II Timothy 1

 

 

1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the

promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,” According to the promise

denotes the subject matter with which, as an apostle, he had to deal, viz.

the promise of eternal life in Christ Jesus, and the end for which he was

called, viz. to preach that promise (compare Titus 1:2).

 

2 “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from

God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”  My dearly beloved son.

In I Timothy 1:2 (as in Titus 1:4) it is “my true child,” or “my own son,”

Authorized Version.  The idea broached by some commentators, that this

variation in expression marks some change in Paul’s confidence in Timothy,

seems utterly unfounded. The exhortations to boldness and courage which follow

were the natural results of the danger in which Paul’s own life was, and the

depression of spirits caused by the desertion of many friends (ch.4:10-16). Paul,

too, knew that the time was close at hand when Timothy, still young, would no

longer have him to lean upon and look up to, and therefore would prepare him for it;

and possibly he may have seen some symptoms of weakness in Timothy’s character,

which made him anxious, as appears, indeed, in the course of this Epistle. Grace, etc.

(so I Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4, Authorized Version; II John 1:3). Jude 1:2  has “mercy,

peace, and love.” The salutation in Ephesians 1:2 is “grace and peace,” as also in

Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:3, and elsewhere in Paul’s Epistles, and in Revelation 1:4.

 

3 “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience,

that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;”

Whom I serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience, compare Acts 23:1.

That without ceasing, etc. The construction of the sentence which follows is difficult

and ambiguous. For what does the apostle give thanks to God? The answer to this

question will give the clue to the explanation. The only thing mentioned in the context

which seems a proper subject of thanksgiving is that which is named in v. 5, viz. the

unfeigned faith” that was in Timothy. That this was a proper subject of thanksgiving

we learn from Ephesians 1:15-16, where Paul writes that, having heard of their faith in the

Lord Jesus, he ceased not to give thanks for them, making mention of them in his

prayers (see, too, I Thessalonians 1:2). Assuming, then, that this was the subject of his

thanksgiving, we notice especially the reading of the R.T., labw>n labon - having

received and the note of Bengel that uJpo>mnhsin lamba>nein hupomnaesin

 lambanein means to be reminded of any one by another, as distinguished from

ajna>mnhsin anamnaesin - which is used when any one comes to your recollection

without external prompting; both which fall in with our previous conclusion. And we

get for the main sentence the satisfactory meaning: “I give thanks to God that I

have received (or, because I have received) a most pleasant reminder (from

some letter or visitor to which he does not further allude) of your unfeigned faith,”

etc, The main sentence clearly is: “I thank God... having been reminded of the

unfeigned faith that is in thee.” The intermediate words are, in Paul’s manner,

parenthetical and explanatory. Being about to say that it was at some special

remembrance of Timothy’s faith that he gave thanks, the thought arose in his mind

that there was a continual remembrance of him day and night in his prayers; that

he was ever thinking of him, longing to see him, and to have the tears shed at their

parting turned into joy at their meeting again. And so he interposes this thought,

and prefaces it with wJv hos - not surely, “how,” as in the Revised Version, but

in the sense of kaqw>v kathos -  as; just as.  And so the whole passage comes

out: “Just as I have an unceasing remembrance of you in my prayers, day and

night, longing to see you, that the tears which I remember you shed at our

parting may be turned into joy, so do I give special thanks to God on the

remembrance of your faith.”

 

4 “Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may

be filled with joy;  5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in

thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;

and I am persuaded that in thee also.”  Unfeigned (ajnupokri>tou anupokritou

unfeigned); as I Timothy 1:5 (see also Romans 12:9; II Corinthians 6:6; I Peter

1:22; James 3:17).   Being mindful.  Having been reminded, etc. (see preceding note).

Thy grandmother Lois. Ma>mmh  mammae  - properly corresponds exactly to our

word “mamma.” In IV Maccabees 16:9, Ouj ma>mmh klhqei~sa makarisqh>somai

ou mammae klaetheisa makaristhaesomai -  I shall never be called a happy

Grandmother -  and here (the only place where it is found in the New Testament) it has

The sense of “grandmother.” It is hardly a real word, and has no place in

Stephens’ ‘Thesaurus  except incidentally by comparison with pa>ppa pappa.

It has, however, a classical usage. The proper word for a “grandmother” is th>qh

 taethae.   Lois; a name not found elsewhere, possibly meaning “good,” or

excellent,” from the same root as lwi>`terov loiteros  and lw>i`stov loistos.

This and the following Eunice are examples of the frequent use of Greek or Latin

names by Jews. Eunice, we know from Acts 16:1, was a Jewess and a

Christian, as it would seem her mother Lois was before her.

 

It is pleasant to see faith transmitted through three generations. It is sin,

and not grace, that is easily transmitted by blood. But when we are “born,

not of blood, but of God” (John 1:13), we have reason to be thankful, like

the apostle, for such a display of rich family mercy.  We see here the advantages

of a pious education, for it was from the persons named he obtained in his youth

that knowledge of the Scriptures which made him wise unto salvation

(ch.3:15).  How often Christian mothers have given remarkable sons to the

ministry of God’s Church!

