2 Timothy 1:12 MEANING

2 Timothy 1:12
(12) For the which cause I also suffer these things.--Because he had been the teacher and apostle, had all these sufferings--the prison, the chains, the solitude, the hate of so many--come upon him. There was no need to refer to them more particularly. Timothy knew well what he was then undergoing. The reason of the Apostle's touching at all upon himself and his fortunes will appear in the next clause, when, from the depths, as it would seem, of human misfortune, he triumphantly rehearses his sure grounds of confidence. Timothy was dispirited, cast down, sorrowful. He need not be. When tempted to despair, let him think of his old master and friend, Paul the Apostle, who rejoiced in the midst of the greatest sufferings, knowing that these were the sure earthly guerdon of the most devoted work, but that there was One, in whom he believed, able and, at the same time, willing to save him for yet higher and grander things.

Nevertheless I am not ashamed.--Not ashamed of the suffering I am now enduring for the cause of the Lord. He then, by showing the grounds of his joyful hope, proceeds to show how men can rise to the same lofty heights of independence to which he had risen, whence they can look down with indifference on all human opinion and human reward and regard.

For I know whom I have believed.--Better rendered, whom I have trusted; yea, and still trust. "Whom" here refers to God the Father.

That which I have committed unto him.--More exactly, my deposit. Considerable diversity of opinion has existed among commentators of all ages as to the exact meaning which should be assigned to the words "my deposit." Let us glance back at what has gone before. St. Paul, the forsaken prisoner, looking for death, has been bidding his younger comrade never to let his heart sink or his spirit grow faint when oncoming dangers threaten to crush him; for, he says, you know me and my seemingly ruined fortunes and blasted hopes. Friendless and alone, you know, I am awaiting death (2 Timothy 4:6); and yet, in spite of all this crushing weight of sorrow, which has come on me because I am a Christian, yet am I not ashamed, for I know whom I have trusted--I know His sovereign power to whom I have committed "my deposit." He, I know, can keep it safe against that day. St. Paul had intrusted his deathless soul to the keeping of his Heavenly Father, and having done this, serene and joyful he waited for the end. His disciple Timothy must do the same.

"That which I have committed unto Him, my deposit," signified a most precious treasure committed by St. Paul to his God. The language and imagery was probably taken by the Apostle from one of those Hebrew Psalms he knew so well (Psalm 31:5)--"Into thy hand I commend my spirit," rendered in the LXX. version (Psalm 30:5), "I will commit" (parath?somai). In Josephus, a writer of the same age, the soul is especially termed a parakatatheke--deposit. The passage is one in which he is speaking against suicide (B. J. iii. 8, 5). Philo, also, who may almost be termed a contemporary of St. Paul, uses the very same expression, and also calls the soul "a deposit" (p. 499, ed. Richter). Both passages are quoted at length by Alford, who, however, comes to a slightly different conclusion.

Against that day.--The day of the coming of Christ--"that day when I (the Lord of Hosts) make up my jewels." He will keep my soul--"my deposit"--safe against that day when the crown of life will be given to all that love His appearing.

Verse 12. - Suffer also for also suffer, A.V.; yet for nevertheless, A.V.; him whom for whom, A.V.; guard for keep, A.V. For the which cause (ver. 6, note) I suffer also. The apostle adds the weight of his own example to the preceding exhortation. What he was exhorting Timothy to do he was actually doing himself, without any wavering or hesitation or misgiving as to the result. I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him. The ground of the apostle's confidence, even in the hour of extreme peril, was his perfect trust in the faithfulness of God. This he expresses in a metaphor drawn from the common action of one person entrusting another with some precious deposit, to be kept for a time and restored whole and uninjured. All the words in the sentence are part of this metaphor. The verb πεπίστευκα must be taken in the sense of "entrusting" (curae ac fidei alicujus committo), as Luke 16:11. So πιστευθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, "to be entrusted with the gospel" (1 Thessalonians 2:4); οἰκονομίαν πεπιστεῦμαι, "I am entrusted with a dispensation" (1 Corinthians 9:17; see Wisd. 14:5, etc.). And so in classical Greek, πιστεύειν τινί τι means "to entrust something to another" to take care of for you. Here, then, St. Paul says (not as in the R.V., "I know him whom I have believed," which is quite inadmissible, but), "I know whom I have trusted [i.e. in whom I have placed confidence, and to whom I have committed the keeping of my deposit], and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have entrusted to him (τὴν παραθήκην μου) unto that day." The παραθηκή is the thing which Paul entrusted to his faithful guardian, one who he knew would never betray the trust, but would restore it to him safe and sound at the day of Christ. What the παραθήκη was may be difficult to express in any one word, but it comprised himself, his life, his whole treasure, his salvation, his joy, his eternal happiness - all for the sake of which he risked life and limb in this world, content to lose sight of them for a while, knowing that he should receive them all from the hands of God in the day of Christ. All thus hangs perfectly together. There can be no reasonable doubt that παραθήκην μου means, "my deposit" - that which I have deposited with him. Neither is there the slightest difficulty in the different applications of the same metaphor in ver. 14 and in 1 Timothy 6:20. For it is as true that God entrusts to his faithful servants the deposit of the faith, to be kept by them with jealous fidelity, as it is that his servants entrust to him the keeping of their souls, as knowing him to be faithful.

