’ ministry to and support of Paul’s labors, even in his years in Ephesus where Timothy pastored when he received this letter, Acts 20:16-31.

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.

-John Andrew Holmer

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us.

-Amiel’s Journal


A spelling contest was held in a school, and the prize for the victor was an elegant Bible. The contestants were reduced to two -- Lizzie, the daughter of a poor, hard-working widow, and Suzie, the daughter of a well-to-do-farmer. The sympathy of the school was with the poor girl. Suzie misspelled a word, and Lizzie won the coveted prize. Going home the mother said, "Suzie, could not you have spelled that word?" "Yes, ma." "Then why did you not do it?" "Lizzie, you know, is a poor little girl, and she has not many presents. She wanted the Bible very much, and she tried hard for it, I thought I’d let her have it." "What made you do that, Suzie?" "My Sunday School lesson, mother, which said, in honor preferring one another. So I thought I’d try it, and I’m glad I did." A few days after Suzie received as a birthday present a beautiful Bible, and on the fly-leaf was written the text, "In honor preferring one another," the observance of which had made her so happy.

-6,000 Windows for Sermons

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-timothy-1.html. 1985.
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