 

We have the promise that God will keep covenant and mercy with them that love

Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. (Exodus 34:7) 

God’s intention is that godly and Christian influence SHOULD BE

TRANSMITTED! He made one generation to follow another, proceeded on a

principle of succession and not of contemporaneousness, that He might

thereby have a godly seed (Malachi 2:15). The best established Christians are

among those who are of a godly stock. Therefore let the godly upbringing of

 the young be attended to.

 

6 “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of

God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”  Wherefore.

 (di h{n aijti>an - di haen aitian - for which cause); so v. 12 and

Titus 1:13, but nowhere else in Paul’s Epistles, though common

elsewhere. The clause seems to depend upon the words immediately

preceding, “I am persuaded in thee also; for which cause,” etc. Stir up

(ajnazwpurei~n anazopurein – stir up; to be rekindling); here only in the

New Testament, but found in the Septuagint of Genesis 45:27 and I Maccabees

13:7, in an intransitive sense, “to revive.”  (Even though this last text is not

in the Bible, it is in the Jewish Bible and can be googled, if interested, without

difficulty – CY – 2013).   In both passages it is contrasted with

a previous state of despondency (Genesis 45:26) or fear (I Maccabees 13:2).

We must, therefore, conclude that Paul knew Timothy to be cast down and

depressed by his own imprisonment and imminent danger, and therefore exhorted

him to revive “the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind(v.7),

which was given him at his ordination. The metaphor is taken from kindling

slumbering ashes into a flame by the bellows, and the force of the prefix ajna ana -

a rekindling - is to show that the embers had gone down from a previous state

of candescence or flame — “to rekindle, light up again.” It is a favurite metaphor

in classical Greek.  The gift of God (to< ca>risma tou~ Qeou~ – to charisma tou

Theou ; as I Timothy 4:14 (where see note). The laying on of my hands, together

with those of the presbytery (Ibid.; compare Acts 13:2-3). The laying on of

hands was also the medium through which the Holy Ghost was given in

Confirmation (Acts 8:17), and in healing (Mark 16:18; compare Numbers 27:18, 23).

 

7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of

love, and of a sound mind.” A spirit of fearfulness; or, cowardice, as the

word deili>a deliadread; fear; timidity; cowardice -  exactly means in

classical Greek, where it is very common, though it only occurs here in the New

Testament. Deilo>v – deilos – cowardly - also has a reproachful sense,

both in classical Greek, and also in the Septuagint, and in the New Testament

(see Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:40; Revelation 21:8). It seems certain, therefore, that

Paul thought that Timothy’s gentle spirit was in danger of being cowed by the

adversaries of the gospel. The whole tenor of his exhortation, combined as it was

with words of warm affection, is in harmony with this thought. Compare with the

phrase, pneu~ma deili>av pneuma deilias – spirit of fearfulness ,

the pneu~ma doulei>av eijv fo>bon pneuma douleias eis phobon

the spirit of slavery into fear -  of Romans 8:15. Of power and

love. Power (du>namiv dunamis - power) is EMPHATICALLY THE

ATTRIBUTE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!  (Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38; Romans

15:13; I Corinthians 2:4, etc.), and that which He specially imparts to the

servants of Christ (Acts 1:8; 6:8; Ephesians 3:16, etc.). Love is added, as

showing that the servant of Christ always uses power in conjunction with love,

and only as the means of executing what love requires. Sound mind. 

(swfronismou~ sophronismou – sanity; sound mind); only here in the

New Testament; swfroni>zein  sophronizein  - that they may teach,

that they be bringing to sense -   is found in Titus 2:4, “to teach,” Authorized

Version; “to train,  Revised Version.   Discipline” is not a very happy

rendering, though it gives the meaning; “correction,” or “sound

instruction,” is perhaps nearer. It would seem that Timothy had shown

some signs of weakness, and had not boldly reproved and instructed in

their duty certain offenders, as true love for souls required him to do. The

phrase from Plutarch’s ‘Life of Cato,’ quoted by Alford, exactly gives the

force of swfronismo>v: jEpi< diorqw>sai kai< swfronismw~| tw~n

a]llwn - sophronismos  Epi diorthosai kai sophronismo ton allon

“For the amendment and correction of the rest.”

 

Courage is an essential qualification for ministers of the gospel.

Cowardice is unworthy of those who have received the gospel in trust.

The fear of man has a very wide dominion, but those who fear God ought

to know no other fear:

 

  • Trust in God is a preservation from fear - “The Lord is my light and

my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of

my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).

 

  • Our Lord exhorts us strongly against such fear (“Peace I leave with

You, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give

I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be

afraid.” (John 14:27).

 

We have the spirit of power, as opposed to the weakness of cowardice; for the

servants of Christ are fortified against persecutions and reproaches, and are

enabled to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, and to quit themselves

 like men.  (ch. 2:3; I Corinthians 16:13).

