2 Timothy 1:3
I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as did my forefathers, as I constantly remember you night and day in my prayers.
A Good Conscience Independent of Outside OpinionJ. C. Ryle, D. D.2 Timothy 1:3
A Praying MinisterSword and Trowel.2 Timothy 1:3
ConscienceAdam Smith.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience a Delicate CreatureS. Rutherford.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience has a Joint Knowledge of LifeJ. South.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience Hurt by SinS. Rutherford.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience in a ChristianBp. Sanderson.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience in EverythingSterne.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience Looking Upon LifeW. T. Davison, M. A.2 Timothy 1:3
Conscience Makes SaintsJ. Lightfoot.2 Timothy 1:3
Deceitful ServiceT. Seeker.2 Timothy 1:3
Disinterested ServiceW. Baxendale.2 Timothy 1:3
Friendly Love Outwardly ManifestedJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:3
I ServeJ. L. Nye.2 Timothy 1:3
Integrity of ConscienceS. Smiles.2 Timothy 1:3
Obedience to ConscienceW. Baxendale.2 Timothy 1:3
RemembranceJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:3
Serving GodAnon.2 Timothy 1:3
St. Paul's Delight in TimothyH. J. Carter Smith, M. A.2 Timothy 1:3
Strength Required for Religious ServiceJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:3
The Christian Near Heaven Praying for Others2 Timothy 1:3
The Christian Profession Adorned by a Pure Conscience2 Timothy 1:3
The Inner Life of St. PaulH. D. M. Spence, M. A.2 Timothy 1:3
The Inner SelfW.M. Statham 2 Timothy 1:3
The Spirit of True ServiceJ. Alleine.2 Timothy 1:3
True and False ServiceT. Seeker.2 Timothy 1:3
Address and SalutationR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 1:1-14
Thankful Declaration of Love and Remembrance of Timothy's FaithT. Croskery 2 Timothy 1:3-5

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.

(J. L. Nye.)

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.

(W. Baxendale.)

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.

(J. Alleine.)

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.

(T. Seeker.)

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."

(T. Seeker.)

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.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

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.

(Adam Smith.)

Conscience imparts a double or joint knowledge: one of a Divine law or rule, and the other of a man's own action.

(J. South.)

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.

(W. T. Davison, M. A.)

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.

(S. Rutherford.)

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."

(Bp. Sanderson.)

Trust that man in nothing who has not a conscience in everything.


Conscience makes cowards of us; but conscience makes saints and heroes too.

(J. Lightfoot.)

Hurt not your conscience with any known sin.

(S. Rutherford.)

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."

(J. C. Ryle, D. D.)

Hugh Miller speaks of the mason with whom he served his apprenticeship as one who "put his conscience into every stone that he laid."

(S. Smiles.)

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."

(W. Baxendale.)

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.

(H. D. M. Spence, M. A.)

I. 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.


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.

(H. J. Carter Smith, M. A.)

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."

(Sword and Trowel.)

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.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

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.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

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