2 Timothy Chapter One
I. Content of the Chapter
God’s Workers should Share in the Sufferings for the Gospel
I. The will of God is that He wants us to suffer for the gospel (v.1-2):
A. for this God gives us the promise of life in Christ (v.1).
B. for this God gives us grace, mercy and peace as the support in the sufferings (v.2).
II. The grace of God is a way out for us in the sufferings (v.3-7):
A. there are prayers and remembrance from fellow-workers outwardly (v.3-4).
B. there is the genuine faith and the powerful spirit inwardly (v.5-7).
III. The ability of God is the power by which we are able to suffer for the gospel (v.8-12):
A. the gospel proves that one’s being saved is not by works of men but by the grace of God (v.8-9).
B. the gospel brings life and immortality to light (v.10).
C. since He appointed men to preach the gospel, He must keep what men have committed to Him (v.11-12).
IV. Keep the gospel that was committed to us in the sufferings by faith, hope and love (v.13-18):
A. hold the sound words in faith and love which are in Christ (v.13).
B. keep good thing by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (v.14).
C. not be ashamed of the gospel for the hope of the Lord’s mercy in that Day (v.15-18).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
2Tim. 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,”
YLT: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, according to a promise of life that [is] in Christ Jesus,”
Meaning of Words: “by”: through, because of, for cause.
Literal Meaning: “by the will of God” it shows that his position is completely of God and he did not take it unto himself.
“According to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” the word “the promise of life” stresses on the unchangeable nature of the promise of God: not only the promise of God is amen forever (See 2Cor. 1:20) but also the life of God is incorruptible (See v.10). In the difficult situation of persuasion and the time many people turn back and defect (See v.15), holding fast to the promise of life is the foundation to stand firmly unto the end for the Lord (See 2:19).
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ” the word shows that: 1) he was of the Lord; 2) he was sent by the Lord; 3) he inherited the authority of interpreting the truth; 4) however, he was not proud of these and wanted to carry out the missions faithfully which the Lord had committed to him.
This verse shows that “by the will of God” was the reason why Paul was an apostle and his main work was preaching “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” to others.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The positions of preachers are not of their abilities and the knowledge of the Bible but their being called and being sent by the will of God.
2) If we do not know the will of God, we are unworthy to be workers of God.
3) Everyone who serves God should put down his own will and attach the most importance to the will of God. And therefore their works should please God wholeheartedly and should not be influenced by the likes and dislikes of their own or others.
4) The one who is sent should walk and speak according to the commandments of the one who has sent him. The message that the Lord’s workers preach should not be of themselves but of what is committed to them by God.
5) The introduction that a preacher needs is not his worldly position or title but showing that he is indeed the one who speaks by the will of God.
6) God makes us partake in His work not because we are worthy of the work but that He wants to use us to accomplish His will.
7) Since one is the servant of Christ by the will of God, he should assure that God shall be with him and shall help him to accomplish such great mission.
8) The first responsibility of God’s servants is to preach that God gives men the promise of life in Christ------he whoever is willing to receive the Lord Jesus as his Savior shall receive eternal life.
9) We should know that the gospel that we believe and preach is “blessing” instead of “disaster”; is the promise of life instead of the fear of perdition; is the calling of love instead of the threat of condemnation.
10) “The promise of life” is the greatest feature of Christianity. Everyone who truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ could appropriate and enjoy this promise and not only is saved by faith but also lives by faith.
11) Every time Paul mentioned his apostleship, he spoke with the firm tone because he considered such position as: a) the glory, it was chosen in the will of God; b) a responsibility: it was chosen by God for His will; c) a right: it was with the promise of life.
12) Those who are messengers of Christ must first be with Him always, abide in Him and let the word of the Lord also abide in him (John. 15:7) and then they shall be able to preach the word of the Lord for Him.
13) The author called himself “Paul” the moment he was saved and was willing to be “little” (the original meaning of “Paul”). God’s servants should not be haughty but humble themselves to serve men (Matt. 20:26-28).
2Tim. 1:2 “To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
YLT: “to Timotheus, beloved child: Grace, kindness, peace, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Meaning of Words: “Timothy”: whom God loves, whom God respects.
Literal Meaning: “To Timothy, a beloved son” “son” indicates that the spiritual relationship of life between Paul and Timothy was that Timothy was the fruit that Paul bore through the gospel (See 1Cor. 4:15), as the son is of his father according to the flesh.
“Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” in the greetings that Paul habitually used, he only mentioned grace and peace (Rom. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:3; 2Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; Pill. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Philem. 3) and “mercy” was only put in the first and second epistles of Timothy probably because it was related to the depraved situation of the church at that time (See v.15). Men’s states are unworthy of grace, however, the “mercy” of God makes us taste His abundant grace.
“Mercy” is the source of “grace” and “peace” is from “grace”. Here mercy is put between grace and peace, showing that mercy is not only the beginning of grace and peace but also the element that one receives grace and peace continually.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The relationship among believers brought in through the gospel is much closer than the relationship in the fleshly sentiments and it lasts forever.
2) All the spiritual blessings that we enjoy in Christ today are not what we deserve. We have all these because God’s mercy falls upon us.
3) But for God’s mercy, we cannot be servers who are committed and faithful unto the end, no matter what conditions we have.
4) Paul juxtaposed Christ Jesus and God again and again (See v.1-2) and he called Jesus “Lord” in this verse, showing that Christ Jesus is equal with God (Pill. 2:6).
5) Christians not only have peace with God in Christ (Rom. 5:1) but also have peace of God which surpasses all understanding in Christ (Pill. 4:6-7) and therefore we have the responsibility for pursuing living in peace with each other and dealing with each other in peace (Rom. 12:18; 14:19; Eph. 4:3; Matt. 5:25).
2Tim. 1:3 “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,”
YLT: “I am thankful to God, whom I serve from progenitors in a pure conscience, that unceasingly I have remembrance concerning thee in my supplications night and day,”
Literal Meaning: “I thank God…as my forefathers did” “as my forefathers did” refers to following the steps of forefathers.
“Whom I serve with a pure conscience” “a pure conscience” refers to “a good conscience” (1Tim. 1:5, 19); Paul always had a good conscience towards God (Acts. 24:16). The verb “serve” is specially used to describe the service to God in the original.
“As without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day” “without ceasing” does not refer to happening for a long time without stopping but that he always does so. “I remember you…night and day” indicates that Paul always prayed for Timothy night and day.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) All benefits that we enjoy today are of God instead of our own abilities and therefore we should give thanks in everything (1Thess. 5:18).
2) Those who always thank God must have the vivid sentiment towards this true and living God and know that God helps him beside him and in him at all times and everywhere.
3) Concerning every believer’ service towards God, one merely does as the forefathers of faith (the past spiritual giants) did and is responsible for a short period of time which we are facing and will hand the service over to others.
4) What God who searches the heart values is not the achievements of our service but the motive for our service. Only the service from a pure conscience is counted in the sight of God.
5) Prayer is the most important service, especially remembering others in prayer and making intercessions for others.
2Tim. 1:4 “greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,”
YLT: “desiring greatly to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that with joy I may be filled,”
Literal Meaning: “being mindful of your tears” it probably refers to the tears of Timothy that he left Paul for the last time.
“That I may be filled with joy” it describes the sentiment that Paul longed to meet Timothy again.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Only when in the eternity shall we not be in tears (See Rev. 21:4) and today it is the time for tears------those who mourn for God and His work, the church and believers will be remembered and blessed by the Lord (See Matt. 5:4).
2) The spiritual ones also have abundant sentiments. Probably something is wrong with the spirituality of those who are indifferent to others and are unreasonable.
2Tim. 1:5 “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.”
YLT: “taking remembrance of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, that dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that also in thee.”
Meaning of Words: “dwell”: live, reside; “Lois”: gladness; “Eunice”: good victory.
Literal Meaning: “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you” faith has two aspects: the outer aspect and the inner aspect. The outer works of faith is always the expression of the inner faith (See James. 2:17-18) and whether the outer faith is true depends on whether the faith from the inner heart is genuine. And therefore whether one is a true believer is determined by whether the faith in him is true or false.
“Which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice” the mother of Timothy was a Jew and believed (Acts. 16:1) and his grandmother probably turned to Christ and believed in Him at the same time. This sentence shows that one’s genuine faith influences his household and offspring.