 

We have the spirit of love  which will make us earnest in our care for souls,

indefatigable in labors, fearless in the midst of trying exigencies, and self-sacrificing

in love.

 

We have the spirit of self-control which enables the servant of Christ to keep

his whole being in subjection to the Lord, apart from all the solicitations of the

world, and to regulate life with a due regard to its duties, its labors, and its cares.

 

 

Reminiscences (vs. 1-7)

 

A ring once given to an old and loved friend, who in later life had been cut

off from the former loving intercourse by the inevitable course of events,

bore this touching inscription, “Cara memoria dei primieri anni” (dear

memory of old times). The memories of a happy unclouded youth, of

youthful friendships, of joyous days, of pursuits lit up by sanguine hopes

and bright expectations, are indeed often among the most precious

treasures of the heart. And in like manner the recollection of former

triumphs of faith in days of dark doubt and difficulty, of temptations

overcome, of victories gained, of grace received, of work done for God, of

Christian intercourse with God’s saints, and happy hours of prayer, and

treading underfoot all the powers of darkness, are not only bright lights

illuminating the past journey of life, but are often among our strongest

incentives to perseverance, and our best encouragements to hold fast the

profession of our faith without wavering. Paul, that great master in the

knowledge of human nature, knew this well. And so with inimitable skill —

a skill heightened and set off by the warm affections of a tender heart — he

calls back Timothy’s recollections to the days of his early faith. That there

had been anything like a falling away from the faith in Timothy, any real

declension in his religious life, there is no reason to believe. But the quick

eye of the apostle had detected some symptoms of weakness. The pulse of

firm resolution, as dangers thickened around him, had not beaten so

steadily as he would have wished. He did not see the symptoms of

Christian courage rising with the rising flood of difficulty quite so marked

as to set his mind at case as to what might happen if, after his own death,

which he felt was near, Timothy were left alone to confront the perils of a

fierce persecution, or to guide the wavering purpose of timid and fainting

disciples. And so he calls back his dearly beloved son in the faith to the old

days of his first conversion. The lessons of faith and obedience learned on his

mother’s knee in the dear home at Lystra, whose blessed fruit had attracted

Paul’s notice; the first appearance of the apostle in those regions in the

noonday of his apostolic zeal; the bold front with which he had met the

storm of affliction and persecution; Timothy’s own warm surrender of

himself to the companionship of the great teacher, and his exchange of a

happy, peaceful home for the wandering life and incessant peril of an

evangelist; then the solemn time of his ordination — the time when, with

prayer and fasting, he had knelt to receive the laying on of hands, and had

exulted in the new gift of God with which he might go forth fearlessly and

lovingly, and in a strength not his own, to emulate his father in the faith in

preaching the gospel of God’s saving grace, — Oh, let Timothy cherish

those dear memories of former times! And there were later memories still.

Their last meeting, and their last adieu. They had parted, under what

circumstances we do not know; Paul hastening on to his crown of

martyrdom, Timothy remaining at his post of work and of danger. And

Timothy had wept. Were they tears of bitterness, tears of compunction,

tears of a heart broken and melting under a gentle loving reproof, or were

they only tears of sorrow at parting? We cannot say for certain; but

Paul remembered them, and he recalls them to Timothy’s memory too. He

adds the hope that, as they had sown in tears, they would reap in joy — the

joy, perhaps, of a healed wound and renovated spiritual strength, or, at all

events, the joy of meeting once more before the fall of the curtain of death

to close the drama of Paul’s eventful life. The lesson left for us by these

heart-stirring words is the value of the memory of the past when brought to

bear upon the work of the future. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget

not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2), is a sentiment which continually comes up

 in the varied experiences of the psalmist. He quickened hope in the land of

banishment by remembering the days of happy worship in the house of God (Psalm

42.); he added depth to his sorrow for sin by recalling the memory of that

joy of salvation which he had forfeited by his fall (Psalm 51.). And so we

shall do well in times of weakness to remember our former strength; in

days of darkness to call to mind the days of light that were of old; in days

of slackness and indolence to call back the memory of the time when we

were all on fire to do God’s work; in days of depression to think of old

mercies shown and old graces given to us of God; to quench the fear of

defeat by the recollection of ancient victories; and, in a word, to make the

past supply the present with incentives to an undying zeal, and a steadfast

courage in facing all the afflictions of the gospel according to the unchanging

power of God.

 

8 “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of

me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel

according to the power of God;”  Be not ashamed, etc. The exhortation

based upon the previous statement. The spirit of power and love must

show itself in a brave, unflinching acceptance of all the hardships and

afflictions incident to a faithful execution of his episcopal office (compare

Romans 1:16). Partaker of the afflictions of the gospel.  The force of

su<n - sun in sugkakopa>qhsonsugkakopathaesonsuffer hardship –

 (only found here in the New Testament and in the R.T. of ch.2:3) is manifestly to

associate Timothy with Paul in the afflictions of the gospel. “Be a

fellow partaker with me of the afflictions,” which is in obvious contrast

with being ashamed of the testimony of the Lord and of the apostle his

prisoner. The gospel (tw~| eujaggeliw – to euaggelio); i.e. for the gospel, as

Philippians 1:27, “striving for the faith of the gospel” (th~| pi>stei – tae pistei

the faith).  According to the power of God; either “according to that spirit

of power which God gave you at your ordination,” or “according to the mighty

power of God manifested in our salvation and in the resurrection of our

Lord Jesus Christ.” The latter seems to be what Paul had in his mind. Timothy

ought to feel that this power was on his side.

