I. THE APOSTLE'S AFFECTIONATE INTEREST IN HIS YOUNG DISCIPLE. "I give thanks to God, whom I serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, as unceasing is the remembrance I have of thee in my prayers night and day; greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy."
1. The apostle begins all Epistles with the language of thanksgiving. God is the Object of thanksgiving, both as God of nature and as God of grace, and there is no blessing we have received that ought not to be thankfully acknowledged.
2. It is allowable for a good man to take pleasure in the thought of a consistently conscientious career. His service of God was according to the principles and feelings he inherited from his ancestors "in a pure conscience" (Acts 23:1; Acts 24:14).
3. Ministers ought to be much engaged in prayer for one another so as to strengthen each other's hands.
4. The thought of approaching death makes us long to see the friends who have been most endeared to us in life.
(1) The apostle remembered Timothy's sorrow at their last parting.
(2) Though he had commanded him before to stay at Ephesus, he now desired to see him, because he was alone in prison, with Luke as his only companion.
(3) The sight of Timothy in Rome would fill him with joy beyond that imparted by all the other friends and companions of his apostolic life.
II. THE APOSTLE'S THANKSGIVING FOR TIMOTHY'S FAITH. "Being put in remembrance of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that also in thee."
1. The quality of this faith. "Unfeigned." Timothy was "an Israelite indeed," who believed with the heart unto righteousness, his faith working by love to God and man, and accompanied by good works.
2. its permanent character. "It dwelt in him." Faith is an abiding grace; Christ, who is its Author, is also its Finisher; and salvation is inseparably connected with it.
3. The subjects of this faith. "First in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice."
(1) Lois was his grandmother by the mother's side, for his father was a Greek; and Eunice, his mother, was probably converted at Lystra, at no great distance from Tarsus, the native city of the apostle (Acts 16:1; Acts 14:6).
(a) It is pleasant to see faith transmitted through three generations. It is sin, and not grace, that is easily transmitted by blood. But when we are "born, not of blood, but of God," we have reason to be thankful, like the apostle, for such a display of rich family mercy.
(b) We see here the advantages of a pious education, for it was from the persons named he obtained in his youth that knowledge of the Scriptures which made him wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15).
(c) How often Christian mothers have given remarkable sons to the ministry of God's Church! (Augustine and Monica.)
(2) Timothy was himself a subject of this faith. He did not break off the happy continuity of grace in his family, but worthily perpetuated the best type of ancestral piety. - T.C.
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience.
Fifty years ago, when a poor black man of Jamaica wishing to go to Africa to tell the glad tidings of salvation, was told that, among other difficulties, he might be a slave again, he replied, "If I have been a slave for man, I can be a slave for God'."
At the battle of Crecy, in 1346, when King Edward III. of England defeated Philip, King of France, the Black Prince led a portion of the attack. Thinking himself very hotly pressed in the midst of the combat, he sent word to his father to send him some reinforcements at once, or he would be flanked by the enemy. The king, who had been watching the pro gress of the fight from a neighbouring hill-top, sent down word as follows: "Tell my son, the Black Prince, that I am too good a general not to know when he needs help, and too kind a father not to send it when I see the need of doing so." The historian tells us that, reassured by this promise, the Black Prince fought nobly, and put the motto Ich Dien
, "I serve," upon his crest, which is on the Prince of Wales's escutcheon to this day.
After the completion of his great picture of "The Last Judgment" for the altar of the Sistine Chapel (which had occupied him eight years), Michael Angelo devoted him self to the perfection of St. Peter's, of which he planned and built, the dome, He refused all remuneration for his labours, saying he regarded his services as being rendered to the glory of God.
My desire is that God may be pleased by me and glorified in me, not only by my praying and preaching and almsgiving, but even by my eating, drinking, and sleeping, and visits, and discourses; that I may do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving glory to God by Him. Too often do I take a wrong aim and miss my mark; but I will tell you what are the rules I set myself and strictly impose upon myself from day to day: Never to lie down but in the name of God, not barely for natural refreshment, but that a wearied servant of Christ may be recruited and fitted to serve Him better the next day; never to rise up but with this resolution- well, I will go forth this day in the name of God, and will make my religion my business, and spend the day for eternity; never to enter upon my calling but first thinking I will do these things as unto God, because He requireth these things at my hands, in the place and station to which He hath appointed me; never to sit down to table but resolving I will not eat merely to please my appetite, but to strengthen myself for my Master's work; never to make a visit but upon some holy design, resolving to leave something of God wherever I go. This is that which I have been for some time learning and hard pressing after, and if I strive not to walk by these rules, let this paper be a witness against me.
