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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

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Introduction

2 Timothy 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,—Apart from any work or merit of his own, God chose him for the work, and it was that sovereign will which chose him as an apostle, which guided him through his eventful life, and which brought him to the prison in Rome.

according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,—This indicates the object or intention of his appointment as an apostle, which was to make known, to publish abroad, the promise of eternal life. He was evidently under the ex­pectation of death at the time of writing.

2 Timothy 1:2

to Timothy, my beloved child:—He had tender affection for Timothy whom he had taught the faith in Christ, and who had proved himself worthy of his confidence and affection.

Grace, mercy, peace,—There is invoked grace on him as un­worthy, mercy on him as exposed to suffering, peace on him as the result of his being graciously dealt with.

from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.—It is the fatherly feeling in God—that which is highest in his nature and with which redemption originated—that he made his appeal for saving blessings to rest on Timothy. Christ is the dispenser of the blessings in the Father’s house, of which there is enough for all.

2 Timothy 1:3-4

I thank God,—[Notwithstanding the fact that the mean­ing is somewhat obscured by the parentheses (verse 5), it seems clear that the expression of thanksgiving was for his remembrance of the “unfeigned faith” of Timothy, and his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice.]

whom I serve from my forefathers—Paul had served God from childhood, having been trained to do so by his parents. He had been earnest, zealous, and faithful in rendering service to God as he believed was right.

in a pure conscience,—Not only did he worship the same God as his fathers, but, like them, he worshiped in a pure conscience. In becoming a Christian he did not, as his ene­mies charged, depart from the God of Israel, the God of his forefathers; on the other hand, he, in accepting Christ, was moved by the faith of all the godly Israelites, while those in rejecting him had apostatized from the faith. In his defense before Felix he said: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust. Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always.” (Acts 24:14-16; see also Romans 4:12; Romans 9:31-33; Romans 10:1-5; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5.)

how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplica­tions, night and day longing to see thee,—Paul was now old; his end was at hand; he earnestly desired to see Timothy, to whom he was so much attached, and who had been his com­panion and helper in his imprisonment.

remembering thy tears,—These tears were probably shed when he was arrested and sent to Rome and incarcerated in prison. [It is likely that the clouds of danger which were gathering quickly around Paul toward the close of his career had impressed him with a foreboding of coming evil, and had invested the last parting with Timothy with circumstances of unusual solemnity. Paul had affected others besides Tim­othy with the same great love of the truth, and the great danger threatening it so that tears were shed by strong men when he bade them farewell. (Acts 20:37-38.)]

that I may be filled with joy;—[Paul’s perpetual remem­brance of Timothy in prayer was prompted by warm affection for him, which led to a constant longing to see him that in the reunion he would be filled with joy; and it would be intensified as he recalled the tears of Timothy at their parting.]

2 Timothy 1:5

having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in thee; which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;—This faith is not only handed down from parent to child through the teaching and training that is done to the child, but also in the qualities of heart and mind that are transmitted that lead to sincere and unaffected faith. It is probable that both the mother and grandmother had believed in Christ, but this language might be used in reference to those who sincerely worshiped God under the Jewish dispensation and waited for the coming Savior as did Simeon and Anna. (Luke 2:33-38.) Paul makes no mention of the father, though Luke says “his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1.)

and, I am persuaded, in thee also.—[This is an expression of confidence in the sincerity and reality of Timothy’s faith. Of him he said: “I have no man like-minded, who will care truly for your state.” (Philippians 2:20.) ]

2 Timothy 1:6

For which cause I put thee in remembrance—With these words Paul introduces an exhortation which is further elabo­rated in the whole chapter and founded in different motives. Just because Paul knew that the faith of the mother and grand­mother of Timothy dwelt in him also, he has the candor to address this exhortation to him.

