2 Timothy 1 – A Spirit of Boldness
A. Greeting and introduction.
1. (1) A letter from Paul.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
a. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God: Paul’s introduction here is like his other letters, with an immediate declaration that he is an apostle according to the will of God, not according to his own ambition or man’s choice.
i. Paul had a role to play in God’s plan for reaching the world for Jesus Christ, and his role was apostle – being a unique ambassador from God to the world. Everyone has their own role to play, and we much each fulfill it by the will of God.
b. According to the promise of life: This statement is unique compared to greetings in Paul’s other letters. It was appropriate here because Paul was imprisoned again in Rome and he expected to be executed (2 Timothy ). Therefore, this promise of life was especially precious to him.
i. The Bible doesn’t tell us the details, but it seems that after Paul was released from the Roman imprisonment mentioned at the end of the book of Acts, he enjoyed a few more years of liberty until he was re-arrested and imprisoned in Rome again.
ii. One can go to Rome today and see the place where they say Paul was imprisoned. It is really just a cold dungeon, a cave in the ground, with bare walls and a little hole in the ceiling where food was dropped down. There were no windows; it was just a cold, little cell that would have been especially uncomfortable in winter.
iii. Paul wrote this letter from his second Roman imprisonment, and soon after he wrote this letter he was condemned and executed in Rome at the command of Nero. Paul sensed this; therefore 2 Timothy is not only the last letter we have from Paul, there is also a note of urgency and passion we might expect from a man who knew he would soon be executed.
2. () A greeting and a happy remembrance.
To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
a. To Timothy, a beloved son: Paul thought much about his spiritual family – about Timothy, a beloved son; and about his true forefathers, those Jews before Paul’s time that genuinely followed God with a pure heart, not in the self-righteousness of the Pharisees.
b. Grace, mercy, and peace: Spurgeon used this verse, along with 1 Timothy and Titus to show that ministers need more mercy than others do. After all, in the beginning to his letters to churches in general, Paul only wrote grace and peace in his greeting (Romans , 1 Corinthians , 2 Corinthians , Galatians , Ephesians , Philippians , Colossians , 1 Thessalonians , 2 Thessalonians ). But when he wrote to the pastors – Timothy and Titus – he was compelled to greet them with grace, mercy, and peace.
i. “Did you ever notice this one thing about Christian ministers, that they need even more mercy than other people? Although everybody needs mercy, ministers need it more than anybody else; and so we do, for if we are not faithful, we shall be greater sinners even than our hearers, and it needs much grace for us always to be faithful, and much mercy will be required to cover our shortcomings. So I shall take those three things to myself: ‘Grace, mercy, and peace.’ You may have the two, ‘Grace and peace,’ but I need mercy more than any of you; so I take it from my Lord’s loving hand, and I will trust, and not be afraid, despite all my shortcomings, and feebleness, and blunders, and mistakes, in the course of my whole ministry.” (Spurgeon)
c. Without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day: Timothy was on Paul’s prayer list. Paul made it a regular practice to pray with a list and to at least mention in prayer those who were precious to him.
i. Prayers night and day also shows how much Paul prayed: Whenever it was night or whenever it was day. Of course, one might say this was easy for Paul, since he was in prison; but such prayer is never easy.
ii. Paul is to be admired for wanting to do the most for Jesus that he could wherever he was. If he could not preach, then he would pray.
d. Mindful of your tears: Perhaps the tears Paul remembered were the tears Timothy shed at their last parting.
e. Filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you: It made Paul genuinely happy (filled with joy) to remember the faith of faithful men like Timothy, who loved and served Jesus and His people.
f. Which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice: Timothy’s genuine faith was due, in no small measure, to his godly upbringing and the influence of his grandmother and mother.
i. Timothy and his family came from the ancient city of Lystra, where Paul visited on his first missionary journey (Acts ). When Paul and Barnabas were there, God used Paul to miraculously heal a crippled man – and the people of the city began to praise Paul and Barnabas as Greek gods from Olympus, even starting to sacrifice a bull to them. Paul barely restrained them from doing so, and soon enemies of the gospel had turned the crowd against the missionary evangelists, so they cast Paul out of the city and stoned him. Yet God miraculously preserved Paul’s life, and he carried on.
ii. On Paul’s second missionary journey, he came again to Lystra – and there met a young man who had come to Jesus and was devoted to serving the Lord (Acts ). This young man was Timothy, and he is described as having a mother who believed, but his father was Greek.
iii. So, Timothy’s mother and grandmother were believers, but his father was not (at least not at first). In the Roman world, fathers had absolute authority over the family, and since Timothy’s father was not a Christian, his home situation was less than ideal (though not necessarily terrible). But his mother and grandmother either led him to Jesus or grounded him in the faith. God wants to use parents and grandparents to pass on an eternal legacy to their children and grandchildren.
iv. When Paul left Lystra, he took Timothy with him (Acts ). This began a mentor-learner relationship that touched the whole world.
g. I am persuaded is in you also: It wasn’t enough that this genuine faith was in Timothy’s grandmother and mother; it had to be in Timothy also. Our children, once of age to be accountable before God, must have their own relationship with Jesus Christ. Mom and dad’s relationship with God will not then bring eternal life.
i. The phrase genuine faith could be literally translated, unhypocritical faith – that is, faith that is not an act. It was for real, not just in appearance. This is a significant theme of the Book of James.
B. Paul exhorts Timothy to be bold.
1. (6) Stir up the gift of God which is in you.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
a. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God: Timothy was a gifted, valuable man for the kingdom of God; but he seems to have had a timid streak in him. For this reason, Paul often encouraged him to be strong and bold.
i. It may be that Timothy was somewhat timid, but it is also true that he had large and heavy responsibility as the overseer of God’s work in Ephesus and the larger area. There were many Christians in many congregations meeting over a whole region (Acts and ). Perhaps Timothy was a man of normal courage who had enormous responsibility.
ii. If it was true that Timothy was the kind of man who avoided confrontation, it was good that he saw Paul’s example. Paul was a man of deep love, but also a man who never shied away from confrontation. A significant example was when he publicly rebuked the Apostle Peter (Galatians ). Timothy already had a shepherd’s tender heart for the sheep; Paul wanted to develop within him the boldness necessary to really lead and protect the flock.
iii. In 1 and 2 Timothy there are no less than 25 different places where Paul encouraged Timothy to be bold, to not shy away from confrontation, to stand up where he needs to stand up and be strong. Because of who Timothy was and the responsibilities he had to bear, this was what Timothy needed to hear.
b. Therefore I remind you: People are at all different places. For some, the last thing they need to hear is, “You need to be bolder” because that is not their problem. Many others come from the place where they need to hear, “Stir up the gift of God which is in you; be bold, get going, go for it.” Timothy was of this second type.
i. Some who appear bold really are just good at pretending. They use a confrontational, in-your-face attitude to mask a lot of pain and insecurity. They need to become really bold and secure in the Lord, instead of pretending and hiding behind a mask of false courage.
c. Stir up the gift of God which is in you: Timothy could not be passive and just let it all happen; he needed to be bold and to stir up the gift of God which is in you. Some have gifts given to them by God, but those gifts are neglected. They need to be stirred up and put into action.
i. This reminds us that God does not work His gifts through us as if we were robots. Even when He gives a man or a woman gifts, He leaves an element that needs the cooperation of their will, of their desire and drive, to fulfill the purpose of His gifts.
ii. Some are waiting passively for God to use them; but God is waiting for them to stir up the gifts that are within them. Some are waiting for some dramatic new anointing from God, and God is waiting for them to stir up what He has already given.
d. Stir up: This has the idea of stirring up a fire to keep it burning bright and strong; a fire left to itself will always burn out, but God wants us to keep our gifts burning strong for Him.
i. “The Greek anazopureo (stir up) means either ‘to kindle afresh’ or ‘to keep in full flame’. There is no necessary suggestion, therefore, that Timothy had lost his early fire, although undoubtedly, like every Christian, he needed an incentive to keep the fire burning at full flame.” (Guthrie)
e. Which is in you through the laying on of my hands: God used the laying on of hands to communicate spiritual gifts to Timothy. This is not the only way God gives gifts, but it is a common way – and a way that we should never neglect. It is a good thing to have others pray for us and as that God would give us gifts that might be used to bless and build up the family of God.
i. “We have no right to assume that hands were laid on Timothy once only. Thus Acts ix. 17 and xiii. 3 are two such occasions in St. Paul’s spiritual life. There may have been others.” (White)
2. (7) Why Timothy can be bold in using the gifts God has given him: God has given him a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
a. God has not given us a spirit of fear: Paul saw the timidity that was in Timothy; Timothy knew the fear he sometimes felt. God wanted Timothy to know that this fear wasn’t from the God he served; he needed to know that God has not given us a spirit of fear.
i. We all face situations where we feel timid and afraid. For some, speaking in front of others makes them fear; others are afraid of confrontation, others of being made to look foolish, others are afraid of rejection. We all deal with fear.
ii. The first step in dealing with such fears is to understand that they are not from God. It is a significant step to say, “This isn’t God making me feel like this; God hasn’t given me this.” Perhaps it is from personality, perhaps a weakness of the flesh, perhaps a demonic attack – but it isn’t from God.
b. But of power and of love and of a sound mind: The second step in dealing with such fears is understanding what God has given us: a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
i. God has given us a spirit of power: When we do His work, proclaim His word, represent His kingdom, we have all His power supporting us. We are safe in His hands.
ii. God has given us a spirit of love: This tells us a lot about the power He has given us. Many think of power in terms of how much we can control others; but Jesus’ power is expressed in how much we can love and serve others. On the night before the cross, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands – and what did He do with all that power? He humbly washed His disciples’ feet (John ).
iii. God has given us a sound mind: The ancient Greek word here had the idea of a calm, self-controlled mind, in contrast to the panic and confusion that comes in a fearful situation.
c. Not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love: We don’t need to accept what God has not given us (a spirit of fear), and we do need to humbly receive and walk in what He has given us (a spirit… of power and of love and of a sound mind).
i. Paul wrote this to Timothy because boldness matters; without it, we can’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. God’s purpose for is more than making money, being entertained, and being comfortable; it is for each of us to use the gifts He gives to touch His people and help a needy world.
ii. Fear and timidity will keep us from using the gifts God gives. God wants us each to take His power, His love, and His calm thinking and overcome fear, to be used of Him with all the gifts He gives.