“And I am persuaded is in you also” it does not mean that parents and elders could replace their children and grandchild to believe or their faith could be transported to their offspring automatically but that the faith of the younger generation is influenced by their direct elders more or less. The reason why Paul had assurance of the genuine faith in the heart of Timothy is according to three aspects: 1) Paul’s observation and impression of Timothy; 2) the faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother; 3) the commentaries of all on Timothy (Acts. 16:2).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The greatest property that a Christian owns is faith. We receive everything from God because of faith instead of that we deserve it.
2) The false faith is the greatest hindrance to believers’ spiritual growth. Whether a believer’s spirituality grows depends on whether he is honest before God and is not hypocritical in his life and work.
3) The genuine faith will influence those who are around us and it is easily to be planted in the innocent and young hearts.
4) Believers should hand the faith over to offspring and such inheritance is the precious resources for the growth of Christians (the descendants) who do not need to make a fresh start until they have grown up.
5) Pious parents are one of the greatest gifts to men from God. Many Christians who fear God are from families that fear God.
6) Family is the base of edifying believers------parents are responsible for teaching their children with the truth and they cannot shirk this responsibility to the church or preachers.
7) If parents could train up the spiritual characters of their children, it will help the family members to get along with each other harmoniously and to build up a Christianized family together.
2Tim. 1:6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
YLT: “For which cause I remind thee to stir up the gift of God that is in thee through the putting on of my hands,”
Meaning of Words: “stir up”: make it burn again, fan the flame.
Literal Meaning: “Therefore I remind you” “therefore” indicates that since Timothy had already had the genuine faith (See v.5), he must have received the gift from God. Here Paul reminded Timothy to use well the gift that he had received (1Tim. 4:14) to bear witness to the Lord boldly and share with Paul in the sufferings for the gospel (See v.8).
Please note that Paul used four different words in v.3-6 to show his concern: 1) “remember” (v.3); 2) “being mindful of” (v.4); 3) “call to remembrance” (v.5); 4) “remind” (v.6).
“The gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” the spiritual meaning of “the laying on of hands” is union and passing on blessing (Lev. 1:4; Gen. 48:14-15); “gift” is the spiritual equipment that God gives us to serve Him.
“The gift which is in you through the laying on of my hands” shows that the apostle and the elders (1Tim. 4:14), representing the body of Christ, passed on the gift of God to the one who is laid hands on through the union with him, as the ointment ran down to the members of the body from the head (See Ps. 133:2; James. 5:14-15).
“To stir up” it means that the gift needs to be exercised continually, as the flame needs to be stirred up continually. If the flame is not stirred up, it will become weaker and weaker gradually and quench finally; if the gift has not been exercised or used, it will be covered and become useless finally (See Matt. 25:25-30).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) All religions in the world have “demands” and do not have “provisions”. However, God whom we believe gives us the gift and then has the “demands” for works.
2) Our God never commits the work to one and does not give him the special gift.
3) God values the service of cooperation in the body (the church) and therefore the gift which is needed in the service is given through the laying on of the hands of the elders (See James. 5:14-15; Ps. 133:2).
4) We need to develop the gift that God has given us-----stirring it up; the undeveloped gift cannot fully handle the needs of works.
5) The coldness and fear in our hearts (See v.7) will influence us to use the gift and weaken the effect and power of the gift.
6) Only through the continuous exercise will the gift become more and more abundant, as the flame flourishes.
2Tim. 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
YLT: “for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind;”
Meaning of Words: “spirit” (it refers to the spirit of men); “power”: might, authority; “love” (agape); “a sound mind”: self-control, discipline, sober and calm, exercising oneself.
Literal Meaning: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear” “spirit” refers to the reborn spirit; the reborn spirit that we believers have received from God is not a spirit of cowardice and of fear but a spirit of power.
“But of power and of love and of a sound mind” “power” refers to the ability that makes one firm and it is specially related to our will; “love” refers to the perfect and unconditional love and it is specially related to our feelings; “a sound mind” indicates that one is able to be sober and calm and control himself and it is specially related to our minds.
The word “spirit” also refers to the reborn spirit in the original. In normal circumstances, the reborn spirit is able to influence our souls to make us have the will of power, the feelings of love and the sound minds.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) What Christians’ service should bring to men is not the cowardly fear but boldness. Christians should always have boldness and such boldness is gained by one’s clear knowledge of the presence of Christ constantly.
