1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, a according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
(a) Sent of God to preach that life which he promised in Christ Jesus. 1:3 1 I thank God, whom I serve from [my] b forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
(1) The purpose that he aims at in this epistle is to confirm Timothy to continue constantly and bravely even to the end. And he sets first before him the great good will he has for him, and then reckons up the excellent gifts which God would as it were have to be in Timothy by inheritance, and his ancestors, which might so much the more make him bound to God. 1:6 2 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou c stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
(b) From Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for he speaks not of Pharisaism, but of Christianity.
(2) He urges us to set the invincible power of the Spirit which God has given us, against those storms which may, and do come upon us. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of d fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(c) The gift of God is as it were a certain living flame kindled in our hearts, which the flesh and the devil go about to put out: and therefore we as their opponents must labour as much as we can to foster and keep it burning.
(d) To pierce us through, and terrify us, as men whom the Lord will destroy. 1:8 3 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me e his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the f gospel according to the g power of God;
(3) He proves that the ignominy or shame of the cross is not to be ashamed of, and also that it is glorious and most honourable: first, because the Gospel for which the godly are afflicted is the testimony of Christ: and secondly because at length the great virtue and power of God appears in them. 1:9 4 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 h given us in Christ Jesus i before the world began,
(e) For his sake.
(f) This Gospel is said to be in a way afflicted in those that preach it.
(g) Through the power of God.
(4) He shows with how great benefits God has bound us to maintain boldly and constantly his glory which is joined with our salvation, and reckons up the causes of our salvation, that is, that free and eternal purpose of God, to save us in Christ who was to come. And by this it would come to pass, that we would at length be freely called by God through the preaching of the Gospel, to Christ the destroyer of death and author of immortality. 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to k light through the gospel:
(h) He says that that grace was given to us from everlasting, to which we were predestinated from everlasting. So that the doctrine of foreseen faith and foreseen works is completely contrary to the doctrine which preaches and teaches the grace of God.
(i) Before the beginning of years, which has run on ever since the beginning of the world.
(k) Has caused life and immortality to appear. 1:11 5 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
(5) That is, the Gospel which the apostle preached. 1:12 6 For the which cause I also suffer these things: 7 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.
(6) He confirms his apostleship by a strange argument, that is, because the world could not abide it, and therefore it persecuted him that preached it. (7) By setting his own example before us, he shows us how it may be, that we will not be ashamed of the cross of Christ, that is, if we are sure that God both can and will keep the salvation which he has as it were laid up in store by himself for us against that day. 1:13 8 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(8) He shows in what he ought to be most constant, that is, both in the doctrine itself, the essential parts of which are faith and charity, and next in the manner of teaching it, a living pattern and shape of which Timothy knew in the apostle. 1:14 9 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep 10 by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
(9) An amplification, taken from the dignity of so great a benefit committed to the ministers. 1:15 11 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
(10) The taking away of an objection. It is a hard thing to do it, but the Spirit of God is mighty, who has inwardly endued us with his power.
(11) He prevents an offence which arose by the means of certain ones that fell from God and the faith, and utters also their names that they might be known by all men. But he sets against them the singular faith of one man, that one good example alone might counterbalance and weigh down all evil examples.