3. (8) Using the boldness God gives, don’t be ashamed of the imprisoned apostle.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.
a. Therefore: Paul has just told Timothy about the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind, with courage, that is the birthright of every believer in Jesus Christ. Now he told Timothy how to let what God gave him guide his thinking.
b. Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord: If Timothy took the courage God gave, he would not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. We often fail to understand that it wasn’t easy to follow a crucified Master.
i. Today, we have sanitized Jesus and disinfected the cross, making it all safe. But in the day Paul wrote this, it would seem strange indeed to follow a crucified man and call him savior.
ii. Think of Jesus’ teaching; if you want to be great, be the servant of all; be like a child, like a slave, like the younger, like the last instead of the first. This is a testimony some would be ashamed of.
iii. Paul knew that the plan of God in Jesus Christ seemed foolish to many; but he also knew it was the living, active, power of God to save souls and transform lives. Paul would not be ashamed of it, and neither should Timothy – or us today.
c. Nor of me His prisoner: If Timothy took the courage God gave, he would not be ashamed of Paul the prisoner. It wasn’t easy to support an imprisoned apostle.
i. Note that Paul considered himself a prisoner of Jesus (nor of me His prisoner). Paul saw himself not as the prisoner of Rome, but as a prisoner of God. Paul saw God as the Lord of every circumstance, and if he was free, he was the Lord’s free man; if he were imprisoned, he was the Lord’s prisoner.
d. But share with me: It wasn’t enough that Paul told Timothy to not be ashamed of him and his chains; he also invited Timothy to share in all of it.
i. We share… in the sufferings in the same way Paul spoke of in Romans Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We identify with our suffering brethren across the world through prayer, through a heart of concern, and through wise action.
e. According to the power of God: Paul actually suffered according to the power of God. The power of God is always there, but it is not always there to remove the difficulty. Sometimes it is there to see us through the difficulty.
i. In one sense, it was strange for Paul the prisoner to write about the power of God – the power of Rome in some ways seemed a lot more real. But God’s power has been vindicated by history; the Roman Empire is gone, but the gospel of Jesus Christ that Paul lived to preach lives on.
4. () The message Timothy is not to be ashamed of: God’s plan of salvation.
Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
a. Who has saved us and called us: We come to God as a response to His call in our lives. We did not initiate the search; we do not find God, He finds us; so we must respond to His call when we sense it.
b. Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose: This explains why God called us. It wasn’t anything great we were, or anything great we had done, but because it fit in with His purpose – because He wanted to.
c. Grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began: God directed His gracious work towards us when we only existed as a fact in God’s knowledge. Just as a couple lovingly plans for a baby before the baby is born, so God planned for us.
i. Before time began reminds us that time is something God created to give order and arrangement to our present world; time is not essential to God’s existence. He existed before time was created and will remain when time ends, and we live on in eternity with Him.
d. But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ: The appearing of Jesus revealed the purpose and grace of God. Jesus fulfilled the eternal plan of God; Jesus truly shows us what God and His plan are all about. That’s why we can never know Jesus too much.
e. Who abolished death: Because of the appearing of Jesus, death isn’t death anymore. In regard to believers, it is called sleep – not because we are unconscious, but because it is pleasant and peaceful. Death does not take anything from the Christian; it graduates them to glory.
i. Someone suggested that the Christian has no place for the letters “RIP” on his tombstone because “Rest in Peace” does not adequately describe our eternal fate. They suggested instead the letters “CAD,” signifying “Christ Abolished Death.”
f. And brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Because of the appearing of Jesus, we know more about life and immortality than before. The understanding of the after-life was murky at best in the Old Testament; but Jesus let us know more about heaven – and hell – than anyone else could.
i. Jesus brought the truth about our immortal state to life through His own resurrection; He showed us what our own immortal bodies would be like and assured us that we would in fact have them. Jesus is therefore a more reliable spokesman regarding the world beyond than anyone who has a near-death experience.
g. Through the gospel: The good news of who Jesus is and what He did for us can be thought of as links connected together in a beautiful chain of God’s work.
· God’s plan of salvation began for us in eternity past, before time began.
· It continued with the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.
· It came to us when He saved us and called us.
· It continues as we live our holy calling.
· It will one day show itself in immortality – eternal life.
i. When we consider the greatness of this message, it is no wonder Paul called it the gospel – good news. It is good news that God thought of you and loved you before you even existed; good news that Jesus came to perfectly show us God, good news that He called us and saved us, good news that He gives us a holy calling, and good news that He shows us and gives us eternal life.
ii. This message was worth prison to the Apostle Paul.
5. () Paul’s appointed work, and the confidence it gave to him.
To which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason 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 what I have committed to Him until that Day.
a. To which I was appointed a preacher: We can almost sense Paul growing in strength as he penned these words; he understood again that it was a privilege to suffer for such a great gospel – so far from being ashamed, he was honored.
i. Flashing through his mind were the sermons he preached (a preacher), the churches he founded and led (an apostle), and the diverse nations he brought to Jesus Christ (a teacher of the Gentiles). He no doubt thanked Jesus as he considered each one.
b. For this reason I also suffer these things: Paul knew that though he preached a wonderful message, it cost him dearly along the way. His present suffering in prion was because of this heavenly appointment.
c. For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded: This explains why Paul was so bold in his work, and how he could feel honored by circumstances that might make others feel ashamed. He said that it was because I know whom I have believed. Paul knew the God he trusted and served.
i. We must know what we believe; but it is even more important to know whom we believe. When we know how great God is; when God and His glory becomes the great fact of our lives, then we have real boldness.
ii. “‘Know thyself,’ said the heathen philosopher; that is well, but that knowledge may only lead a man to hell. ‘Know Christ,’ says the Christian philosopher, ‘know him, and then you shall know yourself,’ and this shall certainly lead you to heaven, for the knowledge of Christ Jesus is saving knowledge.” (Spurgeon)
d. And am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him: This is a second reason that explains Paul’s boldness. Paul gave Jesus his life, and knew Jesus was fully able to keep it!
i. What was it that Paul committed to Him? Surely, he first had in mind his life. Paul knew he could not keep his own life; he knew that only God could keep it. God was able; Paul was not. Knowing this made Paul full of boldness, but it wasn’t boldness in self, but in God.
ii. But it wasn’t only his life that Paul had committed to God. Paul had committed everything to Jesus – his life, his body, his character and reputation, his life’s work, everything that was precious.
e. Until that Day: Paul had in mind either the Day he would see Jesus or the Day Jesus came for Paul. Paul and Timothy both lived in such awareness of that Day that Paul didn’t need to identify it more than that.
i. That Day was precious to Paul because he had committed everything to Jesus. To the degree we commit our life and all we are and have to Jesus, to that same degree that Day will be precious to us.
C. Paul exhorts Timothy to remain faithful to the truth.
1. () Faithfulness matters, so hold fast the truth.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
a. Hold fast the pattern of sound words: After writing of the importance of boldness, Paul next called Timothy (and all godly ministers) to be faithful to God’s truth, the pattern of sound words.
i. Hold fast suggests someone or something would try to take the truth from Timothy. Unless he held on in faithfulness, it would be snatched from him.
ii. It takes a special man or woman to truly hold fast; it takes someone who is not tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men (Ephesians ).
iii. This is an important measure for any pastor; he must hold fast the pattern of sound words. The primary measure should not be humor or excitement or personality or charisma or even evangelistic interest. Some who claim an evangelistic heart let go of the pattern of sound words and show themselves to unfaithful to their Lord and their calling.
b. The pattern of sound words: This suggests that true teaching, according to God’s truth, has a certain pattern – a pattern that can be detected by the discerning heart.
c. Which you have heard from me: The sound words Timothy was to hold fast came to him from a man – Paul the apostle. God used human instruments to communicate His eternal truth.
i. We must always beware of the person who rejects all human teachers and says, “It’s just me and my Bible.” God used Paul to communicate the pattern of sound words, and Timothy was expected to be faithful to that pattern. God uses other men and women to communicate that same truth today.
d. In faith and love which are in Christ Jesus: Timothy’s faithfulness has to be tempered with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Some people take God’s word and consider it only an intellectual matter, and leave out faith and love.
i. Faith and love describe how the truth is to be held. We hold it in faith, truly believing it and putting our lives on it; and we hold it in love, not in proud arrogance or self-seeking superiority.
ii. If one thinks they are faithful to the truth, but do not show faith and love in the life, they may be nothing more than a Pharisee. They were a group in Jesus’ day that was very committed to holding certain teachings, but had no fruit of faith and love evident in their lives.
e. That good thing which was committed to you: Timothy had something committed to him – Paul called it that good thing, no doubt meaning the gospel and the truth of God. Timothy needed faithfulness to keep that good thing.
i. God has committed many good things to us; we must be faithful to keep them. Keep has more than just the idea of holding on to something; it also means to guard it and to use it wisely. God has given us His Word, family relationships, time, talents, resources, education, and so on. We must be faithful to keep those good things in a way that brings glory and credit to Jesus.
ii. We live in a time where faithfulness is only expected so long as it serves our own interests. When it stops being in our immediate advantage to be faithful, many people feel just fine about giving up their responsibility. But this is not honoring to God.
iii. Being faithful to God means having the heart that will to what is right even when it seems not in our advantage to do so. But he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalm ). True faithfulness is shown when it costs something to be faithful.
iv. God is faithful with what we commit to Him (2 Timothy ). Will we be faithful with what He has committed to us?
f. Keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us: This is the key to faithfulness. God requires a faithfulness from us that is greater than we can fulfill by our own resources. Unless we walk in the Spirit and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we cannot keep faithful to what we must keep faithful to.
2. (15) An example of unfaithful men.
This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
a. All those in Asia had turned away from me: The great apostle Paul, at the end of his days and a fantastic missionary career, was almost all alone. He was not praised by the world, or even regarded much among other Christians.
i. If there were Christian radio back then, no one would want to interview Paul. If there were Christian magazines back then, Paul would not have been on the cover. Paul would have had a hard time finding a publisher for the books he had written. For many Christians of that day, Paul seemed too extreme, too committed, not flashy or famous enough. Even the Christians of Asia – where Paul did a great work (Acts 19) – turned away from Paul.
ii. Geographically, Asia in the New Testament doesn’t mean the Far Eastern continent as it does today. It means the Roman province of Asia, which today would mostly be Turkey.
b. Phygellus and Hermogenes: These were two notable men who among those turned away from Paul, were not faithful, and did not hold fast.
i. These two were not the only ones, but Paul found it necessary to point out Phygellus and Hermogenes particularly: “He names two of the deserters – probably the best known – in order to put a stop to these slanderous attacks. For it usually happens that deserters from the Christian warfare seek to excuse their own disgraceful conduct by inventing whatever accusations they can against faithful and upright ministers of the gospel” (Calvin).
ii. We don’t know much about Phygellus and Hermogenes; this is the only place they are mentioned in the Bible. It’s a terrible thing to have your name recorded in God’s word as an example of unfaithfulness.
3. () An example of a faithful man.
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day– and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
a. The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus: Onesiphorus was a different sort of man than Phygellus and Hermogenes; he was faithful to Paul in difficult circumstances. Paul therefore prayed for mercy on Onesiphorus and his whole household.
i. We don’t know much about Onesiphorus, other than that he lived near Timothy, because at the end of the letter Paul asked Timothy to greet Onesiphorus’ household.
b. Onesiphorus: Paul described many things that made him special.
i. He often refreshed me: He was an intentional blessing to Paul, and worked to refresh the apostle who did so much for other people.
ii. Was not ashamed of my chain: Onesiphorus showed himself to be a true friend of Paul when the apostle was imprisoned.
iii. He sought me out very zealously and found me: There were many prisons in Rome, so it was probably difficult for Onesiphorus to find Paul, but he did.
c. That he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day: This was a special prayer for Onesiphorus. If a faithful servant like Onesiphoris needed such a prayer, then all the more do the rest of us.
d. You know very well: Apparently, Onesiphorus’ service was so faithful, so outstanding, that it was famous – Paul could simply tell Timothy, “You know very well” how well he served.
i. Onesiphorus lived up to the meaning of his name, which means “help-bringer.”
