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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

2 Timothy 1

 

 

Verses 1-18

2 Timothy 1:1. Paul — according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. On this promise of eternal life the whole system of revelation is built; for this cause Paul was made an apostle, that he might preach this hope to a benighted world. This eternal life, now confirmed by Christ, was promised from the foundation of the world. Genesis 17:7. Leviticus 18:5. Deuteronomy 31:16. — When Moses pressed the observance of the law, he added, It is not a vain (or light) thing for you, “because it is your life;” and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land. Deuteronomy 32:47. Here is a double promise of temporal life in the land, and of eternal life, in the world to come.

2 Timothy 1:2. To Timothy, my dearly beloved son. Children are more especially endeared to a father when he is about to die, and such was now the situation of Paul the aged, looking forward to martyrdom. Grace, or the favour of God, is first implored, as the source of all other good. Mercy, which is a modification of grace, to preserve the life of Timothy amid the dangers of the present world, and to commiserate him under all his trials. And peace from God, as a reconciled Father, the result of grace and mercy, and the earnest of eternal rest.

2 Timothy 1:3-5. I thank God — that I have remembrance of thee in my prayers. Nothing can be more paternal than this address, nothing more pertinent, more impressive, or better calculated to encourage Timothy to persevere in the work of the Lord. He had an interest in the apostle’s affections which perhaps no other individual possessed, and it must have afforded him great satisfaction to know it; nothing is more desirable than the esteem of eminently holy men, next to the lovingkindness of the Lord.

2 Timothy 1:6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee, from the putting on of my hands. This is repeated from the first epistle: 1 Timothy 4:14. By the repeating of this reference, we gather that the ordination of Timothy was a memorable occasion; that the heavens had been open to prayer, and that the Spirit of power and love had been largely poured out, as an encouraging token of the glory that would attend the consecration of this young man to the Lord.

2 Timothy 1:8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner. To justify a man condemned, is to arraign the justice by which he received his sentence. If Paul were involved in the popular fury which then raged against the innocent, it was the more a duty to honour in a most decided manner the character of him who had uniformly been a confessor, and finally became a martyr for the truth. — See the introduction to this epistle.

2 Timothy 1:9. Who hath saved us and called us. Christ saves his people from the guilt and punishment of sin by being made sin for us, thus covering us with his arm, and braving the thunderbolts of justice levelled against us. And having procured for us a plenitude of salvation, and of eternal glory, he has called us according to his own purpose and grace. See on Ephesians 1:4. Titus 1:2.

2 Timothy 1:10. Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. By becoming a sacrifice for sin, he has abolished death, which is the wages of sin, so that it is no longer a penal sentence against them that believe. He has therefore said, Oh death, I will be thy plague. Oh grave, I will be thy destruction. By consequence, he has illustrated and demonstrated, by the light of the gospel, and by his own resurrection, the promise of eternal life. The temporal promises under the law were figures of spiritual and eternal felicity. St. Paul also has affirmed, that godliness has the promise of present and of eternal life. 1 Timothy 4:8. The heathen world, wide as the wandering tribes of the earth, took with them those ideas of a future state. The poor Indian hopes that his dog shall accompany him there in the chase. But the learned among the heathen had chaster ideas. “The souls of all men,” says Cicero, “are indeed immortal; but the good and the virtuous are divine.” Omnium quidem animi immortales sunt, sed fortium bonorumque divini. — De Legibus. They are made partakers of the divine nature.

Cyrus, as quoted on Ezra 6:10, spake to his sons in his last sickness very explicitly on this subject, as is reported by Xenophon, whose works are now before me. By consequence, the Saviour has given us what we wanted, — demonstration of a future world. “Handle me,” said he to his disciples, “for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.

2 Timothy 1:12. I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day; the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13. Here is the full assurance of faith; yea, of hope unto the end. Paul rested his own salvation on the doctrine he taught to others. He had no fear of falling away when he saw the sword unsheathed, or the axe laid on the block to strike off his head. He trusted in the power of Christ to keep him, not indeed forgetting his former triumph, for he had long been persuaded that nothing should be able to separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.

But how shall the Lord Jesus be able to keep the souls of all his people, and to guard their everlasting interests, if there lurk in any part of the universe an insidious adversary of which he is not cognizant, and whose machinations he is not competent to defeat? How keep them, unless his power and dominion be absolute and illimitable, extending over every thought and every action that might be hostile, and unless he has the superintendence of all worlds, with ability to controul all possible contingencies and events? How be persuaded that he is able to keep until the great day, the souls committed to his care, unless we are equally persuaded, not only of his infinite ability, but of his faithfulness to the trust reposed, that his promises like himself are all immutable, and his love without the shadow of a change. If he be not God over all, and blessed for ever, neither Paul nor any other saint could exercise unlimited confidence, in committing their immortal interests into the hands of their Redeemer. But the divinity of our Lord is everywhere implied, where it is not directly stated, and lies at the foundation of the entire system of redemption.

2 Timothy 1:13-14. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me. Let them be treasured up in thy heart, and recited in thy sermons. Let them be repeated in conversation, and transmitted to all the new and rising churches. Keep them with all other truths that have been committed to thee by the Holy Ghost.

2 Timothy 1:16. The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, that is, his children and family, for the father was probably resident in some other city. Grateful recollections! He often refreshed me with food and lodging. At the risk of his life he opened his door for me in Iconium, and sought me out diligently in Rome. The Lord grant that he may find mercy in that day, the rewards of righteousness, which in our scriptures are not reckoned as debts, but as the gifts of a Father’s love.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/2-timothy-1.html. 1835.

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