 

Though it is a gospel of peace, it brings a sword wherever it goes, and

involves its preachers in tribulations arising out of THE PERVERSENESS

OF MEN WHO TRY  TO THWART AND DESPISE IT!  We can rejoice

in that the GOD who has saved us with such a strong hand IS ABLE TO

SUCCOR US  under all our affliction!

 

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,”

Who saved us, and called us.

 

o       The saving was in the gift of His only begotten

Son to be our Savior;

o       The calling is the work of the Holy Spirit drawing

individual souls to Christ to be saved by Him.

 

(For the power of God displayed in man’s salvation, compare Ephesians 1:19-20.)

With a holy calling (compare Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2). Not according to

 our works (see Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:4-10). His own purpose and grace. If our

calling were of works, it would not be by grace (Romans 4:4, 5; 11:6), but it is

 according to the riches of His grace… according to His good pleasure

 which He purposed in Himself” (Ephesians 1:9, 11). Before the world

began.  (pro< cro>nwn aijwni>wn -pro chronon aionion - before times eternal).

The phrase seems to have the same general meaning as pro< katabolh~v ko>smou

pro katabolaes kosmou - before the foundation of the world (Ephesians

1:4), where the general context is the same. The phrase itself occurs in

Romans 16:25 (cro>noiv aijwni>oiv chronois aioniois – since the world

began) and Titus 1:2, in which last place time is indicated posterior to the

creation of men. In I Corinthians 2:7 we have simply pro<tw~n aijw>nwn

proton aionon  - before the worlds - where aijw>n - aionage; era  - is

equivalent to aijwni>oi cro>noi aionioi chronoi – time eternal - and in

Ephesians 3:11, pro>qesin tw~n aijw>nwn prothesin ton aionon - the

eternal purpose.  In Luke 1:70 the phrase, ajp aijw~nov ap aionos -  is

rendered since the world began and eijv tou<v aijw~nav eis tous aionas

forever (Matthew 6:13),. So frequently eijv to<n aijw~na eis ton aionaforever

(Matthew 21:19; John 6:51), and eijv tou<v aijw~nav tw~n aijw>nwn eis tous

aionas ton aionon -  forever and ever [literally into the age of the ages -  CY –

2013]  (Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; I Timothy 1:17), The usage of the Septuagint

is very similar, where ajp aijw~nov eijv to<n aijw~na pro< tw~n ajiwnwn wijw<n tw~n

aijw>nwn ap aionos eis ton aiona pro ton aionon oion aionon, etc., are

frequent, as well as the adjective aijw>niov - aionioseternal.  Putting all these

passages together, and  adverting to the classical meaning of aijw>n, and its Latin

equivalent, aevum, a “lifetime,” we seem to arrive at the primary meaning

of aijw>n as being a “generation,” and then any long period of time

analogous to a man’s lifetime. Hence cro>noi aijw>nioi would be times

made up of successive generations, and pro< cro>nwn aijwni>wn would

mean at the very beginning of the times which consisted of human

generations. Aijw<n tw~n aijw>nwn would be one great generation,

consisting of all the successive generations of mankind. The whole duration

of mankind in this present world would be in this sense one vast aijw>n 

TO BE FOLLOWED BY WE KNOW NOT WHAT SUCCEEDING

ONES.   Thus Ephesians 1:21, ejn tw~| aijw~ni tou>tw |- en to aioni touto

in this world - is contrasted with ejn tw~| me>llonti – en to mellonti – in

that which is to come; the one impending -  the idea being that the world

has its lifetime analogous to the lifetime of a man. The same period may

also be considered as made up of several shorter aijw~nev aionesages –

 

o       the prediluvial,

o       the patriarchal,

o       the Mosaic,

o       the Christian, and such like (see note to I Timothy 1:17).

 

10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus

Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and

immortality to light through the gospel:”  Is now made manifest –

(fanerwqei~san phanerotheisanbeing manifested); a word of very

frequent use by Paul. The same contrast between the long time during which God’s

gracious purpose lay hidden, and the present time when it was brought to

light by the gospel, which is contained in this passage, is forcibly dwelt

upon in Ephesians 3:1-12. The appearing (th~v ejpifanei>av - taes epiphaneias

the appearing, the advent), applied here, as in the name of the Festival of the

Epiphany, to the first advent, but in ch. 4:1 and Titus 2:13 and elsewhere applied to

the second advent, “the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ”

(Titus 2:13). Abolished (katargh>santov katargaesantos - ); i.e. destroyed,”

or “done away,” or “made of none effect,” as the word is variously rendered

(I Corinthians 15:26; II Corinthians 3:11; Galatians 3:17; compare Hebrews 2:14).