© David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission
Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
|Cautions and Exhortations; Ministerial Fidelity.|
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. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 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; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a 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, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 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. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Here is an exhortation and excitation of Timothy to his duty (2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy ): I put thee in remembrance. The best men need remembrancers; what we know we should be reminded of. 2 Peter , I write this, to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.
I. He exhorts him to stir up the gift of God that was in him. Stir it up as fire under the embers. It is meant of all the gifts and graces the God had given him, to qualify him for the work of an evangelist, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the extraordinary gifts that were conferred by the imposition of the apostle's hands. These he must stir up; he must exercise them and so increase them: use gifts and have gifts. To him that hath shall be given,Matthew He must take all opportunities to use these gifts, and so stir them up, for that is the best way of increasing them. Whether the gift of God in Timothy was ordinary or extraordinary (though I incline to the latter), he must stir it up, otherwise it would decay. Further, you see that this gift was in him by the putting on of the apostle's hands, which I take to be distinct from his ordination, for that was performed by the hands of the presbytery, 1 Timothy It is probable that Timothy had the Holy Ghost, in his extraordinary gifts and graces, conferred on him by the laying on of the apostle's hands (for I reckon that none but the apostles had the power of giving the Holy Ghost), and afterwards, being thus richly furnished for the work of the ministry, was ordained by the presbytery. Observe, 1. The great hindrance of usefulness in the increase of our gifts is slavish fear. Paul therefore warns Timothy against this: God hath not given us the spirit of fear,2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy . It was through base fear that the evil servant buried his talent, and did not trade with it, Matthew Now God hath therefore armed us against the spirit of fear, by often bidding us fear not. "Fear not the face of man; fear not the dangers you may meet with in the way of your duty." God hath delivered us from the spirit of fear, and hath given us the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. The spirit of power, or of courage and resolution to encounter difficulties and dangers;--the spirit of love to God, which will carry us through the opposition we may meet with, as Jacob made nothing of the hard service he was to endure for Rachel: the spirit of love to God will set us above the fear of man, and all the hurt that a man can do us;--and the spirit of a sound mind, or quietness of mind, a peaceable enjoyment of ourselves, for we are oftentimes discouraged in our way and work by the creatures o our own fancy and imagination, which a sober, solid, thinking mind would obviate, and would easily answer. 2. The spirit God gives to his ministers is not a fearful, but a courageous spirit; it is a spirit of power, for they speak in his name who has all power, both in heaven and earth; and it is a spirit of love, for love to God and the souls of men must inflame ministers in all their service; and it is a spirit of a sound mind, for they speak the words of truth and soberness.
II. He exhorts him to count upon afflictions, and get ready for them: "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner. Be not thou ashamed of the gospel, of the testimony thou hast borne to it." Observe,
1. The gospel of Christ is what we have none of us reason to be ashamed of. We must not be ashamed of those who are suffering for the gospel of Christ. Timothy must not be ashamed of good old Paul, though he was now in bonds. As he must not himself be afraid of suffering, so he must not be afraid of owning those who were sufferers for the cause of Christ. (1.) The gospel is the testimony of our Lord; in and by this he bears testimony of himself to us, and by professing our adherence to it we bear testimony of him and for him. (2.) Paul was the Lord's prisoner, his prisoner, Ephesians For his sake he was bound with a chain. (3.) We have no reason to be ashamed either of the testimony of our Lord or of his prisoners; if we are ashamed of either now, Christ will be ashamed of us hereafter. "But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, according to the power of God, that is, expect afflictions for the gospel's sake, prepare for them, count upon them, be willing to take thy lot with the suffering saints in this world. Be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel;" or, as it may be read, Do thou suffer with the gospel; "not only sympathize with those who suffer for it, but be ready to suffer with them and suffer like them." If at any time the gospel be in distress, he who hopes for life and salvation by it will be content to suffer with it. Observe, [1.] Then we are likely to bear afflictions as well, when we fetch strength and power from God to enable us to bear them: Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, according to the power of God. [2.] All Christians, but especially ministers, must expect afflictions and persecutions for the sake of the gospel. [3.] These shall be proportioned, according to the power of God (1 Corinthians ) resting upon us.
2. Mentioning God and the gospel, he takes notice what great things God has done for us by the gospel, 2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy To encourage him to suffer, he urges two considerations
(1.) The nature of that gospel which he was called to suffer for, and the glorious and gracious designs and purposes of it. It is usual with Paul, when he mentions Christ, and the gospel of Christ, to digress from his subject, and enlarge upon them; so full was he of that which is all our salvation, and ought to be all our desire. Observe, [1.] The gospel aims at our salvation: He has saved us, and we must not think much to suffer for that which we hope to be saved by. He has begun to save us, and will complete it in due time; for God calls those things that are not (that are not yet completed) as though they were (Romans ); therefore he says, who has saved us. [2.] It is designed for our sanctification: And called us with a holy calling, called us to holiness. Christianity is a calling, a holy calling; it is the calling wherewith we are called, the calling to which we are called, to labour in it. Observe, All who shall be saved hereafter are sanctified now. Wherever the call of the gospel is an effectual call, it is found to be a holy call, making those holy who are effectually called. [3.] The origin of it is the free grace and eternal purpose of God in Christ Jesus. If we had merited it, it had been hard to suffer for it; but our salvation by it is of free grace, and not according to our works, and therefore we must not think much to suffer for it. This grace is said to be given us before the world began, that is, in the purpose and designs 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. [4.] The gospel is the manifestation of this purpose and grace: By the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who had lain in the bosom of the Father from eternity, and was perfectly apprised of all his gracious purposes. By his appearing this gracious purpose was made manifest to us. Did Jesus Christ suffer for it, and shall we think much to suffer for it? [5.] By the gospel of Christ death is abolished: He has abolished death, not only weakened it, but taken it out of the way, has broken the power of death over us; by taking away sin he has abolished death (for the sting of death is sin, 1 Corinthians ), in altering the property of it, and breaking the power of it. Death now of an enemy has become a friend; it is the gate by which we pass out of a troublesome, vexatious, sinful world, into a world of perfect peace and purity; and the power thereof is broken, for death does not triumph over those who believe the gospel, but they triumph over it. O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?1 Corinthians [6.] He has brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; he has shown us another world more clearly than it was before discovered under any former dispensation, and the happiness of that world, the certain recompence of our obedience by faith: we all with open face, as in a glass, behold the glory of God. He has brought it to light, not only set it before us, but offered it to us, by the gospel. Let us value the gospel more than ever, as it is that whereby life and immortality are brought to light, for herein it has the pre-eminence above all former discoveries; so that it is the gospel of life and immortality, as it discovers them to us, and directs us in the ready way that leads thereto, as well as proposes the most weighty motives to excite our endeavours in seeking after glory, honour, and immortality.
(2.) Consider the example of blessed Paul, 2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy He was appointed to preach the gospel, and particularly appointed to teach the Gentiles. He though it a cause worth suffering for, and why should not Timothy think so too? No man needs to be afraid nor ashamed to suffer for the cause of the gospel: I am not ashamed, says Paul, 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. Observe, [1.] Good men often suffer many things for the best cause in the world: For which cause I suffer these things; that is, "for my preaching, and adhering to the gospel." [2.] They need not be ashamed, the cause will bear them out; but those who oppose it shall be clothed with shame. [3.] Those who trust in Christ know whom they have trusted. The apostle speaks with a holy triumph and exultation, as much as to say, "I stand on firm ground. I know I have lodged the great trust in the hands of the best trustee." And am persuaded, c. What must we commit to Christ? The salvation of our souls, and their preservation to the heavenly kingdom and what we so commit to him he will keep. There is a day coming when our souls will be enquired after: "Man! Woman! thou hadst a soul committed to thee, what hast thou done with it? To whom it was offered, to God or Satan? How was it employed, in the service of sin or in the service of Christ?" There is a day coming, and it will be a very solemn and awful day, when we must give an account of our stewardship (Luke ), give an account of our souls: now, if by an active obedient faith we commit it to Jesus Christ, we may be sure he is able to keep it, and it shall be forthcoming to our comfort in that day.
III. He exhorts him to hold fast the form of sound words,2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy . 1. "Have a form of sound words" (so it may be read), "a short form, a catechism, an abstract of the first principles of religion, according to the scriptures, a scheme of sound words, a brief summary of the Christian faith, in a proper method, drawn out by thyself from the holy scriptures for thy own use;" or, rather, by the form of sound words I understand the holy scriptures themselves. 2. "Having it, hold it fast, remember it, retain it, adhere to it. Adhere to it in opposition to all heresies and false doctrine, which corrupt the Christian faith. Hold that fast which thou hast heard of me." Paul was divinely inspired. It is good to adhere to those forms of sound words which we have in the scriptures; for these, we are sure, were divinely inspired. That is sound speech, which cannot be condemned, Titus But how must it be held fast? In faith and love; that is, we must assent to it as a faithful saying, and bid it welcome as worthy of all acceptation. Hold it fast in a good heart, this is the ark of the covenant, in which the tables both of law and gospel are most safely and profitably deposited, Psalms Faith and love must go together; it is not enough to believe the sound words, and to give an assent to them, but we must love them, believe their truth and love their goodness, and we must propagate the form of sound words in love; speaking the truth in love, Ephesians Faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; it must be Christian faith and love, faith and love fastening upon Jesus Christ, in and by whom God speaks to us and we to him. Timothy, as a minister, must hold fast the form of sound words, for the benefit of others. Of healing words, so it may read; there is healing virtue in the word of God; he sent his word, and healed them. To the same purport is that (2 Timothy ; 2 Timothy ), That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in us. That good thing was the form of sound words, the Christian doctrine, which was committed to Timothy in his baptism and education as he was a Christian, and in his ordination as he was a minister. Observe, (1.) The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us. It is committed to Christians in general, but to ministers in particular. It is a good thing, of unspeakable value in itself, and which will be of unspeakable advantage to us; it is a good thing indeed, it is an inestimable jewel, for it discovers to us the unsearchable riches of Christ, Ephesians It is committed to us to be preserved pure and entire, and to be transmitted to those who shall come after us, and we must keep it, and not contribute any thing to the corrupting of its purity, the weakening of its power, or the diminishing of its perfection: Keep it by the Holy Ghost that dwelleth in us. Observe, Even those who are ever so well taught cannot keep what they have learned, any more than they could at first learn it, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. We must not think to keep it by our own strength, but keep it by the Holy Ghost. (2.) The Holy Ghost dwells in all good ministers and Christians; they are his temples, and he enables them to keep the gospel pure and uncorrupt; and yet they must use their best endeavours to keep this good thing, for the assistance and indwelling of the Holy Ghost do not exclude men's endeavours, but they very well consist together.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 2 Timothy ". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/2-timothyhtml.
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2 Timothy Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]
2 Timothy , NIV: "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."
2 Timothy , ESV: "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you."
2 Timothy , KJV: "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."
2 Timothy , NASB: "Protect, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."
2 Timothy , NLT: "Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you."
2 Timothy , CSB: "Guard the good deposit through the Holy Spirit who lives in us."
Commentary on 2 Timothy
Sometimes we’re especially interested in people’s final words.