2) Our service is advanced by the spirit of power; the value of the service is maintained by the spirit of love and our service influences others by the spirit of a sound mind.
3) The spirit of power makes us have boldness to fight for the truth, the spirit of love makes us have burden to preach the gospel; the spirit of a sound mind makes us rely on God humbly in the service.
4) In the true life of Christians, there is the strong power making us still stand firm in difficult positions and sufferings and bear the intolerable works.
5) When serving the Lord in the church, what’s the most important thing is not the gift of words, or the will of power and boldness but a heart of loving brothers and the effects of love surpass that of others.
6) Love is the chief spiritual gift in the church (1Cor. 13:13). If a man has the spirit of “love”, he will be willing to sacrifice himself and love and help others in the church.
7) Those who cannot control themselves (i.e. those who do not have sound minds) cannot manage others. The Lord’s servants should learn self-control first and then they will be able to lead others.
2Tim. 1:8 “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,”
YLT: “therefore thou mayest not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but do thou suffer evil along with the good news according to the power of God,”
Literal Meaning: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” “the testimony of our Lord” refers to preaching the gospel for the Lord; “be ashamed” refers to fear and cowardice and therefore one fears to do something.
“Nor of me His prisoner” “of me His prisoner” means that one did not fear to identify with Paul because he was a prisoner; such attitude was the reason why Paul’s fellow-workers departed from him (See v.15).
“But…according to the power of God” the reverse side of “the power of God” is our natural power.
“Share with me in the sufferings for the gospel” “in the sufferings for the gospel” is in the sufferings for the gospel of the Lord Jesus, showing that the sufferings that we have suffered for the sake of the gospel proved that what we preached was the pure gospel because only the pure gospel will suffer persecution.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) In the society that the moral standard degenerates day by day and the condition that men despise and oppose the gospel more and more, not being ashamed of the testimony of our Lord is the basic prerequisite for one to still fulfill his duty.
2) God is faithful who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1Cor. 10:13) and He will give us power so that we should be able to bear the sufferings.
3) If any believer merely relies on his own power, it is quite difficult for him to bear sufferings. How many sufferings we could bear for the Lord depends on the power that God gives us.
4) The Lord’s grace is sufficient for us, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly we will rather boast in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon us (2Cor. 12:9).
5) Everyone who regards preaching the gospel as his own duty should prepare to meet sudden sufferings.
2Tim. 1:9 “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,”
YLT: “who did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages,”
Meaning of Words: “purpose”: the scheduled plan, plan, ambition.
Literal Meaning: “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling” the two words “have saved” and “called” are in the past tense in the original. “A holy calling” refers to the calling that one is separated to God. Here it shows that the salvation of God delivers us from the power of sin on one hand (Col. 1:13) and on the other calls us to lead a holy life (1Thess. 4:7).
“Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace” “purpose” refers to the purpose of God according to election (See Rom. 9:11). Salvation is merely by God’s grace instead of men’s works (Rom. 3:28; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).
“Which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” it means that God’s grace of salvation had been given to those whom He had chosen in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 1Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christians and non-Christians are different in nature because Christians are those who obey the holy calling of God and are willing to walk on the holy way.
2) Since we are not saved by our own efforts, the life and works after we have been saved should not be done by our own efforts but by the power of God (See v.8).
3) God’s salvation is not the occasional charity but the plan which was made by God before the foundation of the world. God is the one who deals with things carefully. He must have thought over all the sufferings that we will face to achieve His plan and He will never disregard us. And therefore we should not hesitate to rely on His grace and preparation.
2Tim. 1:10 “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,”
YLT: “and was made manifest now through the manifestation of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who indeed did abolish death, and did enlighten life and immortality through the good news,”
Meaning of Words: “abolish”: annul, make of no effect.
Literal Meaning: “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ” “the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ” refers to His incarnation and the works that He had accomplished among the world. “Has been revealed” indicates that God’s grace that is given to us in Christ Jesus (See v.9) could be seen, comprehended and received by us.
“Who has abolished death” indicates that He had annulled the power and sting of death through His death on the cross (See Heb. 2:14-15; 1Cor. 15:56-57) and finally He will clear up death completely (1Cor. 15:26).