Brought… to light (fwti>santov - photisantos); as in I Corinthians 4:5.

Elsewhere rather “to give light,” or “to enlighten” (see Luke 11:36;

Hebrews 6:4; 10:32, etc.). For a full description of the abolition of

death and the introduction of eternal life in its stead, through the death and

resurrection of Jesus Christ, see Romans 5. and 6., and especially 6:8-11.

Through the gospel; because the gospel both declares the death and

resurrection of Christ, and calls us to share in them. These mighty glories

of the gospel were good reasons why Timothy should not be ashamed of

the testimony of his Lord, nor shrink from the afflictions of the gospel.

They were signal evidences of THE POWER OF GOD!

 

 

A Glorious and Powerful Manifestation (v.10)

 

 “But hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus,

who abolished death, and brought light and immortality to light through the

gospel.”  Hidden in God in eternity, it was for a time partially manifested. The time of

its full manifestation corresponded with THE APPEARING OF CHRIST which

was also the medium of the manifestation. This is the only place in the New

Testament  in which the appearing is to be identified with the Incarnation, or the whole

of Christ’s appearance in flesh. That appearing was as one of the weak things of the

world.  Especially did Christ seem to be the very impersonation of weakness when

He was on the cross. And yet this was the grandest display of power, confounding

the mighty; for it is here said that by this appearing He abolished death. He

appeared in flesh, and endured death in all its reality, and, by doing so, He has

made it no longer a reality to His people. He has made it of none effect. He has

made it so that it cannot tyrannize over them. And, though they have to endure

death, it is not as a token of God’s displeasure, but as His wise and good

arrangement “the passing from death unto life (John 5:24), and introduction

into a state from which DEATH IS FOR EVER EXCLUDED!   The

positive side of the benefit derived from the appearing is presented under a

slightly different aspect. It is regarded as presented in the gospel. And as death is

a dark power, so the gospel is a light-giving power. What it has brought to light is

of the utmost consequence. It is life, and life with the superlative quality of

IMPERISHABLENESS!   Under heathenism men had no right conception of life.

Even with all the help that philosophy could give them, the meaning of life

was dark to them. The gospel has shown it to consist in the favor of God,

and the quickening of all our faculties under the breath of His Spirit. But

specially are we to think of life in its imperishableness. We know that, to

the heathen generally, the future was AN ABSOLUTE BLANK!

 A few of them had glimmerings, not of a resurrection, but of the survival of the

thinking part, with some reward for the good. THE GOSPEL HAS

BROUGHT IMMORTALITY INTO THE FULL CLEAR LIGHT!

It has given us THE CERTAINTY OF OUR EXISTENCE AFTER

DEATH!   It, moreover, holds out before us the prospect of a life that is to be

spent, without intermission or end, IN THE SUNSHINE OF GOD’S

LOVE  with ever increased quickening of all our powers — a life in which there

will be a reunion of soul and body, of which already we have the earnest in the

resurrection of Christ.  (“He hath appointed a day, in the which He will

judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained;

whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that HE HATH

RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.”  - Acts 17:31).  It is our great

privilege that we live UNDER THE LIGHT OF THIS GOSPEL!   It is

the imperishableness of the life of  God that is here begun that has power to

nerve the soul, even to martyrdom!

 

11 “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a

teacher of the Gentiles.”  Am appointed (ejte>qhn etethaenwas

appointed); compare I Timothy 1:12, qe>menov eijv diakoni>an themenos

eis diakonian - appointing me to the ministry; and 2:7. A preacher,

and an apostle, and a teacher (so also (Ibid. ch. 2:7). Teacher

(dida>skalov didaskalos) is one of the spiritual offices enumerated in

I  Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11. It is surely remarkable that

neither here nor elsewhere does Paul speak of any call to the priesthood

in a sacerdotal sense (see Romans 1:1, 5; 15:16; I Corinthians 1:1).

 

 

      The Power of God

in the Salvation Manifested

                                                        by

                                Jesus Christ to the World (vs. 9-11)

 

Paul now proceeds to expound in a glorious sentence the origin, conditions,

manifestations of the salvation provided in the gospel.

 

  • THE MANNER IN WHICH THE POWER OF GOD HAS BEEN

DISPLAYED TOWARD US. “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.”

 

Ø      The power of God has been displayed toward us in salvation.

God is the Author of salvation in its most comprehensive sense, as

including both its impetration and its application. The salvation may

be said to precede the calling, as:

 

o       it has its origin in the “purpose of God,”

o       as Christ has procured it by His death.

 

Ø      It has been displayed in our calling.

 

o       The call is the act of the Father (Galatians 1:6).

o       It is a “holy calling,”

 

§         as its Author is holy;

§         it is a call to holiness;

§         the called are enabled to live holy lives.