We often expect wisdom and special insight from those preparing to die, so our lives might be richer for what we learn from their perspective. Examples from modern literature may come to mind (recent bestsellers such as The Last Lecture, Tuesdays with Morrie, and the novel Gilead), but they have ancient forerunners. Think of testaments, literature in which an about-to-die leader offers reflections on a life lived and advice to family or friends who will live on. Examples include Genesis , 1 Kings , Acts , several extrabiblical writings (such as the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs), and the letter we call Second Timothy.
Overview of Second Timothy
The lectionary devotes this and the next three Sundays to Second Timothy, which presents itself as Paul’s farewell (see 2 Timothy ). Like other testamental literature, this letter carries a revered deceased figure’s legacy into considerations of new, emerging circumstances. Specific theological insights or doctrinal battles do not rise to the surface as much as Paul’s reputation as a model of faithful endurance. The letter encourages its addressee, Timothy, who was (when he too was still alive) probably the best known of Paul’s associates, to nurture those same qualities in his ministry. The letter assumes a setting in which Timothy confronts challenges created by rival teachers. It worries about their teachings’ potential to hamper and discredit the church.
The stylistic, theological, and historical evidence convinces me that Second Timothy was written in Paul’s name probably within a decade of the year CE, long after the apostle’s death. (Any reputable commentary or Bible dictionary can review this evidence.) I don’t think sermons on Second Timothy should belabor the authorship question; they can legitimately dwell within the literary fiction the letter stages, as a suffering “Paul” gives his last lecture to his beloved pupil. At the same time, I see little value in keeping the debate over the letter’s authorship entirely hidden from congregations. They can handle learning about it and, moreover, it will help many understand why this book places such value on preserving and passing along a heritage Timothy himself has received. Beyond the sermon, preachers can host educational forums or otherwise direct people to helpful literature, so they know what you know.
An Established Faith ()
Following the letter’s salutation, a thanksgiving introduces themes of continuity and succession. The mention of Paul’s “ancestors,” Timothy’s “sincere faith” with roots in his grandmother and mother, and Timothy’s need to “rekindle” God’s gift these all encourage Timothy to understand his identity and his obligations by considering those who have gone before him (see also 2 Timothy ). The letter construes Christian faith and ministry entirely in communal and familial settings, extended through time. This makes Timothy anything but an independent agent peddling new insights. His faith’s roots in the past make it reliable, proven. Timothy’s job, for the sake of the future, involves more preservation than innovation.
Right out of the gate, Second Timothy presents itself as a conservative letter, understanding “conservative” in the most literal sense of the word. It imagines “the faith” as something to be guarded (see 2 Timothy ), lest it become corrupted or diluted. This makes the letter especially attractive to some contemporary Christians, while others get worried. Wise preachers will avoid using a single sermon to adjudicate those battles or to speak about tradition and change in abstract terms. Additional options for a sermon include these:
- The letter tells Timothy his faith and calling aren’t ancillary to his identity; they are part of who he is. Consider, then, exploring with a congregation how our beliefs and ministry are meaningfully connected to our personal and corporate identities, rooted in particular yet shared heritages.
- Taken as a whole, Second Timothy expresses great concern about false teachers and rival doctrines (some of these appear, based on 1 Timothy , to have involved ideas taken from gnostic thought). It worries about other teachings possibly leading Christians astray or making them cantankerous, thereby wounding the ministry of the gospel. Consider, then, asking questions about what kinds of perceived threats make you and your congregation determined to secure yourselves against “outside” or “foreign” influences. What influences must really be resisted? What do we resist only because we are scared or think we ourselves are under attack?
Confidence beyond Shame and Suffering ()
Next, the letter exhorts Timothy to remain faithful, proceeding with numerous clusters of exhortations through The first set of exhortations comes in , which instructs Timothy to emulate Paul in enduring suffering and shame (for the letter describes Paul as incarcerated here and elsewhere). Suffering indicates neither dishonor nor failure when the gospel is involved, because the gospel is all about God’s power to bring life from death (2 Timothy ). That power, enacted in Christ Jesus, reconfigures our perspectives on the anguish and humiliation that supposedly must accompany suffering. Suffering cannot nullify God’s grace, which was “revealed” (phaneroo) or made known in the “appearing” (epiphaneia) of Christ Jesus. This leads Paul to express confidence in Jesus’ (or God’s?) ability to guard what Paul has entrusted to Jesus, meaning, perhaps, Paul’s very own self. Correspondingly, and mirroring that activity, Timothy must faithfully guard the apostolic teaching entrusted to him.
The language about Christ abolishing death (2 Timothy ) strikes many hearers as powerful, good news. A sermon might devote itself to exploring how the defeat of death and the promise of immortality are expressions or consequences of God’s grace.
At the same time, the letter’s celebration of abolished death comes in the service of encouraging Timothy to endure suffering (see 2 Timothy ). It is distressingly easy for caregivers of any kind to use these words to diminish the reality of pain and humiliation people experience, as if the Christian response to suffering is supposed to be, “It will all be better when you’re dead” or, worse, “Man up and stop whining.” We must note that the suffering this letter has in view is quite specific: suffering endured as a result of being persecuted for one’s faith.
Bear in mind, these statements about immortality and the end of death come to us as though from the pen of a man writing a confident testamentary farewell. Paul comes across as one modeling how to die. He does this by giving instructions about how to live confidently and in ways that instill in others confidence in God’s promises. Human history teems with discussions about what it means to die well and what kind of life prepares a person for such a thing. We need real, flesh-and-blood examples of what good living and good dying look like. The memory of Paul offered one for an ancient audience and for us. What others can you think of?
Meaning 2 timothy 1 14
David's prayer, in Psalm 51, "take not Your Holy Spirit from me," can never be uttered by Christians, for we have the permanently indwelling Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit began to take up permanent residence in the heart of believers on that special Day of Pentecost.
Pentecost was a unique, non-repeatable event, that marked the beginning of the post-Cross dispensation of the grace of God. The day of Pentecost was the day the Church was formed and from then on the moment someone trusts in Christ for salvation, the Spirit of God takes up His permanent residency within the regenerated person. He indwells everyone who has been born-again. He lives inside all who are part of God's New Creation in Christ.
When writing to Timothy, Paul is speaking of this wonderful, indwelling ministry when he says, "Guard, through the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." The mystery of the Spirit of God indwelling our mortal bodies staggers the understanding of mortal man. But at the point of salvation, He moves into His new residence. The human body of a born-again believer is that dwelling place. The Spirit of God comes to permanently dwell in the body of someone who believes that Jesus died for their sin, was buried, and rose again, according to the Scripture. Praise His holy name.
God first created us and fashioned us inside our mother's womb. He loved us while we were dead in trespasses, and convicted us of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He bought us with the precious blood of His dear Son and then chose to move into His new purchased possession. He resides there permanently, from the moment we first believed. He also places the priceless treasure of the gospel of God deep within our heart.
God is not in the real estate business of selling or renting out His purchased possession. He has chosen to use each of us as Ministers of Reconciliation in His perfect plan of redemption, and His indwelling Spirit provides the power we need to fulfil the mission and ministry He has for each of His children.
No wonder Paul charged Timothy, and all who are purchased by the blood of Christ to "guard, through the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are to protect, safeguard, preserve, and garrison the truth of the glorious gospel of God and share it with those with whom we come in contact and so we will fulfil our ministry.
The Holy Spirit Who began a good work in each of us is the same Spirit Who guides us into all truth and teaches us all things. He is the One Who guards and protects, and He is the One who chastens and corrects us. The same Spirit Who indwells us at the point of salvation and empowers us throughout our life, will enable us to guard the precious treasure that has been entrusted to us as we grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, I stand amazed when I realise all that You have done for me. Thank You for my salvation and secure position in Christ. Thank You for the indwelling Spirit and the stunning work He is carrying out in my life. Thank You for entrusting me with the glorious gospel of grace and for the privilege of being used by You as a minister of reconciliation, in Your ongoing plan of redemption. Take my life and use me as You will for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' precious name, AMEN.
Choose a Verse from 2 Timothy 1Sours: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/2-timothy
2 Timothy Commentary
ENDURANCE AND SEPARATION IN THE MINISTRY
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Second Timothy - Swindoll
|2 Timothy||2 Timothy||2 Timothy||2 Timothy|
Divide the Word
|Dangerous Times for|
|Unashamed as a|
|Unashamed as a|
|Adequate as a|
|Awarded as a|
|Perseverance of the Gospel Message||Protection of|
to Fulfill Ministry
Compiled from Jensen's Survey of the NT and Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible
2 Timothy Retain (2SPAM) the standard of sound (PAPMPG) words which you have heard (2SAAI) from me, in the faith and love which are in ChristJesus. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: hupotuposineche(2SPAM)hugiainonton (PAPMPG) logononpar'emouekousas (2SAAI) enpisteikaiagapeteenChristoIesou; .
BBE: Keep the form of those true words which you had from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
GWT: With faith and love for Christ Jesus, consider what you heard me say to be the pattern of accurate teachings. (GWT)
ICB: Follow the true teachings you heard from me. Follow them as an example of the faith and love we have in Christ Jesus. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
NLT: Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: So keep my words in your mind as the pattern of sound teaching, given to you in the faith and love of Jesus Christ. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Be holding fast the pattern of sound words which [words] from me personally you heard, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Young's Literal: The pattern hold thou of sound words, which from me thou didst hear, in faith and love that is in Christ Jesus;
RETAIN THE STANDARD: eche (2SPAM) Hupotuposin:
- 2Ti ; Pr ,21; 5 6 7 8,13; ; Php ; 1Th ; Titus ; Heb ; ; ; Jude ; Rev ; ,11
- 2 Timothy 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Follow the true teachings you heard from me (ICB)
Be holding [the] pattern (ALT)
hold on to the pattern (NLT)
Have an outline of sound words (Darby)
Keep the form of those true words (BBE)
Retain () (echo) means to hold, keep in one's possession. Hold in one's charge for safekeeping.
Paul is saying "Timothy don't lose your grip on the standard."
Spurgeon adds that
This is the main burden of the apostle's pleading with Timothy, "Hold fast." We have equal need of the same exhortation, for this is an evil day, and thousands hold everything or nothing as the winds of opinion may change.
Paul uses the present imperative indicating that this is a command of vital importance for Timothy calling for habitual action (present tense) on Timothy's part -- continually hold the "outline" (see "standard" below) taught by Paul. The battle for truth is a "mind game". Our memory retains those truths that have been suggested to our mind. It can be very tempting to let go of what we once learned to take hold of a seemingly "new", "more exciting", more "palatable" truth but Paul warned Timothy in (2Ti ,4-note) and forewarned is forearmed.
Hold the sound words fast
and their "disinfectant" qualities will hold you fast!
Solomon the wisest man in the OT reminds us about "new, exciting" truths declaring that
There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl )
So often today's "new truth" turns out to be yesterday's heresy, simply redressed.
One of the best ways for saints today to hold fast God's word is to hide it in our hearts, memorizing (See Memorizing His Word) and meditating (See Meditating on His Word) upon it (Ps , 10, 11).