that thou stir up the gift of God,—Devotion to God here is compared to a flame and the image is one that is obvious when we speak of causing it to blaze or burn more brightly. The exhortation to Timothy is to use the means God had given him to keep the flame brightly glowing. The agency of man him­self is essential to keep devotion to the Lord ever warm and active. However rich the gifts God has bestowed upon us, they do not grow of their own accord, but grow and increase in strength through the constant and diligent use of them.

which is in thee through the laying on of my hands.—This gift seems to have been bestowed upon Timothy by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, Paul joining them in it. and by or through his hands, the gift was bestowed. (1 Timothy 4:4.) This gift might be allowed through neglect to be withdrawn or would grow and increase in strength through the constant and diligent use of it. The law of Moses properly understood led up to love. From the beginning point in the gospel fear is swallowed up in love.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness;—The spirit of fear and love are here contrasted. “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punish­ment.” (1 John 4:18.) Fear was the leading principle in the law of Moses, love in that of Jesus Christ. This is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cow­ardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God.

but of power and love and discipline.—The Spirit which Paul had bestowed upon Timothy gave power to work miracles and led to love toward God and man. A sound mind or judgment enlightened by the Spirit of God then and now is the only real sound and enlightened judgment. The man who accepts Christ and is led by him is a wise man, however ignorant or unlearned he may be in the eyes of the world. The man who rejects Jesus is a fool no matter how learned or wise or honored in the world’s esteem. To accept Christ is the only true wisdom that leads to true love.

2 Timothy 1:8

Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord,—The gospel embraces the testimony of Christ. Paul said: “I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16.) Man might be ashamed of one who died on a cross, but of one who died to save man and con­quered death and burst asunder the bonds of the grave, none should be ashamed. [This testimony of which Timothy was not to be ashamed certainly includes the sufferings and shame of Jesus. In these sufferings, before a mocking, scornful world, must Timothy glory; but the “testimony” includes the suffer­ings and shame of Christ. In these before scornful men must Timothy, as an example to the suffering Christians, rather glory, but the testimony includes much more than what relates only to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. The Christian, in stead of being ashamed “of the testimony of our Lord,” must, before the sinful, persecuting world, show fearlessly that its hopes and its promises are his most precious treasures.]

nor of me his prisoner:—This does not imply that Timothy had been ashamed of Paul as a prisoner, but the exhortation is intended to brace him up amid dangers and to encourage him to be a partaker with Paul of the afflictions of the gospel. There is no evidence that Timothy had shown a lack of faith and courage; but with the defection of many whom he had trusted, and the near approach of Paul’s death, it was natural for him to encourage Timothy to stand steadfast in the faith.

but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God;—Our sufferings with and for Christ work out for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Paul, in love for his son Timothy, desired that he might suffer with Christ, for that would work the highest good for him in the world to come. Paul gloried in his sufferings, sorrows, and self-denials. Every Christian should arm himself with the same spirit and seek as a true and faithful follower of Christ to suffer with him.

2 Timothy 1:9

who saved us, and called us with a holy calling,—The as­surance that we shall not so suffer is that God has saved us from our sins and iniquities and has called us to a pure and holy life here and a life of glory hereafter.

not according to our works,—This holy calling is not on account of our works or deserts, nor is the reward reached by or through works of our own.

but according to his own purpose and grace,—God purposes on account of his own love to man to call him to this holy calling and heavenly end in and through Jesus Christ.

which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,—This calling of man to a higher calling through Christ Jesus was the determined will of God before the present order of affairs began—from all eternity. [With such a salvation and holy calling, we should not be ashamed of the gospel nor shrink from sufferings and hardships on its account.]