1:6-14 God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love to him, which will carry us through opposition. And the spirit of a sound mind, quietness of mind. The Holy Spirit is not the author of a timid or cowardly disposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bear afflictions well, when we have strength and power from God to enable us to bear them. As is usual with Paul, when he mentions Christ and his redemption, he enlarges upon them; so full was he of that which is all our salvation, and ought to be all our desire. The call of the gospel is a holy call, making holy. Salvation is of free grace. This is said to be given us before the world began, that is, in the purpose of God from all eternity; in Christ Jesus, for all the gifts that come from God to sinful man, come in and through Christ Jesus alone. And as there is so clear a prospect of eternal happiness by faith in Him, who is the Resurrection and the Life, let us give more diligence in making his salvation sure to our souls. Those who cleave to the gospel, need not be ashamed, the cause will bear them out; but those who oppose it, shall be ashamed. The apostle had trusted his life, his soul, and eternal interests, to the Lord Jesus. No one else could deliver and secure his soul through the trials of life and death. There is a day coming, when our souls will be inquired after. Thou hadst a soul committed to thee; how was it employed? in the service of sin, or in the service of Christ? The hope of the lowest real Christian rests on the same foundation as that of the great apostle. He also has learned the value and the danger of his soul; he also has believed in Christ; and the change wrought in his soul, convinces the believer that the Lord Jesus will keep him to his heavenly kingdom. Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast the Holy Scriptures, the substance of solid gospel truth in them. It is not enough to assent to the sound words, but we must love them. The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us; it is of unspeakable value in itself, and will be of unspeakable advantage to us. It is committed to us, to be preserved pure and entire, yet we must not think to keep it by our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us; and it will not be gained by those who trust in their own hearts, and lean to their own understandings.For the which cause I also suffer these things,.... The present imprisonment and bonds in which he now was; these, with all the indignities, reproaches, distresses, and persecutions, came upon him, for the sake of his being a preacher of the Gospel; and particularly for his being a teacher of the Gentiles: the Jews hated him, and persecuted him, because he preached the Gospel, and the more because he preached it to the Gentiles, that they might be saved; and the unbelieving Gentiles were stirred up against him, for introducing a new religion among them, to the destruction of their idolatry and superstition; and the sufferings which he endured were many; and he was appointed to them, as well as to the Gospel, which he preached.

Nevertheless I am not ashamed; neither of the Gospel, and the truths and ordinances of it, for which he suffered; but he continued to own and confess it constantly, and to preach it boldly; none of these things moved him from it: nor of the sufferings he endured, for the sake of it; since they were not for murder, or theft, or sedition, or any enormity whatever, but in a good cause; wherefore he was so far from being ashamed of them, that he took pleasure in them, and gloried of them. Nor was he ashamed of Christ, whose Gospel he preached, and for whom he suffered; nor of his faith and hope in him. For it follows,

for I know whom I have believed. A spiritual knowledge of Christ is necessary to faith in him: an unknown Christ cannot be the object of faith, though an unseen Christ, as to bodily sight, may be, and is. Knowledge and faith go together: they that truly know Christ, believe in him, and the more they know him, the more strongly do they believe in him: such who spiritually and savingly know Christ, have seen the glories of his person, and the fulness of his grace; and they approve of him, as their Saviour, being every way suitable to them, and disapprove of all others; they love him above all others, and with all their hearts; and they put their trust in him, and trust him with all they have; and they know whom they trust, what an able, willing, suitable, and complete Saviour he is. This knowledge which they have of him, is not from themselves, but from the Father, who reveals him to them, and in them; and from himself, who gives them an understanding that they may know him; and from the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: and be it more or less, it is practical, and leads to the discharge of duty, from a principle of love to Christ; and is of a soul humbling nature, and appropriates Christ to a man's self; and has always some degree of certainty in it; and though it is imperfect, it is progressive; and the least measure of it is saving, and has eternal life connected with it: and that faith which accompanies it, and terminates on the object known, is the grace, by which a man sees Christ in the riches of his grace; goes to him in a sense of need of him; lays hold upon him as a Saviour; receives and embraces him; commits its all unto him; trusts him with all; leans and lives upon him, and walks on in him till it receives the end of faith, even eternal salvation.

And I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. By that which he had committed to him is meant, not the great treasure of his labours and sufferings for Christ, as if he had deposited these in Christ's hands, in order to be brought forth at the great day of account to his advantage; for though his labours and sufferings were many, yet he always ascribed the strength by which he endured them to the grace of God; and he knew they were not worthy to be compared, nor made mention of, with the glory that was to be revealed in him. Rather this may be understood of the souls of those he had been instrumental in the converting of, whom he had commended to Christ, hoping to meet them as his joy and crown of rejoicing another day; though it seems best of all to interpret it either of his natural life, the care of which he had committed to Christ, and which he knew he was able to preserve, and would preserve for usefulness until the day appointed for his death; or rather his precious and immortal soul, and the eternal welfare and salvation of it: and the act of committing it to Christ, designs his giving himself to him, leaving himself with him, trusting in him for eternal life and salvation, believing he was able to save him to the uttermost; even unto the day of death, when he hoped to be with him, which is far better than to be in this world; and unto the day of the resurrection, when both soul and body will be glorified with him; and to the day of judgment, when the crown of righteousness will be received from his hands. And what might induce the apostle, and so any other believer, to conclude the ability of Christ to keep the souls of those that are committed to him, are, his proper deity, he having all the fulness of the Godhead, or the perfections of deity dwelling in him; his being the Creator and upholder of all things; his having accomplished the great work of redemption and salvation, by his own arm; his mediatorial fulness of grace and power; and his being trusted by his Father with all the persons, grace, and glory of the elect, to whom he has been faithful. And now the consideration of all this, as it was a support to the apostle, under all his afflictions, and sufferings for the Gospel, and in a view of death itself, so it may be, as it often has been, a relief to believers, under all the sorrows of this life, and in a prospect of death and eternity. Philo the Jew (b) speaks in like manner as the apostle here of , "the depositum of the soul": though he knew not where to commit it for safety, as the apostle did, and every true believer does.

(b) Quis rer. Divin. Haeres. p. 498, 499.

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