When was the last time you memorized a passage of Scripture?
Don't put off laboring and striving in this vital spiritual discipline (1Ti 8 9 see notes 1Ti ; ; ; ), because your spiritual life and health depend on it. And don't say you're too old or it's too late to do this now. You are never too old and it's never too late.
Adhere to the standard in opposition to all heresies and false doctrine, which weaken and corrupt the Christian faith as shown in corrupt, ungodly behavior.
In his first epistle Paul had similarly exhorted Timothy to
remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct (paraggello does not mean to teach, but to command and thus demands obedience from an inferior to an order from a superior) certain men not to teach strange doctrines (heterodidaskaleo = heteros = another of a different kind, doctrine which poses as true Christian doctrine, but which is diametrically opposed to the true teachings of Christianity + didaskalos = teacher)" (1Ti )
Steven Cole explains that
While the gospel is contained in the written Word, the Bible, at the same time it is preserved and communicated in and through the lives of God’s people. Many people never read the Bible, but they read your life. You are to personify the good news of Jesus Christ in what you believe and how you live. While in 2Ti the emphasis is on whom you believe, in 2Ti 14 the emphasis is on what you believe. Satan is relentless in attacking the truth of the gospel, because “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Ro note). (Banking with God)
Standard() (hupotuposis from hupotupóo = to draw a sketch or first draft as painters when they begin a picture) is literally an "undertype" and means a model for imitation, an outline, a sketch or model used by an artist. In literature it described the rough draft forming the basis of a fuller exposition.
Hupotuposis is emphatic (positioned first in the Greek sentence for emphasis). Paul wants to emphasize the vital importance of "the standard". Our English word prototype conveys the same picture, for a prototype is an original model on which something is patterned or a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction. The "gospel" is the prototype upon which which all preaching and teaching should be founded.
Larry Richards has an insightful note regarding personal application writing that
In NT times, hypotyposis was used of a floor plan to guide a builder or of a first draft of written material used to guide fuller development. Paul's point is that life is to be founded on Scripture's revelation of reality. But each person and culture must move on to construction, not violating the principles laid down, but constantly seeking to flesh out the divine vision. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency) (Bolding added)
Paul used this same word in his first epistle writing that
I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. (NIV) (1Ti ).
Hupotuposis referred to the outline or model used by an artist. So just as the artist has a model or an initial sketch before them, so Timothy is to keep before him the outline which he has heard from Paul and never depart from it. The idea is analogous to the writer's "rough draft" which forms the basis of a fuller exposition of a writing. This picturesque word thus speaks of a pattern by which one can maintain the sameness of a thing and without which the original work (in this case the gospel) would be corrupted or distorted over time.
Paul had earlier conveyed to Timothy an outline of doctrinal beliefs that were important. He now wanted Timothy to use them as a model in his own ministry. There was a definite outline of doctrine in the early church, a standard by which teaching was tested. If Timothy changed this outline or abandoned it, then he would have nothing by which to test other teachers and preachers. It would be similar to the builder of a house discarding his "plumb line" and just "eye balling" the frame of the house to see if the corners were "close enough" to perpendicular. On the other hand, a wall built with a plumb line is a perpendicular wall with mechanical correctness and solidity, a wall built to last. Paul then in so many words told Timothy, to retain the "plumb line" which you can "entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others" (2Ti note) thereby building up strong, solid saints. As we approach closer to the end of this present age and the glorious return of our Lord, saints need to hold fast to the life giving gospel of Christ Jesus (2Ti note; 2Ti note).
Paul uses the root word tupos (model, pattern or mold) writing to the Roman saints who had become
obedient from the heart to that form (tupos) of teaching to which you were committed (delivered or entrusted). (Ro note)
Hiebert makes an interesting practical application of the "outline" Timothy was to retain stating that
the validity of a minister's message lies in its adherence to the great verities of the Christian revelation." He goes on to quote Lipscomb "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 Scriptures, it is generally because they do not hold sound doctrine." You might re-read that last sentence, especially if you are a preacher or teacher of God's Word.
MacDonald gives us an excellent illustration of what it means for us today to retain the standard:
It is not just that he is to be loyal to the truth of God’s word, but that he is to cling to the very expressions by which this truth is conveyed. Perhaps an illustration of this might help. In our day, it is sometimes suggested that we should abandon such old-fashioned expressions as “being born again” or “the blood of Jesus.” People want to use more sophisticated language. But there is a subtle danger here. In abandoning the scriptural mode of expression, they often abandon the very truths which are communicated by these expressions. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
The only other Scriptural use of hupotuposis is in Paul's first epistle to Timothy where he wrote
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 And yet for this reason (term of conclusion - When you see this phrase always and stop and ask what is the conclusion? Or "for what reason?") I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. (1Timothy 16)
Thayer explains the use of hupotuposis in first Timothy writing that it was
for an example of those who should hereafter believe, i.e., to show by the example of my conversion that the same grace which I had obtained would not be wanting also to those who should hereafter believe.
William Barclay adds that
Paul uses a vivid picture. He says that what happened to him was a kind of outline-sketch of what was going to happen to those who would accept Christ in the days to come. The word he uses is hupotuposis which means an outline, a sketch-plan, a first draft, a preliminary model. It is as if Paul were saying, “Look what Christ has done for me! If someone like me can be saved, there is hope for everyone.” Suppose a man was seriously ill and had to go through a dangerous operation, it would be the greatest encouragement to him if he met and talked with someone who had undergone the same operation and had emerged completely cured. Paul did not shrinkingly conceal his record; he blazoned it abroad, that others might take courage and be filled with hope that the grace which had changed him could change them too. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press)
John MacArthur commenting on this passage in first Timothy writes that
It was for this reason (the fact that Paul had been one of the worst sinners) that Paul found mercy. God didn’t save him merely to get him out of hell or into heaven. Nor did He save him to preach the gospel or write the epistles; God could have had others do that. The purpose of salvation, whether Paul’s or ours, is to display God’s grace, power, and patience and produce a true worshiper of God (John 22 23 24). It is for His glory primarily, our benefit is secondary. It was through saving Paul that Jesus Christ could most clearly demonstrate His perfect patience. Makrothumia (patience) means to be patient with people. Paul’s point is that if the Lord was patient with the worst of sinners, no one is beyond the reach of His grace. As an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life, Paul was living proof that God can save any sinner. He was the hupotuposis, the model, type, or pattern. Those who fear that God cannot save them would do well to consider the case of Paul. (MacArthur, John: 1Timothy Moody Press) (Bolding added)
OF SOUND WORDS: hugiainonton (PAPMPG) logon:
of the wholesome wordes (Geneva)
right teaching (NLT)
Sound() (hugiaino gives us our English word hygiene which refers to "clean or healthy practices" which promote good health!) (Click word study on hugiaino)
Hugiano means healthy, sound, wholesome, free from flaw, defect or error and emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction.
Hugiano is translated as "good (physical) health" in (3Jn , cf Lk ) and in the present context refers to words which produce good spiritual health. False "ear tickling" teaching (2Ti ,4-note) by contrast leads to spiritual sickness at best and eternal death at worst!
"Unhealthy" teaching composed of unsound words will manifest itself in ungodly behavior, because what (healthy or unhealthy doctrine) one is taught and what one believes affects how one behaves. Truth and falsehood will always be discerned by the fruit they produce (Mt ; note). God’s truth produces godliness (Titus note). The transformation wrought by the intake of sound words is visibly manifest by holy conduct.
Paul did not tell Timothy he need to hold forth with a good "sound" but to hold fast to sound words! We are not called to please the masses but to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted with God's sound words. Any message that does not conform to Paul's words (and the rest of the Scripture), no matter how good the teacher might sound or how large their following is to be assiduously avoided!
Barnes describes sound words as
words conducing to a healthful state of the church; that is, doctrines tending to produce order and a due observance of the proprieties of life; doctrines leading to contentment, and sober industry, and the patient endurance of evils.
Henry translates sound words as healing words noting that "there is healing virtue in the Word of God."
The Psalmist records that in answer to Israel's cry of distress, God
sent His Word and healed them. (Ps , 20)
Spurgeon commenting on Psalm writes that
Man is not healed by medicine alone, but by the word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God is man restored from going down to the grave. A word will do it, a word has done it thousands of times The word of the Lord has a great delivering power; he has but to speak and the armies of death flee in an instant. Sin sick souls should remember the power of the Word, and be much in hearing it and meditating upon it.
Christ the Word is the essential cure. He heals the guilt, habit, depression, and evil results of sin. For every form of malady Christ has healing; hence preachers should preach him much, and all meditate much upon him. The word in the Book is the instrumental cure: its teachings, doctrines, precepts, promises, encouragements, invitations, examples. The word of the Lord by the Holy Spirit is the applying cure. He leads us to believe. He is to be sought by the sick soul. He is to be relied upon by those who would bring others to the Great Physician.
Paul says hold tight to words that are pure and uncorrupted because sound words ("healthy doctrine") produce "holistic health" manifest by wholly holy lives.
Bible doctrine should always breed spiritual health and vitality wherever it goes.
Dead orthodoxy brings no honor to the Living God. Paul is reminding Timothy that in sound words (here tantamount to the gospel), we have God’s true standard which is the only divinely inspired, divinely revealed, absolute, unique, perfect, and sufficient truth which provides everything necessary for salvation (justification or past tense salvation) and for living out the saved life (sanctification or present tense salvation - see Three Tenses of Salvation).
Adam Clarke has sage advice on sound words:
No man was left to invent a religion for his own use, and after his own mind. God alone knows that with which God can be pleased. If God did not give a revelation of himself, the inventions of man, in religious things, would be endless error, involving itself in contortions of unlimited confusion. God gives, in his mercy to man, a form of sound words or doctrines; a perfect plan and sketch of the original building; fair and well defined outlines of every thing which concerns the present and eternal welfare of man, and his own glory. "
Spurgeon alludes to sound words in his famous statement that
It is blessed, to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you.
Dr M R De Haan founder of Radio Bible Class warned
Be on guard against any tampering with the Word, whether disguised as a search for truth, or a scholarly attempt at apparently hidden meanings; and beware of the confusion created by the senseless rash of new versions, translations, editions, and improvements upon the tried and tested Bible of our fathers and grandfathers.
WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD FROM ME: on par emou ekousas (2SAAI):
which words from me personally you have heard (Wuest)
which you have heard from my lips (WNT)
Have heard is aorist tense which in this context indicates a past completed action of a real event (indicative mood). Compare similar phrases "the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses" (see note 2 Timothy ) and "you followed my teaching" (see note 2 Timothy )
Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast the pattern of the sound words committed to him. That is, he is to hold to the doctrinal phraseology he received from the great apostle. Particular words are to be retained and used so that the doctrinal statements of the truth may remain accurate and a norm for future teachers and preachers. This is vitally connected with the doctrine of verbal inspiration which holds that the Bible writers wrote down in God-chosen words, the truth given by revelation.
IN THE FAITH AND LOVE WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS: en pistei kai agape te en Christo Iesou:
faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus (TEV)
How was Timothy to cling to the sound words he had heard from Paul? Was it to be a formal, lifeless retention of a rote formula and rigid orthodoxy?