2 Timothy 1:10

but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus,—While it was purposed to be developed through Christ before the world began, it is now open to the world through the appearance of Jesus Christ as the Savior. [The “appearing” here includes not only the birth, but the whole manifestation of Christ on earth, including his death and resurrection.]

who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light—Jesus overcame death, conquered it, and in his work put in operation the influences that will finally destroy or abolish it. [The death thus abolished has a far more extended meaning than the separation of the soul and body that we call death. It signifies that awful punishment of sin which is best described as the exact opposite to “eternal life.” The death with which we are acquainted by sad experience here is only the forerunner of the death eternal. Already to the faithful believer in Jesus Christ this death of the body counts for nothing; the time will come when it will even exist no more. Christ has deprived it of its power. (1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Hebrews 2:14.) It is no longer an enemy to be dreaded, but a friend to be welcomed.]

through the gospel,—While these intimations and allusions to eternal life were made, neither it nor the conditions on which it could be enjoyed were ever clearly made known to the world until it was brought to light through the gospel.

2 Timothy 1:11

whereunto I was appointed a preacher,—A preacher is a herald or first proclaimer as distinct from teacher. In the Scripture the term preacher or herald or original proclaimer is used in a different sense from the word teacher of its prin­ciples.

and an apostle,—The person and work of the Son of God had to be declared publicly, heralded in fact, and this was the first duty of an apostle, as one sent to proclaim Jesus to be a Prince and a Savior.

and a teacher.—[Having persuaded men to accept the teach­ing of Jesus, and having baptized them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he was to teach them all that Jesus had commanded—all the beauties of the Christian life.]

2 Timothy 1:12

For which cause I suffer also these things;—Because he was chosen of God as his apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles, he suffered these things. When the Lord sent him, he said: “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16.) Paul said to the Ephesian elders: “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Spirit testifieth unto me in every city, saying that bonds and afflic­tions abide me.” (Acts 20:22-23.) When he wrote this Epistle he was a prisoner at Rome, anticipating, if not then lying under sentence of, death. The sufferings to which he refers are set forth more specifically in the following words: “I say again, Let no man think me foolish; but if ye do, yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little. . . . Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves. For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face. I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak. Yet whereinsoever any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundant­ly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not.” (2 Corinthians 11:16-31.)

yet I am not ashamed;—Notwithstanding all these humiliat­ing afflictions brought upon him, he was not ashamed because he suffered them for the sake of Jesus Christ. He, like Peter and John, felt so honored that he rejoiced that he was “counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.” (Acts 5:41.)

for I know him whom I have believed,—Notwithstanding all the humiliating punishments brought on him, Paul was not ashamed of it all. The ground of his confidence, even in the hour of extreme peril, was his perfect trust in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him—Paul had committed his soul, his eternal well-being, unto God.

against that day.—Paul was well persuaded that God could keep his soul until that day when everyone would receive according to the deeds done in the body.

2 Timothy 1:13

Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me,—Paul had taught Timothy the truths of salvation in certain words, and lest the meaning should be perverted the very form of words that he had heard of him should be used. None can be too careful in stating the truths of the Scriptures in the language of the inspired writers. When men cannot convey their thoughts in the words of the Scripture, it is generally because they do not hold sound doctrine.

in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.—These truths are to be held in faith which is to be enjoyed in Christ.

2 Timothy 1:14

That good thing which was committed unto thee—This is an exhortation to guard the wholesome words spoken through inspired men, which was extremely necessary before the teaching of the apostles and evangelists were committed to writing, in which the full gospel is expressed in the words of the Holy Spirit. These inspired writings are in our hands, and we ought to preserve them pure without any change.

guard through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us.—The Holy Spirit dwelled in the apostles and in Timothy also, and by him they were enabled to understand the teaching and they were through him to keep it.

2 Timothy 1:15

This thou knowest that all that are in Asia turned away from me;—The defection to which reference is here made was from Paul and his interests. It extended to those Asiatics who at one time had been attached to him, and whose at­tachments had been put to the test when in Rome during his imprisonment. It was to have been expected of them that they would have found their way to Paul’s prison; but, as if they put it to themselves whether they would go or not, they chose to treat him as if he were a perfect stranger to them. In the real character of their action it was turning their back on the imprisoned apostle.

of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.—These seem to have been leaders of those turning away from Paul. We know nothing of them save what is here said. [It has been their destiny to be handed down to posterity as men who acted an unworthy part toward the most noble man of all time in his extremity. They did not know that such an evil im­mortality was to attach to their names.]

