2 Timothy 1

Preparation for Service
2 Timothy 1
2 Timothy 1. He encourages Timothy in those things that the ruin cannot touch.

Salutation (1:1-2)

1 Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will, according to promise of life, the life which is in Christ Jesus, v.1 Writer. Paul refers to himself as “Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will”, which shows that even though it was a personal, pastoral letter addressed to Timothy, the warnings and instructions herein are applicable to all believers, at all times. Paul’s apostolic authority became more important, not less, with the decline of the church’s moral condition. Nor did Paul’s close relationship with Timothy enfeeble Paul’s authority. In the first epistle it was “by the commandment of God” but here “by the will of God”. It is a deeper and more general commission (see “word” and “commandments” in John 14). In the same vein, as the failure of the Church had become more evident from the first to the second epistle, Paul reaches further back even than the beginning of the Church; i.e. to “promise of life, the life which is in Christ Jesus”. This is something the ruin of the Christian cannot touch. We have a life – the life of Christ – that is able to stand up against the the circumstances around us, no matter how difficult they may be. In Titus 1:2 we read about when that promise was made; “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began“. It would indicate that the Father, who always enjoyed eternal life, made a promise to the Son before the world was made that He would share that life with others; i.e. bring intelligent beings into that circle of fellowship (see John 17:2). It was the effect of Paul’s apostleship to bring souls into the fellowship of eternal life. Paul, in His last inspired epistle, directs the saints into the ministry of the Apostle John, who takes up this very line of doctrine (1 John 5:4-5, 11-12). It is a life we have now, but will enter its fullness in heaven. If there is anything real in this day of ruin, it is the life of Christ in the believer.
This is held out to Timothy for his encouragement.
2 to Timotheus, my beloved child: grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. v.2 Recipient. Just as Peter had a spiritual son (John Mark, 1 Pet. 5:13), so Paul also had a son; “Timotheus, my beloved child”. The highest relationships are not natural ones, but spiritual. Paul prays for “grace, mercy, peace” for Timothy; things he would need to carry on in a difficult day. We too, if we are going to remain faithful in a day of declension, will need “grace” or enabling power, “mercy” or compassion in light of human weakness (only added in Paul’s letters when an epistle is addressed to an individual, because the saints collectively are never looked at as an object of mercy, but of grace), and “peace” which refers to settled peace in the soul in the midst of difficulties, “from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord”. The Christian’s relationship to God as Father, and to Christ as Lord, are emphasized. 

Unfeigned Faith (1:3-5)

3 I am thankful to God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, how unceasingly I have the remembrance of thee in my supplications night and day, v.3 Thankfulness and Prayers for Timothy. Paul was thankful to God for Timothy, and Paul made supplication “night and day” for Timothy, and at those times he was filled with thanksgiving at the very thought of Timothy. Paul could speak about God as Him “whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience”. A purged conscience has to do with a path of consistent and faithful conduct. Perhaps Paul was setting himself forward as an example to Timothy in this. Paul mentions his forefathers in advance of Timothy’s mother and grandmother (v.5). Paul’s forefathers were generations of Jews who maintained an outwardly righteous conduct (Phil. 3:6; Acts 24:16), although not necessarily personal “unfeigned” faith as with Lois and Eunice.
4 earnestly desiring to see thee, remembering thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; v.4 Timothy’s Tears, Paul’s Joy. Paul earnestly desired to see Timothy, not only because he missed his son, but because he remembered Timothy’s “tears”. Whether Timothy was present at the time of Paul’s arrest, or whether he heard about it second-hand, it would appear that Timothy was filled with deep sorrow. It meant a lot to Paul that Timothy loved him so much, and when they were reunited, Paul would be “filled with joy”. Timothy had a compassionate heart (Phil. 2:20), and he was attached to Paul. This is an important prerequisite for service. It is very possible that Timothy’s tears were in connection with the state of the church in Asia, similar to how the Lord wept over Jerusalem.
5 calling to mind the unfeigned faith which has been in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also. v.5 Unfeigned Faith. When Paul thought about Timothy, his “unfeigned faith” came to mind. This faith is a deep, personal confidence in God. Timothy was what we would call “a real Christian”. There was no hypocrisy about him. He was genuine. What a precious quality to be found in him, and in every servant of God! Paul remarked that the “unfeigned faith” that was in Timothy resided “first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice”. Timothy was from a family of godly women, who had real faith in God, albeit they were Jews by ethnicity. We find in Acts 16:3 that Timothy’s father was a Greek, and he is entirely passed over here. It would seem that Timothy’s father did not have unfeigned faith, but that did not stop his mother and grandmother from raising Timothy as a godly young man, established in the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15). How wonderful that Timothy’s mother was able to overcome the difficulties of a marriage to a Greek! What a great provision also for Timothy, to be raised in a home with a mother and grandmother who taught him the Word of God.

Courage in the Face of Opposition (1:6-12)

6 For which cause I put thee in mind to rekindle the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of wise discretion. 8 Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but suffer evil along with the glad tidings, according to the power of God; 9 who has saved us, and has 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 the ages of time, 10 but has been made manifest now by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has annulled death, and brought to light life and incorruptibility by the glad tidings; 11 to which “I” have been appointed a herald and apostle and teacher of the nations. 12 For which cause also I suffer these things; but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep for that day the deposit I have entrusted to him.

Keeping Sound Doctrine, When Others are Giving Up (1:13-14)

13 Have an outline of sound words, which words thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. v.13 Have you ever noticed that it is a little harder to make an outline of John’s ministry? Paul’s ministry “which thou has heard of me” is particularly suited to making an outline. That said, we should still have an outline of all scripture.
14 Keep, by the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, the good deposit entrusted.
15 Thou knowest this, that all who are in Asia, of whom is Phygellus and Hermogenes, have turned away from me. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he has often refreshed me, and has not been ashamed of my chain; 17 but being in Rome sought me out very diligently, and found me18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord in that day — and how much service he rendered in Ephesus “thou” knowest best. 
Things Timothy had going for him:
  • He had eternal life (v.1)
  • A spiritual father in Paul (v.2)
  • A good example – Paul’s purged conscience (v.3)
  • A prayer-warrior on his side (v.3)
  • A compassionate heart (v.4)
  • unfeigned faith (v.5)
  • A godly mother and grandmother (v.5)
  • A spiritual gift (v.6)