Clearly not and so Paul adds "in the faith and love" which mark the sphere in which the pattern of sound words must be held.
How one maintains orthodoxy is as important as the content of orthodoxy itself. Just as Timothy is called to suffer for the gospel not in his own strength but "according to the power of God" (2Ti note), so also this faith and love are not inherent qualities but rather supernatural gifts given to those who are “in Christ Jesus”. (See related topics: in Christandin Christ Jesus)
Timothy’s faith and love were fruit of his union with Jesus Christ. Timothy's faith was energized in the faith found in Christ Jesus and the life that flows from Him. Timothy's love bathed in the love of Christ Jesus was to be intelligent and purposeful, loving the lost even as the Father so loved the world. Note that genuine love in Christ Jesus is zealous for the truth (cf Jn 16 17) and is not indifferent to the promotion of doctrines which are unhealthy and unholy.
Vincent explains this section: The teaching is to be held, preached, and practiced, not as a mere schedule of conduct, however excellent, but with the strong conviction of faith and the fervor of love.
Vine adds "Christ Jesus is the Source and Fountain of both faith and love."
When we defend God’s Word in a self-righteous, unloving spirit, the resulting controversy and opposition are not caused wholly by the offense of the truth itself but also by the offensive and unspiritual way in which we proclaim it. We are to defend God’s Word in the faith, that is, with the right attitude of confidence toward God; and we are to defend it in love, with the right attitude of kindness and compassion toward unbelievers and toward poorly taught and immature believers. “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (Ep note). Although we must not have a doubting or a dead orthodoxy, neither should we have a loveless, cold, and insensitive orthodoxy.
Barnes comments that the idea is that Timothy is to "Hold these truths with sincere faith in the Lord Jesus, and with that love which is the best evidence of attachment to Him.
Steven Cole explains that
holding to sound doctrine is not enough. How you hold to sound doctrine matters greatly! First, you must hold to sound doctrine in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. You must truly believe what the Bible teaches, to the degree that it filters down into your everyday life. Jesus said (Luke ), “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Genuine faith always results in obedience to Christ.
Second, you must hold to sound doctrine in the love that is in Christ Jesus. Biblical love is not syrupy sentiment, but rather a commitment to seek the highest good of the one loved. It is not mere words, but also good deeds (1Jn ). I have known men who hold to sound doctrine, but they do not hold it in genuine love towards others. Rather, they use their knowledge of the truth to prove that they are right and to put down those who are wrong. That is just pride, not love. But, as Paul says (2Ti note), we must not be quarrelsome, but kind, patient, and gentle towards those who do not know the truth.
An Atheist’s Point Of View - Three young men who say they are atheists decided to “sample” and report on several churches in their city. One of these men said, “There is something other than teaching that is appealing to people. We didn’t see a lot of doctrine. . . . The appeal was mostly the community. The content in most churches isn’t nearly as important as the packaging.” The three atheists offered this explanation for why thousands of people in their area attend church each Sunday: The attraction stems more from a person’s Christian identity than from what the religion teaches.
Their experience agrees with the observation of author A. W. Tozer, who said, “Increasing numbers of [Christians] are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition.”
The apostle Paul knew whom he believed, and he instructed Timothy to “hold fast” to the truth he had been taught (2Timothy 13). We too need to hold tightly to our beliefs based on the unfailing, God-inspired Bible. What we believe about God is more crucial than any feeling we get by being in church. Tozer calls us to stand “firm on the Word of God that lives and abides forever.” —Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Since by faith I have clear vision,
Your blest Word is rich and new;
Men with eyes by sin distorted
Cannot all its treasures view. —Bosch
Don’t be a Christian in name only.
2 Timothy Guard (2AAM), through the HolySpirit who dwells (PAPNSG) in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: tenkalenparathekenphulaxon (2SAAM)diapneumatoshagioutouenoikountos (PAPNSG) enhemin.
Amplified: Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: That good thing which was given to you keep safe, through the Holy Spirit which is in us.
GWT: With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, protect the Good News that has been entrusted to you.
ICB: Protect the truth that you were given. Protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
MLB: Guard, by the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, that precious deposit that was entrusted to you. (Berkley)
Moffat: Keep the great securities of your faith intact, by aid of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.
NJB: With the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, look after that precious thing given in trust. (NJB)
NLT: With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Take the greatest care of the good things which were entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who lives within us. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: That precious treasure which is in your charge, guard through the Holy Spirit who has His home in our hearts.
Wuest: That good thing which was committed in trust to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
Young's Literal: the good thing committed guard thou through the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in us;
GUARD: phulaxon (2SAAM):
Protect that good thing entrusted to you (NET)
carefully guard (NLT)
guard and keep with the greatest care (Amp)
The word order of this verse reads more literally
That good thing, the trust, the deposit which was committed to you, guard
Guard() (phulasso) is same verb Paul used used earlier to describes Jesus' guarding what Paul had entrusted to Him (2Ti note).
Here Paul uses phulasso in the aorist tense and imperative mood which calls for urgent attention, following through with firm resolution and conviction. The idea is "Do this now and don't delay Timothy".
Timothy is to guard, watch, and defend the truth once for all delivered to the saints in view of the defection from the truth beginning even in the first century.
A T Robertson points out that because "God has also made an investment in Timothy, Timothy must not let that fail." And neither must we. Therefore, every time we listen to a tape, each time we hear a sermon, each time we read a devotional we need to be on guard (albeit not offensive or defensive, arrogant or paranoid) to maintain the integrity of the Word of Truth, our Standard of Holiness (cf Acts note).
THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN US: dia pneumatos hagiou tou enoikountos (PAPNSG) en hemin:
With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us (NLT)
Who has His home in our hearts (WNT)
through the power of the Holy Spirit (TEV)
guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us (NIV)
by the help of the Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us (Amp)
The Holy Spirit Who dwells in us - Paul reiterates this glorious truth throughout his epistles
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed (There is no doubt about this statement = those who belong to Christ have the Holy Spirit) the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (See notesRomans )
Comment: This verse makes it clear that every believer has the Spirit - we do not need to pray to receive the Spirit. If we do not have the Spirit we are not yet born again and indeed, then we do need to "pray to receive the Spirit"!
Do you (plural - indicates he is referring to the local church at Corinth viewed as a temple of God - see following verse) not know that you are a temple (Not the Greek word hieron = the entire temple complex, but naos = the Holy of holies!) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Cor )
Comment: Note this verse although referring to the church still can be applied to each individual especially in view of the context of this passage which is the Judgment Seat of Christ [bema] - Paul's point is that we need to be very careful what we do with our bodies for we shall one day soon appear before our Lord.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1Co note)
Comment: In America which is inebriated by the sensuality of sex this verse needs to be emblazoned on bill boards and the hearts of believing men, lest we be tempted to bite at this "omnipresent" lascivious lure, cp Jas note Jas note.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Ryrie makes the excellent point that our body as a holy temple is "A sharp contrast to the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth where the priestesses were prostitutes." - The Ryrie Study Bible)
in Whom (Christ Jesus) the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord in Whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ep , notes Ep ; 22)
Dwells () (enoikeo from en = in + oikéo = dwell) literally means to dwell in and so to take up residence, make one's home in or among and the present tense signifies a continual indwelling. The Spirit of God makes his home in us, not in temples made with hands (Acts ).
Paul reminded the Corinthians "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Cor , , 2Cor ) Even those who are well taught cannot keep spiritual truth they have learned, any more than they could at first learn it, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, which parallels Jesus' warning that "apart from Me you can do nothing." (Jn ).
We must not think we can protect this spiritual truth by our own strength, but must abide in Christ, let His Word richly dwell in us, be filled with His Spirit, humbly maintaining a sense of determined dependence upon our Helper, the Holy Spirit. So in this verse we see man's responsibility (guard) and God's sovereignty (through the Holy Spirit) working together to bring about the intended result. The ministry of the Holy Spirit will enable Timothy and all believers to be a good custodian of the Gospel.
Jamieson writes that "The indwelling Spirit enables us to keep from the robbers of the soul the deposit of His word committed to us by God."
By way of contrast Boise adds that "then as now men who were wise in their own conceit, who trusted more to their own strength than to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were preaching doctrines far removed from the teachings of Christ and His apostles."
Steven Cole writes that
The Holy Spirit is the divine interpreter of sound doctrine. Jesus promised the apostles (John ) that “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things….” John later wrote to a church that was wracked with confusion because of false teachers (1 John )
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
John was not dispensing with the need for human teachers, in that he himself was at that moment teaching them! Rather, he was writing against the Gnostic false teachers, who claimed that you had to go through them to understand the secret truths about God. John was affirming the ability of believers, indwelled by the Spirit, to interpret the Word of God. As we depend on the Holy Spirit and diligently study the Scriptures, He will enable us to guard the treasure of the gospel that is always under attack.
The Holy Spirit is the divine enabler for a godly life. As we saw, we guard the deposit of the gospel by living in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. If we walk in daily dependence on the Holy Spirit, we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh (Gal. ), but will instead produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal , 23+-see notes Gal ; 23;): “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….” Walking in dependence on the Holy Spirit enables our lives to back up the gospel, so that we will guard that good deposit that God has entrusted to us.
In one of his books, Watchman Nee points out that a person will walk differently when he has a treasure in his pocket. If you’re walking down the street and only have a quarter in your pocket, you aren’t very concerned about losing it. But if you’re given $10, and told to guard it in your pocket as you go from one place to another, you’ll walk a bit differently than if you only have a quarter. You’ll be careful not to go to certain places, where you could get mugged. There are certain things that you just won’t do, for fear of losing that treasure.
If you have deposited your life with Jesus Christ, then He has deposited the precious treasure of the gospel with you. He asks you to guard it by holding to sound doctrine and by godly living. To be apathetic about growing in sound doctrine or to be careless about how you live as a believer is not to guard the treasure. Walk carefully! Invest your life wisely, which means, invest wisely how you spend each day. To invest your life successfully, deposit it with Christ and guard His deposit with you. (Ibid)
THE TREASURE (the good deposit) WHICH HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU: ten kalen paratheken :
Treasure which has been entrusted - This phrase is actually two Greek words - kalos (good) + paratheke (deposit)
Good()(kalos) means inherently excellent or intrinsically good and providing some special or superior benefit, an excellent description of the gospel.
Treasure() (paratheke from paratithemi = place alongside, then to entrust) (Click discussion of paratheke) refers to something entrusted to another for faithful keeping or deposited for protection.
Other translations preserve the two separate words (kalos + paratheke) more clearly than the NASB
the good thing entrusted (literal)
the good thing committed (YLT)
That precious treasure which is in your charge (WNT),
the good deposit that was entrusted (NIV)
“That good thing which was committed to you” (NKJV)
the good treasure entrusted (NRSV)
the precious entrusted deposit (Berkley)
Paratheke was a secular legal term describing something placed on trust in another's keeping.
C Maurer in the one volume abridged TDNT writes that the secular use of paratheke had the
technical meaning “to deposit,” “to entrust,” in the legal sense of leaving an object in another’s keeping, with strict penalties for embezzlement. A transferred sense develops out of the technical use. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
The treasureentrusted - In context this phrase refers to the standard of sound words, the Christian doctrine and specifically the Gospel. Here the reference is to the deposit God makes with Timothy for which he will one day give an account of his stewardship. The deposit of our lives with God is secure. The question is, how secure is His deposit of truth with us?
Keener adds that paratheke
"was originally a monetary image, although other writers had also applied it to teaching; one was responsible to safeguard or multiply any money given one for safekeeping. Jewish teachers felt that they were passing on a sacred deposit to their disciples, who were expected to pass it on to others in turn." (cf note 2 Timothy ) (Keener, Craig: The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. IVP)
Paratheke was used two other times, both by Paul, one in this same chapter (see note 2 Timothy ) and the other in the first epistle to Timothy, where Paul uses paratheke in his closing charge
O Timothy, guard (aorist imperative - command to carry this out effectively and immediately. Can convey a sense of urgency.) what has been entrusted to you, avoiding (present tense = continually doing so because the pressure to compromise the standard of the pure Gospel will be continually present) worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"--which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.
O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted (paratheke - the deposit, the thing consigned to his faithful keeping) to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge " (1Ti )
W E Vine writes that the gospel..
is viewed as a treasure sedulously (constant, persistent attention and implies painstaking and persevering application) to be kept free from the admixture of error, and without loss through neglect of any detail, and that not only for the spiritual welfare of the teacher himself but for those to whom he ministers. The danger of compromise with those who ignore, or fail to teach, certain truths of the faith is ever to be avoided. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
The Jewish people had been "entrusted with the oracles of God" (see note Romans ). Paul "had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised" (Gal , 1Ti ), which he referred to as "a stewardship entrusted" (1Cor ). Now he was passing the "precious baton" to Timothy.
Matthew Henry - The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to usIt is committed to us to be preserved pure and entire, and to be transmitted to those who shall come after us, and we must keep it, and not contribute any thing to the corrupting of its purity, the weakening of its power, or the diminishing of its perfection
Barclay writes that in this verse
Paul urges Timothy to safeguard and keep inviolate the trust God has reposed in him. Not only do we put our trust in God; he also puts his trust in us. The idea of God’s dependence on men is never far from New Testament thought. When God wants something done, he has to find a man to do it. If he wants a child taught, a message brought, a sermon preached, a wanderer found, a sorrowing one comforted, a sick one healed, he has to find some instrument to do his work. (Ibid)
God has made an "investment" in you. Are you protecting and preserving (in His power) His deposit of the gospel so that you might be able to reliably transmit it to other faithful men and women? (see note 2 Timothy )
Gill elaborates on the idea of the "treasureentrusted" adding that "it is a treasurea rich one, it contains the riches of grace, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, is more valuable than thousands of gold and silver". In regard to a good deposit Gill adds that "that it is a trust, and requires faithfulness in ministers, who are the stewards of it; and that it is to be accounted for. Wherefore great care should be had in dispensing and keeping it:"
John MacArthur sums up this section with some thoughts on application
Christian colleges, seminaries, pastors, and other church leaders who deviate from Scripture, defecting to “a different gospel” and wanting “to distort the gospel of Christ” (Ga), will face a dreadful day of reckoning before God.
When a church or any other Christian organization becomes liberal, not surprisingly this "drift" usually begins with a weakening of the convictions of the leadership regarding the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Word of God.
Do not be deceived beloved brethren.
Hold fast to the Truth.
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First and Second Timothy and Titus are often grouped together as the Pastoral Epistles, because they appear to deal with advice and counsel about dealing with pastoral issues. However, the primary emphasis of these epistles isnt how to help individuals with personal problems, but is rather how to deal with church polity (organizational structures, policies, and procedures governing the church).
Until the s, the church believed that Paul was the author of these letters, as is stated at the beginning of each letter. Critics have studied various characteristics of these letters (such as vocabulary and the issues discussed), and have concluded that they were written later by people closely related to Paul—or perhaps later by persons unknown.
However, unlike the uncontested letters of Paul, which were written to congregations, the letters to Timothy and Titus (and Philemon as well) were written to individuals. The issues with which they deal tend to be different, and it therefore stands to reason that the vocabulary would be different.
For the purpose of this commentary, I will assume that Paul wrote these letters to Timothy and Titus. However, in spite of the assurance with which particular scholars promote one position or another, the truth is that only God knows. Another truth is that, regardless of authorship, the letters have value to todays church, because we must deal with the same kinds of issues that the early church had to deal.
2 TIMOTHY AN APOSTLE THROUGH THE WILL OF GOD
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God (v. 1a). It was customary for people of that time and place to begin their letters by introducing themselves (quite different from our letters today, with the name of the author at the end), and Paul follows that convention by introducing himself at the beginning.
Paul first states his name, and then his office. He is an apostle (apostolos)—sent with a message. In Pauls case, the one who did the sending was Christ Jesus and the message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul is an apostle through the will of God. His original name was Saul, and he was persecuting the church. As he approached Damascus, he saw a blinding light and heard a voice from heaven asking, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? As a result of that encounter, Saul the persecutor became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts ). In other words, he hadnt sought the office of apostle—the office sought him, because God willed that he should be an apostle.
according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus (v. 1b). Gods call was that Paul should proclaim the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus—life in the kingdom of God both now and eternally.
Critics of Pauline authorship of this book have pointed out that Timothy was Pauls closest associate. Timothy knows that Paul is an apostle, so why would Paul open his letter to Timothy by recounting his apostolic status? There are various possibilities:
• First, Paul usually opens his letters by mentioning his apostleship, so he is merely following his convention here.
• Second, Pauls status as an apostle is so vital to his authority, that he feels it necessary to remind people of it—even if the recipient is a trusted colleague like Timothy.
• Third, while this letter is addressed to Timothy alone, it is possible that others might read it and need reminding of Pauls unique authority. After all, millions or billions of people have read this letter through the ages. While Paul couldnt have foreseen that, he could have foreseen that the letter might have a readership beyond Timothy.
to Timothy, my beloved child (Greek: teknon) (v. 2a). Paul asked Timothy to accompany him on his Second Missionary Journey (Acts ). Elsewhere, Paul refers to Timothy as my beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Corinthians ) and my true child in faith, (1 Timothy ).
The Greek word for son is huios, but the word that Paul uses here is teknos, which is best translated child. Most men would take exception to being addressed as child, but it would have been acceptable for a teacher or mentor (such as Paul) to address a student or disciple (such as Timothy) in this way.
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 2b). This is a typical greeting for Paul. He has been the recipient of Gods mercy and peace (1 Timothy , 18), and desires that Timothy share in Gods mercy and peace as well.
2 TIMOTHY THAT I MIGHT BE FILLED WITH JOY
3 I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day 4 longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 having been reminded of the sincere faith that is in you; which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also.
I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience (v. 3a). This is a curious statement on two counts:
• First, the Israelites were hardly a people with no stains on their consciences. They lost faith when faced with danger, as they did at the Red Sea. They grumbled against Moses—and God. They married foreign women and worshiped foreign gods. David, their most famous king, murdered his faithful servant, Uriah, to cover up his liaison with Bathsheba, Uriahs wife.
• Second, Pauls conscience was stained by his persecution of Christians.
• Israels experience of unfaithfulness was tempered by Gods discipline and forgiveness—and his unstinting acceptance of Israel as his chosen people.
• Pauls pure conscience would be occasioned by the forgiveness he received through Christ—as well as his current service to Christ. His pure conscience is justified. Ever since meeting Christ on the Damascus road, he has served Christ faithfully and with no moral taint—both faithfulness and a strong moral compass being essential to effective ministry.
How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day (v. 3b). In the original Greek, this is a part of Pauls thanksgiving. His unceasing memory of Timothy occasions his thanks—as are his memories of Timothys tears (v. 4) and the faith of Lois and Eunice—and the faith of Timothy as well (v. 5).
Paul prays night and day for Timothy, who has been his most faithful companion—and who, given his youth, can be expected to carry the Jesus banner long after Paul has died. In his prayers, Paul would give thanks, of course, but he would also pray for Timothys spiritual well-being. The stronger our faith and witness, the more determined Satan is to derail us, so Timothy can expect to face temptations both subtle and treacherous. He will require Gods help to avoid falling into Satans trap.
longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy (v. 4). Paul often expresses a longing for those whom he has discipled—or a longing to see again (Romans ; ; 1 Thessalonians ; Philippians ; ; ). Paul spent a great deal of time traveling from place to place—establishing churches and winning new converts to the faith. It would be difficult to leave people with whom he has established a deep spiritual connection, so he would naturally long to see such people again. That would be especially true of Timothy, with whom Paul has established such a strong relationship. To see him again would be an occasion of great joy.
having been reminded of the sincere (Greek: anupokritou) faith that is in you (v. 5a). The Greek word anupokritou literally means without pretense or without hypocrisy. Paul has often dealt with people of compromised faith, and is a good judge of character. He knows that Timothy is free of hypocrisy.
Paul is also free of hypocrisy. He calls em as he sees em—issues rebukes as well as compliments. He stands his ground in the face of opposition.
Paul frequently offers compliments, but never lightly. If Paul says that Timothy is without hypocrisy, we can be sure that is his studied opinion.
which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also (v. 5b). Timothy’s Jewish mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois are faithful Christians and have been influential in Timothys spiritual development, bringing him up in the knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures (2 Timothy ). Timothys father is Greek—Gentile (Acts ).
Timothys sincere faith was undoubtedly shaped first by his mother and grandmother. That is often the case—as I can attest from personal experience. My mother faced many challenges, but always found time to see that my brother and I were in Sunday school and church. She taught a Sunday school class—and Vacation Bible School absorbed her attention for at least a week every summer.
Getting ready on Sundays wasnt easy. Mother would put a chicken in the oven for our noon meal, and would then make her two young sons presentable. Money was scarce, but she always gave each of us a dime to put in the offering (in the early s, a dime would buy a loaf of Wonder Bread). I particularly remember her carrying a Bible stuffed with the materials that she would use for her Sunday school class. It took lots of planning and determination to get the show on the road every Sunday, but she did so without fail.
That, of course, was the beginning rather than the end of her caring for our spiritual welfare. Without her influence, I would have become a very different person than I am today—and not likely a person of faith.
That wont be every Christians story—I know a devout Christian whose mother was (and is) a total train wreck—but many of us can trace our spiritual foundations to our mothers influence.
2 TIMOTHY a. DONT BE ASHAMED
6 For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God didnt give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. 8Therefore dont be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News. 11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12a For this cause I also suffer these things.
For this cause (Greek: oun—therefore, accordingly), I remind you that you should stir up (Greek: anazopyreo) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands (v. 6). Having been nurtured in the faith by his mother and grandmother, Timothy should stir it up (anazopyreo) and make the most of it.
The word anazopyreo combines two Greek words, ana (again) and zopyreo (to stir up a fire). Paul is telling Timothy to be proactive in keeping the flames of faith burning.
Timothy should regard his faith as a gift from God through the laying on of (Pauls) hands. In the Old Testament, Moses laid hands on Joshua to commission him (Numbers ). In the New Testament, the apostles laid hands on people to heal them (Matthew ; Acts ), to impart the Holy Spirit (Acts ; ), and to ordain them for a particular work (Acts ; ; 2 Timothy ).