2 Timothy 1:16

he Lord grant mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus:—In contrast with the course of Phygelus and Hermogenes, he now presents as an incentive to Timothy the noble conduct of Onesiphorus, a resident of Ephesus.

for he oft refreshed me,—Here he recalls the many good offices which he had performed at Ephesus, of which Timothy from his personal knowledge would know better than Paul or anyone else could tell him. He often refreshed Paul, no doubt entertained him in his home when he was weary, worn, and persecuted—a real home of refuge and an asylum for rest and encouragement.

and was not ashamed of my chain;—This most likely indi­cates that Paul, in this imprisonment, as in the first Roman imprisonment, was bound to a soldier by a chain. Many who admired and honored him in his prosperity, and in the days of his success, forsook him when he was a prisoner wearing a chain.

2 Timothy 1:17

but, when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me—Among so many prisoners in Rome, gathered from all parts of the empire, it was a difficult task to find him. This shows that he did not fare so well as in the first im­prisonment.

2 Timothy 1:18

(the Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day);—Paul passes over the interval between death and the judgment. It is on “that day” when all shall appear before the Judge of all the earth, and when all the deeds done in the body shall be recompensed by the righteous Judge.

and in how many things he ministered at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.—These services rendered to Paul at Eph­esus are placed side by side with those things he had done for him at Rome, but as they are mentioned after, they perhaps refer to kind offices undertaken for him by Onesiphorus after his return from Rome to Ephesus; but in general to the service he had done in the service of Christ there, of which Timothy from his residence there had even better knowledge than Paul himself. What Onesiphorus had done for Paul at Rome was, therefore, only one instance in a life marked throughout by deeds of self-sacrificing faith and love—the expression of the general kindness and beneficence of his conduct in the service of the Master.

Verse 1

2Ti 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,—Apart from any work or merit of his own, God chose him for the work, and it was that sovereign will which chose him as an apostle, which guided him through his eventful life, and which brought him to the prison in Rome.

according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,—This indicates the object or intention of his appointment as an apostle, which was to make known, to publish abroad, the promise of eternal life. He was evidently under the ex­pectation of death at the time of writing.

Verse 2

2Ti 1:2

to Timothy, my beloved child:—He had tender affection for Timothy whom he had taught the faith in Christ, and who had proved himself worthy of his confidence and affection.

Grace, mercy, peace,—There is invoked grace on him as un­worthy, mercy on him as exposed to suffering, peace on him as the result of his being graciously dealt with.

from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.—It is the fatherly feeling in God—that which is highest in his nature and with which redemption originated—that he made his appeal for saving blessings to rest on Timothy. Christ is the dispenser of the blessings in the Father’s house, of which there is enough for all.

Verses 3-4

2Ti 1:3-4

I thank God,—[Notwithstanding the fact that the mean­ing is somewhat obscured by the parentheses (verse 5), it seems clear that the expression of thanksgiving was for his remembrance of the “unfeigned faith” of Timothy, and his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice.]

whom I serve from my forefathers—Paul had served God from childhood, having been trained to do so by his parents. He had been earnest, zealous, and faithful in rendering service to God as he believed was right.

in a pure conscience,—Not only did he worship the same God as his fathers, but, like them, he worshiped in a pure conscience. In becoming a Christian he did not, as his ene­mies charged, depart from the God of Israel, the God of his forefathers; on the other hand, he, in accepting Christ, was moved by the faith of all the godly Israelites, while those in rejecting him had apostatized from the faith. In his defense before Felix he said: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust. Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always.” (Acts 24:14-16; see also Romans 4:12; Romans 9:31-33; Romans 10:1-5; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5.)

how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplica­tions, night and day longing to see thee,—Paul was now old; his end was at hand; he earnestly desired to see Timothy, to whom he was so much attached, and who had been his com­panion and helper in his imprisonment.