It is said of the Lacedoemonians, who were a poor and homely people, that they offered lean sacrifices to their gods; and that the Athenians, who were a wise and wealthy people, offered fat and costly sacrifices; and yet in their wars the former always had the mastery of the latter. Whereupon they went to the Oracle to know the reason why those should speed worst who gave most. The Oracle returned this answer to them: "That the Laccdcemonians were a people who gave their hearts
to their gods, but that the Athenians only gave their gifts
to their gods." Thus a heart without a gift is better than a gilt without a heart.
The observation of is founded on too much truth: "There is often a vast difference between the face of the work and the heart of The workman."
And to serve God, is it laborious? We must then be of good courage, gather strength, and quit us like men. He that hath a hard task will proportion his power according to the toil. The longer the ground hath lain fallow, the stronger must be the team to tear it asunder; and the farther we take a journey, the more pence must we put in our purse; so the more difficult this duty is, the more must we look about us, arm ourselves, and be prepared for the well performance of it. And for the better discharge thereof we must labour for two things: the one is knowledge, the other strength. For these are absolutely necessary for the doing of any action, the one to direct us, the other to enable us in this duty.
With pure conscience
And will not a pure conscience adorn our profession, give a comely gloss to our conversation? Red, purple, and scarlet add no more gloss to a piece of fine cloth than this purity doth to the life of a Christian.
Conscience is the judgment which we pronounce on our own conduct by putting ourselves in the place of a bystander.
Conscience imparts a double or joint knowledge: one of a Divine law or rule, and the other of a man's own action.
I am, I know, I can, I will, I ought — such are the successive steps by which we ascend to the lofty platform from which conscience looks out upon human life.
Conscience is a dainty, delicate creature, a rare piece of workmanship of the Maker. Keep it whole without a crack, for if there be but one hole so that it break, it will with difficulty mend again.
The Christian can never lind a "more faithful adviser, a more active accuser, a severer witness, a more impartial judge, a sweeter comforter, or a more inexorable enemy."
Trust that man in nothing who has not a conscience in everything.
Conscience makes cowards of us; but conscience makes saints and heroes too.
Hurt not your conscience with any known sin.
In the famous trial of Warren Hastings it was recorded that when he was put on his trial in so magnificent a manner in Westminster Hall, after the counsel for the prosecution, Burke, Sheridan, and others had delivered their eloquent speeches, he began to think he must be the greatest criminal on the face of the earth; but he related that when he turned to his own conscience the effect of all those grand speeches was as nothing. "I felt," he said, "that I had done my duty, and that they may say what they please."
Hugh Miller speaks of the mason with whom he served his apprenticeship as one who "put his conscience into every stone that he laid."
Lord Erskine, when at the Bar, was remarkable for the fearlessness with which he contended against the Bench. In a contest he had with Lord Kenyon he explained the rule and conduct at the Bar in the following terms: "It was," said he, "the first command and counsel of my youth always to do what my conscience told me to be my duty, and leave the consequences to God. I have hitherto followed it, and have no reason to complain that any obedience to it has been even a temporal sacrifice; I have found it, on the contrary, the road to prosperity and wealth, and I shall point it out as such to my children."
Without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and
These unstudied words tell us something of the inner life of such an one as St. Paul, how ceaselessly, unweariedly he prayed, night as well as day.