For God didnt give us a spirit of fear (Greek: deilia) (v. 7a). The Greek word deilia means fear, timidity, or cowardice.
but of power (Greek: dynamis), love (Greek: agape), and self-control (sophronismos) (v. 7b). Consider Moses, called by God to confront Pharaoh and to demand that Pharaoh free the Israelites. Consider David, a boy called by God to face the giant Goliath in a battle to the death. Consider Gideon, called by God to reduce his army to men before attacking the much larger Midianite army. In each case, God asked people to take bold action in the faith that God would reward their faithfulness.
God still calls people to impossible tasks. He calls us to trust his call, and to believe that he will be faithful to honor that call.
• The Greek word dunamis (from which we get our word dynamite) speaks of a special kind of power—the ability to do or to accomplish. It is an enabling sort of power, because it equips us for good things while leaving us the freedom to exercise that power.
• Agape love is more a doing than a feeling word. It doesnt require that we approve of the actions of the person whom we love—or even that we enjoy their company. It does require that we act in behalf of that person—to demonstrate our love in some practical fashion. An agape person will do what is possible to feed the hungry—and to give drink to the thirsty—and to welcome the stranger—and to clothe the naked—and to visit the sick and the person in prison (Matthew ). The agape person has little or nothing to gain by helping these hungry, thirsty, strange, naked, imprisoned people. The thrust of his/her agape love is giving, not getting.
• Sophronismos means restraint or self-control.
We can cultivate these virtues, but their full realization can be achieved only through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore dont be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner (v. 8a). This might better translated, Therefore dont be ashamed to testify (or to bear testimony to) our Lord.
It seems odd that anyone would be ashamed to bear testimony to Jesus, but we have experienced shame (or timidity). Even when Christianity was widely held to be virtuous in this country, people found it difficult to bear witness to their faith. Now that Christians are increasingly under attack, it has become more difficult. If we say that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John ), we are likely to trigger accusations of intolerance.
But it is easy to understand why Timothy might feel ashamed of Paul, who was a prisoner. When someone is imprisoned, we tend to believe that that they have done something wrong and are thus suffering imprisonment justly. A woman recently told me that she shouldnt have been imprisoned. I didnt say anything, but I thought, Thats what they all say.
But Paul speaks of himself in this verse, not as a prisoner of the Romans, but as his (the Lords) prisoner. Paul makes this even more explicit in his letter to Philemon, which he identifies himself as, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus (Philemon ). The Romans might imprison Pauls body, but Christ commands his total being—body and soul.
but endure hardship (Greek: synkakopatheo) for the Good News according to the power of God(v. 8b). Synkakopatheo combines two Greek words, syn (together with) and kakopatheo (to suffer hardship), so Paul is saying, Suffer hardship together with me for the Gospel or Share my suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
Paul certainly endured suffering for the sake of the Gospel (Acts , 28; ; , 19; ; ; ; ; 1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ; ; 2 Timothy ; ). He is not making the point that Timothy should seek out hardship, but rather that, if need be, Timothy should be willing to endure suffering for the Gospel.
who saved (Greek: sozo) us (v. 9a). Sozo can refer to healing or delivery from danger, but the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) often uses it to refer to the salvation of the Israelites (Psalm ; Isaiah ; ; ; Hosea ) and the New Testament uses it to refer to Christian salvation (1 Corinthians ; ; Ephesians ).
In what sense does God save us? He saves us:
• By assuring us of his love for us and his accessibility to us.
• By answering our prayers, not necessarily as we asked, but in accord with his greater wisdom and love.
• By transforming the world in which we live, using us as leaven to leaven the whole loaf.
• By his promise of eternal life.
and called us with a holy (Greek: hagios) calling (Greek: klesis) (v. 9b). The Greek word hagios means holy or set apart for God. The tabernacle and temple were holy, because they were the dwelling places of God. Sacrificial animals were holy, because they were set apart for God. Timothy is holy, because God has set him apart for ministry.
The Greek noun klesis is related to the verb kaleo which means to call. Klesis means a call or an invitation. The New Testament uses klesis to speak of Gods invitation to become a member of the kingdom of God—to experience adoption into Gods family—to gain salvation and the hope of life eternal.
not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace (v. 9c). It has been said that God calls whom God calls. Thats as close as we can get to explaining why God calls certain people. Sometimes God calls well-educated people (such as Paul), but he also calls people of modest ability. Sometimes he calls people whom we would call saintly (such as Mother Teresa), but he also calls people who could be classified as borderline scoundrels (such as Jacob). Sometimes he calls people whose lives manifest impeccable moral behavior, but he also calls people who do despicable things (such as David). God calls whom God calls.
But whomever God calls, he calls them to a holy purpose and a holy life.
To what does God call us? He calls some to pastoral ministry. He calls some to teach in seminary or to write scholarly commentaries. But he also calls some to be carpenters or plumbers or schoolteachers or whatever. He calls all of us to love God and neighbor. He calls us according to his own purpose and grace.
which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal (v. 9d). The Gospel of John begins with these words:
IN THE BEGINNING was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was IN THE BEGINNING with God (John ).
Gods purpose and grace were manifested through Christ before times eternal—before time—in the infinity that stretches beyond time both before the creation and after the world comes to an end. And perhaps God has a plan for each of our lives, established from before times eternal.
but has now been revealed by the appearing (Greek: epiphaneia) of our Savior, Christ Jesus (v. 10a). Gods purpose and grace (v. 9c) were revealed in Christ Jesus.
The Greek word epiphaneia means an appearance. In the New Testament, it means a divine appearance or a manifestation of the divine will. We use the word Epiphany to speak of the Wise Men coming to the baby Jesus—an early manifestation (or appearing) of the Lord to Gentiles. Paul typically uses epiphaneia to speak of Jesus Second Coming (2 Thessalonians ; 1 Timothy ; 2 Timothy , 8; Titus ).
who abolished (Greek: katargeo) death (v. 10b). The Greek word katargeo means to abolish or to put an end to or to render inactive. With his death and resurrection, Jesus abolished the power of death over us.
In the Bible, the word death is used in two ways:
• It is used to describe the end of physical life on earth.
• It is also used to describe a kind of spiritual death—alienation from God—separation from God. When a person dies physically, he/she is separated from loved ones who are still alive. There is a great chasm fixed between the living and the dead so that the dead person cannot reach across the chasm relate to the living—and the living cannot bridge the chasm to relate to the dead. In like manner, a person who is dead spiritually is separated from God—and is therefore subject to the course (aion—age) of this world and the ruler of the power of the air—a demonic power (Ephesians ).
It is this second kind of death—this spiritual death—that Christ brought to an end with his death and resurrection.
and brought life and immortality (Greek: aphtharsia—incorruptibility) to light through the Good News (v. 10c). The Greek word aphtharsia means incorruptibility. Our bodies are corrupted by disease, injury, and death.
As I get older, I experience this happening. I think of it as dying by inches—slow death. Then death brings about the final corruptibility. We have dealt with that by paying embalmers and cosmeticians to restore the appearance of life and to delay the decay. They do a wonderful but superficial job, and have no power to restore life itself.
But Christ reveals the twin blessings life and incorruptibility—not for the life we know on earth, but for the life that we shall experience after death. Elsewhere, Paul explains that flesh and blood cant inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption (1 Corinthians ). He goes on to say that, at the last trumpet, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The corruptible shall be rendered incorruptible, and death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians ).
For this, I was appointed (Greek: tithemi) as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles(v. 11). The Greek word tithemi means appointed or set in place. Through his encounter with Saul (Pauls original name) on the Damascus road (Acts 9), Christ set Paul in place as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. Paul didnt initiate that appointment. He didnt submit a resume that had to be vetted. He didnt apply for the job. Christ chose him—called him—appointed him to preach, lead, and teach.
and a teacher of the Gentiles (v. 11b). God called (Paul) through his grace, to reveal his Son in (Paul), that (Paul) might preach him among the Gentiles (Galatians ). Paul became a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest the Good News of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Romans ).
In other words, God assigned Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles, and that became the mission that consumed the rest of Pauls life.
For this cause I also suffer these things (v. 12a). As noted above, Paul endured suffering for the sake of the Gospel (Acts , 28; ; , 19; ; ; ; ; 1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ; ; 2 Timothy ; ).
2 TIMOTHY b. I AM NOT ASHAMED
12b Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.
Yet I am not ashamed (vb). Paul called for Timothy to be unashamed (see v. 8 above), and now states that he is unashamed—unashamed of his lifes work in Christs service and unashamed of his imprisonment.
for I know him whom I have believed (vc). The focus here is on Christ rather than on doctrine. Paul knows Christ. He encountered the risen Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9), and has served him faithfully ever since.
and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him (Greek: partheke mou—my deposit or trust) against that day (vd). Paul is using the language of a banker. The deposit or trust in question could be that with which Christ has entrusted Paul—or Paul could be talking about the service that he has rendered to Christ. In either case, Paul is confident that Christ has both the power and the will to safeguard that deposit against that day.
that day. When Paul uses this phrase elsewhere, he is speaking of the day that Christ will come again (1 Corinthians ; 2 Thessalonians ). Paul is convinced that Christ will safeguard his deposit or trust until Christ comes again. On that day, when the vault doors open and the accounts are tallied, Pauls deposit will be found secure and intact.
2 TIMOTHY HOLD THE PATTERN OF SOUND WORKS
13 Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Hold the pattern of sound words (Greek: hugiaino logos) which you have heard from me (v. 13a). The Greek word logos (word) means word, but can also mean that which is conveyed by a word. In this case, the sound words which Timothy has received from Paul are Pauls teachings. Paul is asking Timothy to be faithful to that which he has learned at Pauls feet—both to teach it and to live it faithfully.
in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (v. 13b). Paul encourages Timothy to hold Pauls sound teachings in faith and love. It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in doctrinal orthodoxy that we forget to trust God and to love our neighbor. When that happens, we severely compromise our witness.
The same is true when we become overly concerned with programs or administrative details. I have seen too many people leave the church because of conflict with other people. Many years ago, I was active in the young adult ministry at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. We had two big programs every week—one on Thursday evening and the other on Sunday evening. We would have people present for each meeting. The pressure to produce interesting programs was enormous. The mantra that we recited over and over again was People are more important than programs. True—but hard to remember when you were on the hot seat.
in Christ Jesus (v. 13b). Paul uses this phrase often (Romans ; 1 Corinthians ; Galatians ; 1 Timothy ). Being in Christ involves an all-encompassing relationship with Christ Jesus—a relationship that has saving power.
In this instance, it is through Christ that we receive faith and love—and it is Christ who enables us to express faith and love to others.
That good thing which was committed (Greek: partheke—deposited or entrusted) to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (v. 14). The good thing entrusted to Timothy is the Gospel—the Good News of salvation through Christ Jesus.
For the word partheke, see the comments on verse 12d above. In that case, Paul was trusting Christ to safeguard the partheke that Paul entrusted to Timothy. Now Paul asks Timothy to safeguard that trust.
But Timothy is not on his own to accomplish this. The Holy Spirit dwells in him (and us), and will make it possible for him (and us) to do this.
SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc.), which the WEB has updated.
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Copyright , Richard Niell Donovan