“And brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” “through the gospel” refers to the benefits that are brought to believers through the gospel. “Life and immortality” the life refers to the life of God and he whoever believes and receives the gospel shall receive the life of God which will show the feature of immortality in believers.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The gospel that believers experience is the reason, power and source that we are able to suffer for the gospel.
2) If Christianity cannot change the life of men, it is not the true faith. The one who knows the gospel’s power of salvation has been changed by God and the pattern of change will be shown in his job, entertainment, family and personality.
3) The creature is in the bondage of corruption (See Rom. 8:21) and therefore it shall corrupt gradually. Concerning we who are in Christ, though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2Cor. 4:16) because there is “life and immortality” in us.
4) Satan’s greatest power upon men is to enslave men through the threat of death (Heb. 2:15), however, we believers dare not fear it (Matt. 10:28) because there is life and immortality in us.
2Tim. 1:11 “to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
YLT: “to which I was placed a preacher and an apostle, and a teacher of nations,”
Literal Meaning: “to which I was appointed a preacher” “a preacher” stresses on preaching and propagating the gospel.
“An apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” “an apostle” stresses on establishing the truth of the gospel and the foundation of the church (See Eph. 2:20); “a teacher” stresses on teaching the contents of the gospel.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) God’s servants should fully know the mission of their works------the contents and importance of the gospel (See v.9-10) and then they shall respect their positions.
2) Concerning our works in the Lord, one always holds two or three jobs at the same time: he plans and carries it out and does whatever the Lord has appointed him.
2Tim. 1:12 “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.”
YLT: “for which cause also these things I suffer, but I am not ashamed, for I have known in whom I have believed, and have been persuaded that he is able that which I have committed to him to guard -- to that day.”
Meaning of Words: “am persuaded”: trust, obey, rely on; “keep”: guard, protect; “commit”: deposit, leave with.
Literal Meaning: “For this reason I also suffer these things;” “these things” probably refers to the sufferings that he suffered in prison.
“Nevertheless I am not ashamed” Paul was not ashamed in sufferings because he knew that: 1) the reason for sufferings------for this reason; 2) the way out of the sufferings------he knew whom he had believed; 3) the ending of the sufferings------he was persuaded that He is able to keep until that Day.
“For I know whom I have believed” it means that He is the power of us when we are in the sufferings (See v.8) which makes us be able to bear them.
“And am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him” “what I have committed to Him” could be translated into “what He had committed to me”. Such two interpretations are supported by Bible scholars respectively and the two sides are well-matched. The two interpretations are reasonable and therefore it may hold the two meanings at the same time. On one hand, God has committed the mission of preaching the gospel and the gift to fulfill the duty to Paul and on the other, when Paul was fulfilling his duty, he had committed his life and work to God for management and look unto God’s keeping and blessing continually.
“Until that Day” “that Day” refers to the appearing of the Savior Jesus Christ (See v.10), i.e. the day we meet the Lord (See 4:8).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Since God has committed the great responsibility to His servants, He shall be responsible for the gospel and those who preach the gospel as long as men are willing to commit the gospel and themselves to God.
2) God will provide us all the needs of the works according to the works that He has committed to us so that we could accomplish the work.
2Tim. 1:13 “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
YLT: “The pattern hold thou of sound words, which from me thou didst hear, in faith and love that [is] in Christ Jesus;”
Meaning of Words: “sound”: healthy; “pattern”: standard, norm, paragon, model, example, form, sketch; “hold”: take, cling to.
Literal Meaning: “the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me” “pattern” in the original means the sketch which men could rely on and still could be developed. And therefore here Paul should not mention the tone and way of his teaching, or the dull letter but that men could deduce the essential points and standards of the truth that he had taught and could not change them presumptuously.
“Hold fast…in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” faith should be absorbed and digested by faith (See Heb. 4:2) and be kept and obeyed by love (Deut. 11:22; John. 14:24). And the true faith and love are in Christ (Col. 1:4; John. 15:9-10).
“Fast” refers to not relaxing for a minute; “hold” refers to not making a concession in the quality.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If the words that we hear are not sound, sometimes they will have negative influence on our faith and spiritual life and therefore we should prove all things (1Thess. 5:20-21) and judge.
2) If we are hearers of the word and not doers, even the sound words are useless to us (See James. 1:22-24). Please remember that we should do the word of the Lord (Matt. 7:24-25).