THE SIGNS OF THE DELIGHT AND SATISFACTION WHICH THE APOSTLE TOOK IN TIMOTHY, AS RECORDED IN THE TEXT. St. Paul prays for Timothy with satisfaction, uniting thanks with his prayers (ver. 3). This proves what a well-grounded satisfaction the apostle felt in Timothy. The. delight and satisfaction which the apostle took in Timothy are also evinced in his strong desire to see him (ver. 4). We cannot be surprised that the apostle craved the presence of Timothy. He was now a solitary old man, and a prisoner. Of his disciples and fellow-labourers, Titus was gone unto Dalmatia, Tychicus he had sent to Ephesus, Trophimus was sick at Miletus, Mark was absent, and only Luke remained with him. Besides, ingratitude and desertion had sorely tried his affectionate spirit: Alexander the coppersmith had done him much evil; Demas had forsaken him and the faith together; and when first brought up for trial before the imperial tribunal, none of the disciples had stood by him to cheer and second him. To Timothy, therefore, and to the remembrance of his pious and unfailing affection, the apostle clung very closely; and his presence he desired as his greatest earthly solace and support. The delight and satisfaction which the apostle took in Timothy he also testified by expressing his confidence in his Christian character, but especially in his faith, the root of all which is Christian in the character of any one (ver. 5). St. Paul knew him well. During fourteen or fifteen years had this friendship endured, and many were the trials to which ii had been put — trials of the constancy of Timothy's affection, trials of the integrity of his principles. But Paul had found no decline in his affection, no instability in his Christian principles; he therefore trusted him unfeignedly.
II. THE CAUSES OF THAT DELIGHT AND SATISFACTION.
1. As the great cause, the first cause, the mover and originator of all secondary and inferior causes, St. Paul thanks God for the gifts and graces with which He had enriched Timothy.
2. But God works by means. The means which He employed, the causes to which as to instruments we must look in creating in Timothy such a trustworthy and reliable Christian character, were these three — maternal piety, early biblical education, and the ministry of the apostle.
I remember visiting a friend on his death-bed, who, besides being engaged in a life of business, had devoted a great amount of time and labour and thought to the benefit of his fellow-creatures. Visiting him on one occasion, he made to me this remark: "I pray but very little for myself now. It seems to me that the battle is fought and the prize is in view, and my devotions with regard to myself are not so much prayer as thanksgiving. I praise God many an hour during the wakeful night. But do not suppose I do not pray. I believe I pray more than ever I did in my life, because now I have more time to pray for my fellow-men and for the nations of the world." He went on to describe how each day, and certain parts of every day, were devoted by him as he lay there gradually sinking to his rest to prayer for those in whom he felt a special interest, and also for those whom he had never seen.
The Rev. I. F. Oberlin reserved stated hours for private prayer, which became known to the people; and it was usual for carters and labourers returning from the fields with talk and laughter to uncover their heads as they passed beneath the wails of his house. If the children ran by too noisily, these working people would check them with uplifted finger, and say, "Hush! he is praying for us."
Remembrance hath in it four things — apprehension, reposition, retention, and production. A notion or thing is by the external or internal sense presented to the eye of reason; she perceives it, that's apprehension; then it is committed unto memory as a place of conservation, that's reposition; afterwards kept there in safety, that's retention; and lastly, when occasion is given, it is called out again, and that's production. A man takes a shalt in his hand, puts it in his quiver, retains it there for a time, and, when he would recreate himself, pulls it forth again, this is a plain emblem of remembrance.
This argueth that the love of many, as Lot said of Zoar, is but a little one. So weak a spring can have no deep fountain; so small branches no great virtue in the root; and so feeble a flame no abundance of fuel; for causes produce effects proportionable to their internal power, do they not? Try, then, as the truth, so the measure of thine own and thy friends' affection by the outward effects. He that loves much will declare it by many prayers and sundry actions.
TopicsCeasing, Clear, Conscience, Constantly, Fathers, Forefathers, Free, Heart, Memory, Petitions, Praise, Prayers, Progenitors, Pure, Remember, Remembrance, Servant, Serve, Sin, Supplications, Thank, Thankful, Unceasing, Unceasingly
Outline1. Paul's love to Timothy, and unfeigned confidence in Timothy himself, his mother, and grandmother.6. He is exhorted to stir up the gift of God which was in him;8. to be steadfast and patient in persecution;13. and to persist in the form and truth of that doctrine which he had learned of him.15. Phygellus and Hermogenes, and such like, are noted, and Onesiphorus is highly commended.