 

Ø      The principle or condition of our salvation. “Not

according to our works.”

 

o       Negatively. Works are not:

 

§         the moving cause of it, which is the love and

favor of God (John 3:16);

§         nor are they the procuring cause, which is the

obedience and death of Christ (Romans 3:21-26);

§         nor do they help in the application of salvation; for

works done before our calling are not good, being

without fairly; and works done after it are the fruits

of our calling, and therefore not the cause of it.

 

o       Positively. “But according to his own purpose and grace,

which was given us in Christ before the world began.”

Salvation has thus a double aspect.

 

§         It is “according to the purpose of God.” It is a gift

from eternity; for it was “before the world began”

(Revelation 13:8), and therefore it was not dependent

upon MAN’S WORKS!

 

§         It is according to “His grace, which was given us in

Christ Jesus before the world began” (Ibid.; v. 9).

Though those to whom it was given were not in

existence, they existed in Christ as the covenant Head

and Representative of His people. They were chosen

in Him (Ephesians 1:4).  (You could say that we were

in His spiritual loins like it is said of the Jews in the

natural loins of Abraham.  – Hebrews 7:5,10 – CY –

2013)

 

  • THE MANIFESTATION OF THIS PURPOSE AND GRACE IN

THE INCARNATION AND WORK OF CHRIST. “But manifested

Now by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

Ø      The nature of this manifestation. It included:

 

o       the Incarnation; for the Son of God appeared in the fullness

of time to make known the “mystery hid from ages,” even

Himself — “the Hope of glory” — to both Jew and Gentile;

(Colossians 1:26-27; Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:4-5)

o       the work of Christ, in the obedience of his life and the

suffering of His death — in a word, the whole work

of redemption.

 

Ø      The effects of this manifestation. “Who abolished death,

and brought to light life and immortality to light by means

of the gospel.”

 

o       Its action upon death. It has abolished or made it of none

effect. Death is regarded both in its physical and its ethical aspects.

 

§         In its physical aspects, Christ has

 

v     deprived it of its sting, and made it a

blessing to believers (Hebrews 2:14;

I Corinthians 15:55), and

v     secured its ultimate abolition (Revelation 21:4).

 

§         In its ethical aspects, as working through a law of sin

and death, Christ has caused us “to pass from death

unto life” in regeneration (I John 3:14), and secured us

from “the second death” (Revelation 2:11).

 

o       Its revelation of life and incorruptibility.

 

§         Life here is the true life, over which death has no

 power - the new and blessed life of the Spirit. This was,

in a sense, known to the Old Testament saints; but Christ

exhibited it, in its resurrection aspect, after He rose from

the dead. It was in virtue of His resurrection, indeed,

that the saints of the old economy had life at all. But

they did not see it as we see it.

 

§         Incorruptibility. Not in reference to the risen body,

but to the life of the soul, in its imperishable qualities,

in its perfect exemption from death (I Peter 1:4;

Revelation 21:4).

 

§         The means of this revelation is the gospel, which

makes this life perfectly known to men, as to its nature,

as to the way into it, as to the persons for whom it is

prepared or designed.

 

  • THE CONNECTION OF THE APOSTLE WITH THIS

REVELATION OF LIFE. “For which I was appointed a herald and an

apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” He rehearses his titles of dignity at

the very time that he points to them as entailing suffering upon him.

 

12 “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not

ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that

He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against

that day.” For the which cause (see v. 6, note) I also suffer . The apostle adds

the weight of his own example to the preceding exhortation. What he was exhorting

Timothy to do he was actually doing himself, without any wavering or hesitation

or misgiving as to the result. I know him whom I have believed, and I am

persuaded that He is able to guard that which I have committed unto

Him. The ground of the apostle’s confidence, even in the hour of extreme

peril, was his perfect trust IN THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD!   This he

expresses in a metaphor drawn from the common action of one person entrusting

another with some precious deposit, to be kept for a time and restored whole and

uninjured. All the words in the sentence are part of this metaphor. The verb

pepi>steuka - pepisteukaI have believed - must be taken in the sense of

entrusting” (curae ac fidei alicujus committo), as Luke 16:11. So pisteuqh~nai

to< eujagge>lion pisteuthaenai to euaggelion - to be entrusted with the gospel

(I  Thessalonians 2:4); oijkonomi>an pepisteu~mai oikonomian pepisteumai - 

I am entrusted with a dispensation (I Corinthians 9:17). And so in classical Greek,

pisteu>ein tini> ti pisteuein tini ti -  means “to entrust something to another”

to take care of for you. Here, then, Paul says “I know whom I have trusted

[i.e. in whom I have placed confidence, and to whom I have committed the

keeping of my deposit], and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that

which I have entrusted to him (th<n paraqh>khn mou taen parathaekaen

 mou  that which I have committed) unto that day.” The paraqhkh> is the

thing which Paul entrusted to his faithful guardian, one who he knew would

 never betray the trust, but would restore it to him safe and sound at the

day of Christ. What the paraqh>kh was may be difficult to express in any one

word, but IT COMPRISED HIMSELF, HIS LIFE, HIS WHOLE TREASURE,

HIS SALVATION, HIS JOY, HIS ETERNAL HAPPINESS — all for the sake

of which he risked life and limb in this world, content to lose sight of them for

a while, knowing that he should receive them all from the hands of God in

the day of Christ. All thus hangs perfectly together. There can be no

reasonable doubt that paraqh>khn mou means, “my deposit”that which

I have deposited with Him. Neither is there the slightest difficulty in the

different applications of the same metaphor in v. 14 and in I Timothy 6:20.

For it is as true that God entrusts to His faithful servants the deposit

of the faith, to be kept by them with jealous fidelity, as it is that His

servants entrust to Him the keeping of their souls, as knowing Him

to be faithful.

 

The apostle has placed his soul, as a precious deposit, in the hands of

Christ, with the assurance of its perfect safety. “I am persuaded that He is

able to keep my deposit till that day.” Several circumstances enhance the

significance of this act of the apostle.

 

·        The value of the deposit.What can be more precious than the soul?

(Mark 8:37).

·        The danger of its loss. The soul is a lost thing, and but for grace

ETERNALLY SO!

·        The sinner feels the deposit is not safe with himself. Man cannot, any

more than man’s brother, save his own soul.  (Psalm 49:6-15)

·        Who will take charge of this deposit? Many shrink from responsibility

in cases of a difficult and delicate nature. But Jesus Christ has undertaken

for us; He will take us completely in charge; He will keep our deposit till the

day of judgment.

·        Mark the limit of time as to the safety of the deposit — “till that day.”

No day short of that — not even the day of death; for the completed glory

is reserved for the day of judgment. That will be the day for the bestowal

of the crown of life.

·        Mark the assurance of the apostle as to the safety of his deposit. “I am

persuaded that he is able to keep my deposit.”

 

Paul had put into Christ’s hands his deposit, and he trusted in Him being able

to guard it against that day, viz. the day of judgment, when it would become

irreversibly and gloriously, his, being as it were, handed back to him by Christ!

 

13 “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in

faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  Hold (e]ce eche – be you having;

be you holding). This use of e]cein echeinholding; having -  in the pastoral

Epistles is somewhat peculiar. In I Timothy 1:19, e]cwn pi>stin echon pistin

 “holding faith;” in Ibid. ch.3:9, e]contav ta< musth>rion echontas ta

 mustaerion“holding the mystery of the faith; ‘ and here, “hold the pattern,”

etc. It seems to have a more active sense than merely “have,” and yet not to have

the very active sense of “hold fast.” It may, however, well be doubted whether e]ce

here is used in even as strong a sense as in the other two passages, inasmuch as here

it follows instead of preceding the substantive.  The form.  (uJpotu>pwsin

hupotuposin – the form; the pattern); only here and I Timothy 1:16 (where see

note), where it manifestly means a “pattern,” not a “form.” The word signifies a

sketch,” or “outline.” Paul’s meaning, therefore, seems to be: “For

your own guidance in teaching the flock committed to you, and for a

pattern which you will try and always copy, have before you the pattern or

outline of sound words which you have heard of me, in faith and love

which is in Christ Jesus.” Sound words (uJgiaino>ntwn lo>gwn hugianonton

logon); see I Timothy 1:10, note. In faith and love; either hold the pattern in

faith and love, or which you have heard in faith and love.

 

14 “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy

Ghost which dwelleth in us.”  That good thing.  (th<n kalh<n paraqh>khn

 taen kalaen parathaekaen – that good thing which was committed to your

trust -  see I Timothy 6:20, and note. This naturally follows the preceding verse.

Faithfulness in maintaining the faith was closely connected with THE

MAINTENANCE OF SOUND WORDS.

 

15 “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away

from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”  Turned away from

(ajpestra>fhsa>n me - apestraphaesan me – were turned from me). This verb

is used, as here, governing an accusative of the person or thing turned away from,

in Titus 1:14; Hebrews 12:25, as frequently in classical Greek. The use of the aorist

here is important, as Paul does not mean to say that the Churches of Asia had

all forsaken him, which was not true, and which it would be absurd to

inform Timothy of if it were true, living as he was at Ephesus, the central

city of Asia, but adverts to some occasion, probably connected with his

trial before Nero, when they shrank from him in a cowardly way. pa>ntev

oiJ ejn th~ Asi>a  pantes hoi en tae Asia | means “the whole party in Asia

connected with the particular transaction to which Paul is alluding, and which

was known to Timothy though it is not known to us. Perhaps he had applied to

certain Asiatics, whether Christians or Jews or GraecoRomans, for a testimony to

his orderly conduct in Asia, and they had refused it; or they may have been

at Rome at the time, and avoided Paul; and among them Phygellus and

Hermogenes, whose conduct may have been particularly ungrateful and

unexpected. Nothing is known of either of them.

 

16 “The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft

refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:” Give mercy (dw>h e]leov

doae eleos – give mercy; grant mercy). This connection of the words is only

found here. The house of Onesiphorus. It is inferred from this expression,

coupled with that in ch. 4:19, that Onesiphorus himself was no longer living; and

hence v.18 (where see note) is thought by some to be an argument for prayers

for the dead. The inference, further strengthened by the peculiar language of v.18,

though not absolutely certain, is undoubtedly probable. The connection

between this and the preceding verse is the contrast between the conduct

of Phygelus and Hermogenes and that of Onesiphorus. They repudiated all

acquaintance with the apostle in his day of trial; he, when he was in Rome,

diligently sought him and with difficulty found him. and oft refreshed him

with Christian sympathy and communion, acting with no less courage than

love. He was no longer on earth to receive a prophet’s reward (Matthew 10:41),

but Paul prays that he may receive it in the day of Christ, and that meanwhile God

may requite to his family the mercy he had showed to Paul. Refreshed me (ajneyuxe)

anepsuxe ; literally, revived me. Only here in the New Testament, but compare

Acts 3:19. Chain (a[lusin) - halusin; in the singular, as Ephesians 6:20; Acts 28:20

(where see note).

 

17 “But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and

found me.  18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the

Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at

Ephesus, thou knowest very well.”  (The Lord grant unto him). The

parenthesis seems only to be required on the supposition that the words

dw>|h aujtw~| oJ Ku>riov euJrei~n e]leov - doae auto ho Kurios heurein eleos

the Lord grant unto him that he might find mercy - are a kind of play on

the eu=ren heuren – found (me) - of the preceding verse. Otherwise it is better

to take the words as a new sentence. The repetition of “the Lord” is remarkable,

but nothing seems to hang upon it.  The second para< Kui>ou para Kuriou

of the Lord - seems to suppose the Lord sitting on the judgment throne. As regards

the amount of encouragement given by this passage to prayers for the dead (supposing

Onesiphorus to have been dead), the mere expression of a pious wish or hope that he

may find mercy is a very slender foundation on which to build the superstructure

 of prayer and Masses for the deliverance of souls from purgatory. In how many

things, etc. Paul does not say, as the Authorized Version makes him say, that

Onesiphorus “ministered unto him” at Ephesus. It may have been so, but

the words do not necessarily mean this. “What good service he did at

Ephesus would faithfully represent the Greek words; and this might

describe great exertions made by Onesiphorus after his return from Rome

to procure the apostle’s acquittal and release by the intercession of the

principal persons at Ephesus.   This would, of course, be known to

Timothy. It may, however, describe the ministerial labors and services of

Onesiphorus at Ephesus after his return from Rome, or it may refer to

former ministrations when Paul and Timothy were at Ephesus together.  There

seem to be no materials for arriving at absolute certainty on the point.

 

 

Constancy in the Hour of Danger (vs. 8-16)

 

There are great differences of natural temperament in different men. There

are those whose courage is naturally high. Their instinct is to brave danger,

and to be confident of overcoming it. They do not know what nervousness,

or sinking of heart, or the devices of timidity, mean. Others are of a wholly

different temperament. The approach of danger unnerves them. Their

instinct is to avoid, not to overcome, danger; to shrink from suffering, not

to confront it. There are ever in the Church the bold and dauntless

Gideons, and the wavering and timid Peters. But the grace of God is able

to strengthen the weak hands and to confirm the feeble knees. He can say

to them that are of fearful heart, “Be strong; fear not.” He can give power

to the faint, and increase strength to them that have no might (Isaiah 40:29).

And there is perhaps no more edifying sight than that of the quiet boastless

courage of those whose natural timidity has been overcome by an overpowering

sense of duty and of love to Christ, and who have learnt, in the exercises of

prayer and meditation on the cross of Christ, to endure hardness without

flinching, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ  (ch. 2:3). But to yield to fear, and,

under its influence, to be ashamed to confess the Name of Jesus Christ, and to

repudiate fellowship with those who are suffering for Christ’s sake and the

gospel’s, lest we should fall into the same reproach with them, is sin, and

sin most unworthy of those for whom Christ died, and who have been

made partakers of so great salvation. No plea of natural timidity can excuse

such unworthy conduct. It behoves, therefore, men of a timid and gentle

spirit to fortify their faith by frequent contemplation of the cross of Christ,

and habitually to take up that cross, and by it crucify the flesh with its

affections and lusts. Let them think often of their holy calling, remember

that they are the servants of Him who “endured the cross, despising the

shame,” (Hebrews 12:2) and, like Moses,  look forward to the recompense

of reward  (Ibid. ch. 11:24-27).   Let them contrast the base, unmanly conduct

of the men of Asia, who turned away from the noble Paul in his hour of danger, with

the faithful, generous conduct of Onesiphorus, who sought him out in his prison and

was not ashamed of his chain. And surely they will come to the conclusion that

affliction with the people of God is better than immunity from suffering

 purchased by shame and sin.

 

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