3) The way to guard sound words is not merely defending the truth by word and we’d better put the truth into practice by faith and love.
2Tim. 1:14 “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”
YLT: “the good thing committed guard thou through the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in us;”
Literal Meaning: “That good thing which was committed to you” “good thing” refers to the truth of the gospel (See 1Tim. 2:4; 4:6).
“Keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” “the Holy Spirit” refers to the power of the Holy Spirit; the indwelling Spirit transforms the objective truth into our subjective experience (See 2Thess. 2:13; John. 16:13).
“Keep” means keeping firmly so that it is invulnerable.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Holy Spirit not only leads us to understand the truth but also gives us power so that we shall be able to keep the truth.
2) All truth is related to the Holy Spirit; the truth is only the letter without the Holy Spirit (See 2Cor. 3:6).
2Tim. 1:15 “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”
YLT: “thou hast known this, that they did turn from me -- all those in Asia, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes;”
The Background: Asia was one province in the Roman Empire at that time and its capital town was Ephesus (See Rev. 1:4; 11). It is said that Paul was arrested again and sent to the Roman prison when he was on the way to Ephesus to meet Timothy in the province of Asia (See 1Tim. 1:3; 3:14; 4:13).
Literal Meaning: “all those in Asia have turned away from me” when Paul was arrested and tried again, not a few believers were afraid of being involved and did not dare to identify with him publicly as they had turned away from him. “All those in Asia” should refer to believers in Asia who were around Paul when he was arrested and tried instead of all believers in Asia. “Having turned away from me” should indicate that they did not dare to bear witness for him publicly instead of rejecting the faith.
“This you know” Timothy was not present when Paul was arrested and he heard of it after the event.
“Among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” their names were only recorded here. Probably they were leaders in the churches in Asia and Paul held out ardent hope towards them and as a result they disappointed him. Probably they were common Christians, however, they were specially mentioned for their extremely bad behavior.
2Tim. 1:16 “The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain;
17but when he arrived in Rome, he”
YLT: “may the Lord give kindness to the house of Onesiphorus, because many times he did refresh me, and of my chain was not ashamed,”
Literal Meaning: “The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus” “Onesiphorus” may be a man in Ephesus in the province of Asia and his whole family resided in Ephesus when Paul wrote this epistle (See 4:19).
2Tim. 1:17 “sought me out very zealously and found me.”
YLT: “but being in Rome, very diligently he sought me, and found;”
Literal Meaning: the word in this verse shows that Paul was strictly supervised when he was in prison for the second time in Rome and he was not as free as the first time (See Acts. 28:30-31).
2Tim. 1:18 “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.”
YLT: “may the Lord give to him to find kindness from the Lord in that day; and how many things in Ephesus he did minister thou dost very well know.”
Literal Meaning: “The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day” Some Bible exegetes held that this sentence showed that when Paul wrote this epistle, Onesiphorus was not alive, however, it is the groundless association. All our works today are related to the Lord’s judge and reward in that Day (See Rom. 2:6-10).
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Key that Those Who Serve the Lord Do not Faint
I. Stirring up the gift (v.6).
II. Using the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind instead of the spirit of fear (v.7).
III. Always according to the power of God (v.8).
IV. Relying on God who is able to keep (v.12).
V. Keeping by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (v.14).
The Features of the Gospel
I. The gospel has “the power of God” (v.8; See Rom. 1:16).
II. The gospel makes “God save us” (v.9a).
III. The gospel “calls us” to turn to God (v.9b).
IV. The gospel is given to us “according to His own purpose” (v.9b).
V. The gospel is given to us in Christ according to His “grace” (v.9c).
VI. The gospel makes men see “the Savior Jesus Christ” (v.10a).
VII. The gospel brings “life and immortality” to light (v.10b).
VIII. The gospel makes men serve God (v.11).
Christians’ Solid Foundation------Three Commissions
I. I commit to God------“what I have committed to Him” (v.12).
II. God commit to me------what He had committed to me (v.13).
III. The commission of good thing------“good thing which was committed” (v.14).
How to Keep the Sound Words
I. Commit and rely on God is able to keep (v.12).
II. In faith and love which are in Christ Jesus (v.13).
III. By the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (v.14).
IV. Be faithful unswervingly and not turn away (v.15).
V. Learn from the good example of faithfulness (v.16-18).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren