2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus,

(a) Paul. The Apostle Paul wrote three pastoral letters. The first two were sent to Timothy and the third was sent to Titus. These letters were probably written from a Roman prison around A.D. 64.

(b) An apostle; see entry for 1 Cor. 1:1.

(c) By the will of God. Paul was called into apostolic ministry by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2).

(d) Life in Christ Jesus. Abundant, divine life is one of the many blessings we receive as a result of being in union with Christ. See entry for Philemon 1:6.

2 Timothy 1:2

To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

(a) Timothy. Paul met Timothy on his second visit to Lystra (Acts 16:1). On his first visit to Lystra, Paul had been stoned to death and raised from the dead (Acts 14:19-20). Perhaps the young Timothy had witnessed this and became a believer as a result. By the time Paul returned to Lystra a second time, Timothy had matured into a well-regarded Christian. Paul asked Timothy to join him and Silas on their travels (Acts 16:2-3).

Paul mentored Timothy and the young man took an active role in the planting and strengthening of churches. When Paul left Asia to travel to Macedonia, he left Timothy in charge of the church he had planted at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3). Later Paul wrote to him with instructions on how to deal with the sorts of issues that pastors face, such as how to deal with false teachers and appoint church leaders.

(b) My beloved. See entry for Rom. 1:7.

(c) Son. Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy (Php. 2:22).

(d) Grace, mercy and peace. The apostle of grace began all of his letters with this gracious salutation. See entry for Rom. 1:7.

(e) Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul introduces the Lord Jesus Christ at the start of all his letters, and he encourages his readers to confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9, Php. 2:12). True preachers reveal Jesus as Lord of all.

Jesus is not merely a teacher or historical figure. He is the exalted Son of God and his Name is above all names (Php. 2:9). Before the cross, Jesus was known as the Christ or anointed one. But after the cross, Jesus is the Lord or kyrios or “the One who is supreme above all.”

2 Timothy 1:3

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day,

(a) A clear conscience is one that is yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit. See entry for Conscience.

(b) Forefathers. The Old Testament Jews who served the Lord under the old law covenant.

2 Timothy 1:5

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

Sincere faith. A sincere and unfeigned faith is a faith that is grounded in the righteousness of Christ.

2 Timothy 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 granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

(a) Who has saved us. Elsewhere Paul writes of the hope of salvation (1 Th. 5:8) and the hope of eternal life (Tit. 1:2, 3:7), as though our salvation wasn’t a done deal. But since this hope is based on the unbreakable promises of God, Paul can also speak of our salvation in the past tense, as he does here. If God has saved you, you are well and truly saved.

(b) Not according to our works. Since we are not saved on account of our good works (Rom. 11:6, 2 Tim: 1:9), we cannot be unsaved on account of our bad works.

(c) His own purpose and grace. We stand wholly on the grace of God. Everything we need for life and godliness, including salvation, acceptance, and sanctification, comes freely to us through our knowledge of Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3, 2 Pet. 1:3). This is why it is essential that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, for there is no other name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12).

(d) In Christ Jesus; see entry for 2 Tim. 2:1.

2 Timothy 1:10

but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

(a) Abolished death. First Adam introduced death; Last Adam abolished death (Rom. 5:12, 6:9).

(b) Brought life. Two kinds of life are described in the Bible; the psuche- or soul life we inherited from Adam and the zoe- or spirit life that comes from God (John 5:26). It’s the second kind of life that is described here. See entry for New Life.

(c) Light through the gospel. Jesus is the Light of the world that shines through the gospel. See entry for John 9:5.

(d) The gospel; see entry for The Gospel.

2 Timothy 1:13

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

(a) Faith and love. It’s the unfailing love of God that inspires us to trust him (see entry for 1 John 4:16). Since the love of God is revealed in Jesus Christ (John 17:26), both faith and love are found in Christ Jesus. Faith comes from hearing the good news of Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:17).

(b) In Christ Jesus. The grace, faith, and love of our Lord are found in Christ Jesus, which is to say they are experienced in our union with the Lord. See entry for Union.

2 Timothy 1:14

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

(a) The Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Your body is the holy residence of the Holy Spirit (see entry for 1 Cor. 6:19).

(b) The treasure we guard is the revelation of grace. In Timothy’s case, it was the message he had heard from Paul (see previous verse). If we fail to guard this treasure, there is a danger we will stray from the faith (1 Tim. 6:21).

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