I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Whom I serve from my forefathers — That is, whom both I and my ancestors served.
With a pure conscience — He always worshipped God according to his conscience, both before and after his conversion One who stands on the verge of life is much refreshed by the remembrance of his predecessors, to whom he is going.
 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
Being mindful of thy tears — Perhaps frequently shed, as well as at the apostle's last parting with him.
 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Which dwelt — A word not applied to a transient guest, but only to a settled inhabitant.
First — Probably this was before Timothy was born, yet not beyond St. Paul's memory.
 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Wherefore — Because I remember this.
I remind thee of stirring up — Literally, blowing up the coals into a flame.
The gift of God — All the spiritual gifts, which the grace of God has given thee.
 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
And let nothing discourage thee, for God hath not given us - That is, the spirit which God hath given us Christians, is not the spirit of fear - Or cowardice.
But of power — Banishing fear.
And love and sobriety — These animate us in our duties to God, our brethren, and ourselves. Power and sobriety are two good extremes. Love is between, the tie and temperament of both; preventing the two bad extremes of fearfulness and rashness. More is said concerning power, 1 Timothy 1:8; concerning love, 2 Timothy 2:14, etc.; concerning sobriety, 2 Timothy 3:1, etc.
 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;
Therefore be not thou ashamed — When fear is banished, evil shame also flees away.
Of the testimony of our Lord — The gospel, and of testifying the truth of it to all men.
Nor of me — The cause of the servants of God doing his work, cannot be separated from the cause of God himself.
But be thou partaker of the afflictions — Which I endure for the gospel's sake.
According to the power of God — This which overcomes all things is nervously described in the two next verses.
 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Who hath saved us — By faith. The love of the Father, the grace of our Saviour, and the whole economy of salvation, are here admirably described.
Having called us with an holy calling — Which is all from God, and claims us all for God.
According to his own purpose and grace — That is, his own gracious purpose.
Which was given us — Fixed for our advantage, before the world began.
 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:
By the appearing of our Saviour — This implies his whole abode upon earth.
Who hath abolished death — Taken away its sting, and turned it into a blessing.
And hath brought life and immortality to light — Hath clearly revealed by the gospel that immortal life which he hath purchased for us.
 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.
That which I have committed to him — My soul.
Until that day — Of his final appearing.
 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
The pattern of sound words — The model of pure, wholesome doctrine.
 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
The good thing — This wholesome doctrine.
 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
All who are in Asia — Who had attended me at Rome for a while.
Are turned away from me — What, from Paul the aged, the faithful soldier, and now prisoner of Christ! This was a glorious trial, and wisely reserved for that time, when he was on the borders of immortality. Perhaps a little measure of the same spirit might remain with him under whose picture are those affecting words, "The true effigy of Francis Xavier, apostle of the Indies, forsaken of all men, dying in a cottage."
 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
The family of Onesiphorus — As well as himself.
Hath often refreshed me — Both at Ephesus and Rome.