remembering thy tears,—These tears were probably shed when he was arrested and sent to Rome and incarcerated in prison. [It is likely that the clouds of danger which were gathering quickly around Paul toward the close of his career had impressed him with a foreboding of coming evil, and had invested the last parting with Timothy with circumstances of unusual solemnity. Paul had affected others besides Tim­othy with the same great love of the truth, and the great danger threatening it so that tears were shed by strong men when he bade them farewell. (Acts 20:37-38.)]

that I may be filled with joy;—[Paul’s perpetual remem­brance of Timothy in prayer was prompted by warm affection for him, which led to a constant longing to see him that in the reunion he would be filled with joy; and it would be intensified as he recalled the tears of Timothy at their parting.]

Verse 5

2Ti 1:5

having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in thee; which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;—This faith is not only handed down from parent to child through the teaching and training that is done to the child, but also in the qualities of heart and mind that are transmitted that lead to sincere and unaffected faith. It is probable that both the mother and grandmother had believed in Christ, but this language might be used in reference to those who sincerely worshiped God under the Jewish dispensation and waited for the coming Savior as did Simeon and Anna. (Luke 2:33-38.) Paul makes no mention of the father, though Luke says “his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1.)

and, I am persuaded, in thee also.—[This is an expression of confidence in the sincerity and reality of Timothy’s faith. Of him he said: “I have no man like-minded, who will care truly for your state.” (Philippians 2:20.) ]

Verse 6

2Ti 1:6

For which cause I put thee in remembrance—With these words Paul introduces an exhortation which is further elabo­rated in the whole chapter and founded in different motives. Just because Paul knew that the faith of the mother and grand­mother of Timothy dwelt in him also, he has the candor to address this exhortation to him.

that thou stir up the gift of God,—Devotion to God here is compared to a flame and the image is one that is obvious when we speak of causing it to blaze or burn more brightly. The exhortation to Timothy is to use the means God had given him to keep the flame brightly glowing. The agency of man him­self is essential to keep devotion to the Lord ever warm and active. However rich the gifts God has bestowed upon us, they do not grow of their own accord, but grow and increase in strength through the constant and diligent use of them.

which is in thee through the laying on of my hands.—This gift seems to have been bestowed upon Timothy by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, Paul joining them in it. and by or through his hands, the gift was bestowed. (1 Timothy 4:4.) This gift might be allowed through neglect to be withdrawn or would grow and increase in strength through the constant and diligent use of it. The law of Moses properly understood led up to love. From the beginning point in the gospel fear is swallowed up in love.

Verse 7

2Ti 1:7

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness;—The spirit of fear and love are here contrasted. “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punish­ment.” (1 John 4:18.) Fear was the leading principle in the law of Moses, love in that of Jesus Christ. This is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cow­ardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God.

but of power and love and discipline.—The Spirit which Paul had bestowed upon Timothy gave power to work miracles and led to love toward God and man. A sound mind or judgment enlightened by the Spirit of God then and now is the only real sound and enlightened judgment. The man who accepts Christ and is led by him is a wise man, however ignorant or unlearned he may be in the eyes of the world. The man who rejects Jesus is a fool no matter how learned or wise or honored in the world’s esteem. To accept Christ is the only true wisdom that leads to true love.

Verse 8

2Ti 1:8

Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord,—The gospel embraces the testimony of Christ. Paul said: “I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16.) Man might be ashamed of one who died on a cross, but of one who died to save man and con­quered death and burst asunder the bonds of the grave, none should be ashamed. [This testimony of which Timothy was not to be ashamed certainly includes the sufferings and shame of Jesus. In these sufferings, before a mocking, scornful world, must Timothy glory; but the “testimony” includes the suffer­ings and shame of Christ. In these before scornful men must Timothy, as an example to the suffering Christians, rather glory, but the testimony includes much more than what relates only to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. The Christian, in stead of being ashamed “of the testimony of our Lord,” must, before the sinful, persecuting world, show fearlessly that its hopes and its promises are his most precious treasures.]

nor of me his prisoner:—This does not imply that Timothy had been ashamed of Paul as a prisoner, but the exhortation is intended to brace him up amid dangers and to encourage him to be a partaker with Paul of the afflictions of the gospel. There is no evidence that Timothy had shown a lack of faith and courage; but with the defection of many whom he had trusted, and the near approach of Paul’s death, it was natural for him to encourage Timothy to stand steadfast in the faith.

but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God;—Our sufferings with and for Christ work out for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Paul, in love for his son Timothy, desired that he might suffer with Christ, for that would work the highest good for him in the world to come. Paul gloried in his sufferings, sorrows, and self-denials. Every Christian should arm himself with the same spirit and seek as a true and faithful follower of Christ to suffer with him.

Verse 9

2Ti 1:9

who saved us, and called us with a holy calling,—The as­surance that we shall not so suffer is that God has saved us from our sins and iniquities and has called us to a pure and holy life here and a life of glory hereafter.

not according to our works,—This holy calling is not on account of our works or deserts, nor is the reward reached by or through works of our own.

but according to his own purpose and grace,—God purposes on account of his own love to man to call him to this holy calling and heavenly end in and through Jesus Christ.

which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,—This calling of man to a higher calling through Christ Jesus was the determined will of God before the present order of affairs began—from all eternity. [With such a salvation and holy calling, we should not be ashamed of the gospel nor shrink from sufferings and hardships on its account.]

Verse 10

2Ti 1:10

but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus,—While it was purposed to be developed through Christ before the world began, it is now open to the world through the appearance of Jesus Christ as the Savior. [The “appearing” here includes not only the birth, but the whole manifestation of Christ on earth, including his death and resurrection.]

who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light—Jesus overcame death, conquered it, and in his work put in operation the influences that will finally destroy or abolish it. [The death thus abolished has a far more extended meaning than the separation of the soul and body that we call death. It signifies that awful punishment of sin which is best described as the exact opposite to “eternal life.” The death with which we are acquainted by sad experience here is only the forerunner of the death eternal. Already to the faithful believer in Jesus Christ this death of the body counts for nothing; the time will come when it will even exist no more. Christ has deprived it of its power. (1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Hebrews 2:14.) It is no longer an enemy to be dreaded, but a friend to be welcomed.]

through the gospel,—While these intimations and allusions to eternal life were made, neither it nor the conditions on which it could be enjoyed were ever clearly made known to the world until it was brought to light through the gospel.

Verse 11

2Ti 1:11

whereunto I was appointed a preacher,—A preacher is a herald or first proclaimer as distinct from teacher. In the Scripture the term preacher or herald or original proclaimer is used in a different sense from the word teacher of its prin­ciples.

and an apostle,—The person and work of the Son of God had to be declared publicly, heralded in fact, and this was the first duty of an apostle, as one sent to proclaim Jesus to be a Prince and a Savior.

and a teacher.—[Having persuaded men to accept the teach­ing of Jesus, and having baptized them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he was to teach them all that Jesus had commanded—all the beauties of the Christian life.]

Verse 12

2Ti 1:12

For which cause I suffer also these things;—Because he was chosen of God as his apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles, he suffered these things. When the Lord sent him, he said: “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16.) Paul said to the Ephesian elders: “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Spirit testifieth unto me in every city, saying that bonds and afflic­tions abide me.” (Acts 20:22-23.) When he wrote this Epistle he was a prisoner at Rome, anticipating, if not then lying under sentence of, death. The sufferings to which he refers are set forth more specifically in the following words: “I say again, Let no man think me foolish; but if ye do, yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little. . . . Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves. For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face. I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak. Yet whereinsoever any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundant­ly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not.” (2 Corinthians 11:16-31.)

yet I am not ashamed;—Notwithstanding all these humiliat­ing afflictions brought upon him, he was not ashamed because he suffered them for the sake of Jesus Christ. He, like Peter and John, felt so honored that he rejoiced that he was “counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.” (Acts 5:41.)

for I know him whom I have believed,—Notwithstanding all the humiliating punishments brought on him, Paul was not ashamed of it all. The ground of his confidence, even in the hour of extreme peril, was his perfect trust in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him—Paul had committed his soul, his eternal well-being, unto God.

against that day.—Paul was well persuaded that God could keep his soul until that day when everyone would receive according to the deeds done in the body.

Verse 13

2Ti 1:13

Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me,—Paul had taught Timothy the truths of salvation in certain words, and lest the meaning should be perverted the very form of words that he had heard of him should be used. None can be too careful in stating the truths of the Scriptures in the language of the inspired writers. When men cannot convey their thoughts in the words of the Scripture, it is generally because they do not hold sound doctrine.

in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.—These truths are to be held in faith which is to be enjoyed in Christ.

Verse 14

2Ti 1:14

That good thing which was committed unto thee—This is an exhortation to guard the wholesome words spoken through inspired men, which was extremely necessary before the teaching of the apostles and evangelists were committed to writing, in which the full gospel is expressed in the words of the Holy Spirit. These inspired writings are in our hands, and we ought to preserve them pure without any change.

guard through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us.—The Holy Spirit dwelled in the apostles and in Timothy also, and by him they were enabled to understand the teaching and they were through him to keep it.

Verse 15

2Ti 1:15

This thou knowest that all that are in Asia turned away from me;—The defection to which reference is here made was from Paul and his interests. It extended to those Asiatics who at one time had been attached to him, and whose at­tachments had been put to the test when in Rome during his imprisonment. It was to have been expected of them that they would have found their way to Paul’s prison; but, as if they put it to themselves whether they would go or not, they chose to treat him as if he were a perfect stranger to them. In the real character of their action it was turning their back on the imprisoned apostle.

of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.—These seem to have been leaders of those turning away from Paul. We know nothing of them save what is here said. [It has been their destiny to be handed down to posterity as men who acted an unworthy part toward the most noble man of all time in his extremity. They did not know that such an evil im­mortality was to attach to their names.]

Verse 16

2Ti 1:16

he Lord grant mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus:—In contrast with the course of Phygelus and Hermogenes, he now presents as an incentive to Timothy the noble conduct of Onesiphorus, a resident of Ephesus.

for he oft refreshed me,—Here he recalls the many good offices which he had performed at Ephesus, of which Timothy from his personal knowledge would know better than Paul or anyone else could tell him. He often refreshed Paul, no doubt entertained him in his home when he was weary, worn, and persecuted—a real home of refuge and an asylum for rest and encouragement.

and was not ashamed of my chain;—This most likely indi­cates that Paul, in this imprisonment, as in the first Roman imprisonment, was bound to a soldier by a chain. Many who admired and honored him in his prosperity, and in the days of his success, forsook him when he was a prisoner wearing a chain.

Verse 17

2Ti 1:17

but, when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me—Among so many prisoners in Rome, gathered from all parts of the empire, it was a difficult task to find him. This shows that he did not fare so well as in the first im­prisonment.

Verse 18

2Ti 1:18

(the Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day);—Paul passes over the interval between death and the judgment. It is on “that day” when all shall appear before the Judge of all the earth, and when all the deeds done in the body shall be recompensed by the righteous Judge.

and in how many things he ministered at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.—These services rendered to Paul at Eph­esus are placed side by side with those things he had done for him at Rome, but as they are mentioned after, they perhaps refer to kind offices undertaken for him by Onesiphorus after his return from Rome to Ephesus; but in general to the service he had done in the service of Christ there, of which Timothy from his residence there had even better knowledge than Paul himself. What Onesiphorus had done for Paul at Rome was, therefore, only one instance in a life marked throughout by deeds of self-sacrificing faith and love—the expression of the general kindness and beneficence of his conduct in the service of the Master.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-timothy-1.html.
 
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