2 Timothy 1

** The first design of this epistle seems to have been, to

apprize Timothy of what had occurred during the imprisonment of

the apostle, and to request him to come to Rome. But being

uncertain whether he should be suffered to live to see him, Paul

gives a variety of advices and encouragements, for the faithful

discharge of his ministerial duties. As this was a private

epistle written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under the

miseries of imprisonment, and in the near prospect of death, it

shows the temper and character of the apostle, and contains

convincing proofs that he sincerely believed the doctrines he

preached.

* Paul expresses great affection for Timothy. (1-5) Exhorts him

to improve his spiritual gifts. (6-14) Tells of many who basely

deserted him; but speaks with affection of Onesiphorus. (15-18)

1-5 The promise of eternal life to believers in Christ Jesus,

is the leading subject of ministers who are employed according

to the will of God. The blessings here named, are the best we

can ask for our beloved friends, that they may have peace with

God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Whatever good we do,

God must have the glory. True believers have in every age the

same religion as to substance. Their faith is unfeigned; it will

stand the trial, and it dwells in them as a living principle.

Thus pious women may take encouragement from the success of Lois

and Eunice with Timothy, who proved so excellent and useful a

minister. Some of the most worthy and valuable ministers the

church of Christ has been favoured with, have had to bless God

for early religious impressions made upon their minds by the

teaching of their mothers or other female relatives.
6-14 God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of

power, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties and

dangers; the spirit of love to him, which will carry us through

opposition. And the spirit of a sound mind, quietness of mind.

The Holy Spirit is not the author of a timid or cowardly

disposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bear

afflictions well, when we have strength and power from God to

enable us to bear them. As is usual with Paul, when he mentions

Christ and his redemption, he enlarges upon them; so full was he

of that which is all our salvation, and ought to be all our

desire. The call of the gospel is a holy call, making holy.

Salvation is of free grace. This is said to be given us before

the world began, that is, in the purpose of God from all

eternity; in Christ Jesus, for all the gifts that come from God

to sinful man, come in and through Christ Jesus alone. And as

there is so clear a prospect of eternal happiness by faith in

Him, who is the Resurrection and the Life, let us give more

diligence in making his salvation sure to our souls. Those who

cleave to the gospel, need not be ashamed, the cause will bear

them out; but those who oppose it, shall be ashamed. The apostle

had trusted his life, his soul, and eternal interests, to the

Lord Jesus. No one else could deliver and secure his soul

through the trials of life and death. There is a day coming,

when our souls will be inquired after. Thou hadst a soul

committed to thee; how was it employed? in the service of sin,

or in the service of Christ? The hope of the lowest real

Christian rests on the same foundation as that of the great

apostle. He also has learned the value and the danger of his

soul; he also has believed in Christ; and the change wrought in

his soul, convinces the believer that the Lord Jesus will keep

him to his heavenly kingdom. Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast

the Holy Scriptures, the substance of solid gospel truth in

them. It is not enough to assent to the sound words, but we must

love them. The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us; it

is of unspeakable value in itself, and will be of unspeakable

advantage to us. It is committed to us, to be preserved pure and

entire, yet we must not think to keep it by our own strength,

but by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us; and it will

not be gained by those who trust in their own hearts, and lean

to their own understandings.
15-18 The apostle mentions the constancy of Onesiphorus; he oft

refreshed him with his letters, and counsels, and comforts, and

was not ashamed of him. A good man will seek to do good. The day

of death and judgment is an awful day. And if we would have

mercy then, we must seek for it now of the Lord. The best we can

ask, for ourselves or our friends, is, that the Lord will grant

that we and they may find mercy of the Lord, when called to pass

out of time into eternity, and to appear before the judgment

seat of Christ.

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