Timothy's Preparation for His Work.
SUMMARY.--Paul's Affection for Timothy. Timothy's Early Training in the Scriptures. Paul's Suffering for Christ. The Charge to Hold Fast Sound Words. Phygellus and Hermogenes.
3-5. Whom I serve from my forefathers. Like Timothy (verse 5), he had been taught by his parents to fear and serve the Lord. Even before he became a Christian, he verily thought he served God. See Acts 23:1; 24:14, and Rom. 11:23, 24, 28. 4. Greatly desiring to see thee. There is something pathetic in this language. The lonely prisoner calls to him the tears of Timothy at their last parting, and feels a yearning desire to see and counsel him face to face once more. 5. When I call to remembrance. As he looked back he saw Timothy from his youth up a believer. His grandmother and mother had been converted before him, and he had followed them into the kingdom. See Acts 16:1.
6-7. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance. From the earnestness with which he stirs up Timothy in both Epistles, it seems likely that he did not possess the rugged, restless energy of Paul. Stir up the gift of God. The supernatural gift which he received by the imposition of the apostolic hands. The gift of office was conferred by ordination at the hands of the presbytery; the gift of miraculous powers, by the imposition of the hands of an apostle. 7. God hath not given us the spirit of fear. When the gifts of the Spirit were bestowed at the laying on of my hands, not a spirit of cowardice, but of power, miraculous power, and of love, and of a sound mind, of divine wisdom, was imparted.
8-12. Be not . . . ashamed. Since "the spirit of fear" was not imparted, there must be boldness to testify for the Lord. Of me, his prisoner. Though a prisoner, he was a prisoner for righteousness' sake. It may be that this was a gentle rebuke; that Timothy had failed in boldness. Be thou partaker. Ready to share with me whatever may befall. According to the power of God. Suffer afflictions, bearing them, sustained by the power of God. 9. Who hath saved us. God's power hath saved us and all believers. Not according to our works. He called us according to his purpose to call men before the world began. He purposed to call the Gentiles--a race rebellious. See notes on Romans, chapter 9. 10. But is now made manifest. His purpose, formed before the world began, was revealed when Christ appeared. Who abolished death. Took away from death his power, and will finally destroy him (1 Cor. 15:26). Brought life and immortality to light. Revealed them in the gospel. 12. For which cause I also suffer. Because he was appointed an "apostle and teacher of the Gentiles." See verse 11. Compare Acts 22:21, and Eph. 3:1. That which I have committed unto him. His whole interests, his life, body, soul and spirit. He leaves all in God's hands with perfect confidence.
13, 14. Hold fast the form of sound words. Hold and teach sound doctrine, the pure faith, the gospel as Paul taught it to him, preaching it in faith and love. 14. That good thing which was committed unto thee. The sound faith just alluded to. Don't let it be perverted. Keep it by the help of the Holy Spirit. This charge is given in view of the conduct of some from the province of Asia, where Timothy was then dwelling, referred to in verse 15.
15-18. This thou knowest. The language seems to mean that there had been a large defection in Asia already. Some think that Paul refers to professors of Christ from the province of Asia, then in Rome, who had all deserted him. Phygellus and Hermogenes. Nothing more than this reference is known of them. 16. Onesiphorus. How different with this faithful disciple, from the rest of the Asiatics! In spite of Paul's chain, and danger, he often visited and cheered him. Paul was chained to a soldier. 17. He sought me. Not only was not ashamed, but sought him at great pains and found him. 18. In that day. The day when he shall be called to meet the Lord. He ministered to me at Ephesus. He then belonged to Ephesus, had ministered to Paul there, and shown his faithfulness again at Rome. The language seems to imply that these kind deeds were past. Perhaps Onesiphorus had started back home.