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Timothy 1:3
5009 conscience, nature of
8344 servanthood, in believers
8653 importunity, to God
2 Timothy 1:2-4
5691 friends, good
LibraryThe Form of Sound Words
The Apostle most earnestly admonished Timothy to "hold fast the form of sound words which he had heard of him in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." I do not suppose that by this it is intended that Paul ever wrote out for Timothy a list of doctrines; or that he gave him a small abstract of divinity, to which he desired him to subscribe his name, as the articles of the church over which he was made a pastor. If so, doubtless the document would have been preserved and enrolled in the canons …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY? WHAT is Christianity? The question seems a belated one. It never was more pertinent than now. Its pertinency rests upon two facts. First: the modern drift in Christianity and its absolute failure. Second: the phenomenal triumph of primitive Christianity. The modern drift is antagonistic to doctrine and repudiates the miraculous. It sets aside the virgin birth, has no toleration for atonement by sacrificial death, and positively refuses to accept the bodily resurrection of our …
I. M. Haldeman—Christ, Christianity and the Bible
The Seventh Word from the Cross
While all the words of dying persons are full of interest, there is special importance attached to the last of them. This is the Last Word of Jesus; and both for this reason and for others it claims particular attention. A noted Englishman is recorded to have said, when on his deathbed, to a nephew, "Come near and see how a Christian can die." Whether or not that was a wise saying, certainly to learn how to die is one of the most indispensable acquirements of mortals; and nowhere can it be learnt …
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ
In Death and after Death
A sadder picture could scarcely be drawn than that of the dying Rabbi Jochanan ben Saccai, that "light of Israel" immediately before and after the destruction of the Temple, and for two years the president of the Sanhedrim. We read in the Talmud (Ber. 28 b) that, when his disciples came to see him on his death-bed, he burst into tears. To their astonished inquiry why he, "the light of Israel, the right pillar of the Temple, and its mighty hammer," betrayed such signs of fear, he replied: "If I were …
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life
Abaelard had Defined Faith as an Opinion or Estimate: Bernard Refutes This.
Abaelard had defined faith as an opinion or estimate: Bernard refutes this. 9. It is no wonder if a man who is careless of what he says should, when rushing into the mysteries of the Faith, so irreverently assail and tear asunder the hidden treasures of godliness, since he has neither piety nor faith in his notions about the piety of faith. For instance, on the very threshold of his theology (I should rather say his stultology) he defines faith as private judgment; as though in these mysteries it …
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux
2. I REMARK, that God is able to preserve and keep the true saints from apostacy, in consistency with their liberty: 2 Tim. i. 12: "For the which cause 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 that which I have committed unto him against that day." Here the apostle expresses the fullest confidence in the ability of Christ to keep him: and indeed, as has been said, it is most manifest that the apostles expected …
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology
(Dinocrates, cap. ii. p. 701.) The avidity with which the Latin controversial writers seize upon this fanciful passage, (which, in fact, is subversive of their whole doctrine about Purgatory, as is the text from the Maccabees) makes emphatic the utter absence from the early Fathers of any reference to such a dogma; which, had it existed, must have appeared in every reference to the State of the Dead, and in every account of the discipline of penitents. Arbp. Usher  ingeniously turns the tables …
Tertullian—The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas
Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Paul's Care and Prayer for the Church.
Text: Ephesians 3, 13-21. 13. Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 and that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be strong …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III
"And this is his Commandment, that we Should Believe on the Name of his Son Jesus Christ, and Love one Another. "
1 John iii. 23.--"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another." It is a common doctrine often declared unto you, that the most part of those who hear the gospel do run, in their pretended course to heaven, either upon a rock of dashing discouragement, or the sands of sinking presumption. These are in all men's mouths; and no question they are very dangerous, so hazardous, as many fools make shipwreck either of the faith, or a good …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
INTRODUCTORY. BY D.W. WHITTLE. To recognize God's existence is to necessitate prayer to Him, by all intelligent creatures, or, a consciously living in sin and under condemnation of conscience, because they do not pray to Him. It would be horrible to admit the existence of a Supreme Being, with power and wisdom to create, and believe that the creatures he thought of consequence and importance enough to bring into existence, are not of enough consequence for him to pay any attention to in the troubles …
Various—The Wonders of Prayer
Q-xxxvi: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS WHICH FLOW FROM SANCTIFICATION? A: Assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end. The first benefit flowing from sanctification is assurance of God's love. 'Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.' 2 Pet 1:10. Sanctification is the seed, assurance is the flower which grows out of it: assurance is a consequent of sanctification. The saints of old had it. We know that we know …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The Communion of Saints.
"The Saints on earth, and those above, But one communion make; Joined to their Lord in bonds of love, All of His grace partake." The history of the extension of the Church of Christ from one land to another, and of the successive victories won by the Cross over heathen races from age to age, gives by itself a very imperfect idea of the meaning of the words "The Holy Catholic Church." Because, with the outward extension of the Church, its influence upon the inner man needs always to be considered. …
Edward Burbidge—The Kingdom of Heaven; What is it?
Concerning God's Purpose
1. God's purpose is the cause of salvation. THE third and last thing in the text, which I shall but briefly glance at, is the ground and origin of our effectual calling, in these words, "according to his purpose" (Eph. i. 11). Anselm renders it, According to his good will. Peter Martyr reads it, According to His decree. This purpose, or decree of God, is the fountainhead of our spiritual blessings. It is the impulsive cause of our vocation, justification, glorification. It is the highest link in …
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial
The Secret Walk with God (I. ).
Pastor, for the round of toil See the toiling soul is fed; Shut the chamber, light the oil, Break and eat the Spirit's bread; Life to others would'st thou bring? Live thyself upon thy King. Let me explain in this first sentence that when in these pages I address "my Younger Brethren," I mean brethren in the Christian Ministry in the Church of England. Let me limit my reference still further, by premising that very much of what I say will be said as to brethren who have lately taken holy Orders, …
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren
Predestination and Calling
Eternal Father, who shall look Into thy secret will? None but the Lamb shall take the book, And open every seal. None but he shall ever unroll that sacred record and read it to the assembled world. How then am I to know whether I am predestinated by God unto eternal life or not? It is a question in which my eternal interests are involved; am I among that unhappy number who shall be left to live in sin and reap the due reward of their iniquity; or do I belong to that goodly company, who albeit that …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
Twelfth Day for the Spirit to Convince the World of Sin
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Spirit to convince the World of Sin "I will send the Comforter to you. And He, when He is come, will convict the world in respect of sin."--JOHN xvi. 7, 8. God's one desire, the one object of Christ's being manifested, is to take away sin. The first work of the Spirit on the world is conviction of sin. Without that, no deep or abiding revival, no powerful conversion. Pray for it, that the gospel may be preached in such power of the Spirit, that men may see that they have …
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession
Pastor in Parish (I. ).
Master, to the flock I speed, In Thy presence, in Thy name; Show me how to guide, to feed, How aright to cheer and blame; With me knock at every door; Enter with me, I implore. We have talked together about the young Clergyman's secret life, and private life, and his life in (so to speak) non-clerical intercourse with others, and now lastly of his life as it stands related to his immediate leader in the Ministry. In this latter topic we have already touched the great matter which comes now at …
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren
"That which was from the Beginning, which we have Heard, which we have Seen with Our Eyes, which we have Looked Upon, and Our Hands Have
1 John i. 1.--"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life." It is the great qualification of a disciple, or hearer, to be attentive and docile, to be capable of teaching, and to apply the mind seriously to it. It is much to get the ear of a man. If his ear be gotten, his mind is the more easily gained. Therefore, those who professed eloquence, and studied to persuade men to any …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
"Now the End of the Commandment," &C.
1 Tim. i. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment," &c. We come now, as was proposed, to observe, Thirdly,(474) That faith unfeigned is the only thing which gives the answer of a good conscience towards God. Conscience, in general, is nothing else but a practical knowledge of the rule a man should walk by, and of himself in reference to that rule. It is the laying down a man's state, and condition, and actions beside the rule of God's word, or the principles of nature's light. It is the chief piece …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Prefatory Scripture Passages.
To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.-- Isa. viii. 20. Thus saith the Lord; Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.--Jer. vi. 16. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But …
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church
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