2 Timothy 1:6 MEANING

2 Timothy 1:6
(6) Wherefore I put thee in remembrance.--Wherefore (seeing that I am so thoroughly persuaded of thy faith) I am determined to put thee in remembrance . . . It seems, from the general tenor of the Epistle, that Timothy was deeply cast down by the imprisonment of St. Paul. Timothy, as well as the martyr himself, was conscious that the end of that great and glorious career of his old master was at last come; and the heart of the younger man sank--as well it might--under the prospect of having to fight the Lord's battle at Ephesus--that famous centre of Greek culture and of Oriental luxury--against enemies without and enemies within, alone, and without the help of the great genius, the master mind, and the indomitable courage of the man who for a quarter of a century had been the guiding spirit of Gentile Christianity, and his dear and intimate friend. So St. Paul now, persuaded that faith burned in his disciple's heart with the old steady flame, but knowing, too, that he was dispirited and heavy-hearted, was minded, if possible, to cheer up the fainting heart, and to inspire it with fresh courage to fight the Master's fight when he (St. Paul) had left the scene.

That thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.--The Greek word rendered "stir up" literally means to kindle up, to fan into flame. Chrysostom brings home the great lesson taught by this word, which belongs to all Christ's people alike, when he quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:19, "Quench not the Spirit;" for it is in our power both to quench this Spirit and also to fan it into flame. The "gift of God" here alluded to is that special gift of the Spirit conferred on Timothy at his ordination, and which included, in his case, powers necessary for the performance of the many and important duties to which he was in the providence of God called, especially those gifts of ruling and teaching which are necessary for the chief pastor's office. This "gift of God" was conferred through the medium of the hands laid on Timothy's head at his ordination at Lystra. In this act the presbytery at Lystra were joined with the Apostle. (See 1 Timothy 4:14.) We know that St. Paul frequently uses for his illustrations of Christian life scenes well known among the Greek heathen nations of the Old World, such as the Greek athletic games. Is it not possible (the suggestion is Wordsworth's) that the Apostle while here charging Timothy to take care that the sacred fire of the Holy Ghost did not languish in his heart, while urging him to watch the flame, to keep it burning brightly, to fan the flame if burning dimly--is it not possible that St. Paul had in mind the solemn words of the Roman law, "Let them watch the eternal flame of the public hearth"? (Cicero, de Legibus, xi. 8.) The failure of the flame was regarded as an omen of dire misfortune, and the watchers, if they neglected the duty, were punished with the severest penalties.

Verse 6. - For the which cause for wherefore, A.V.; through the laying for by the putting, A.V. For which cause (δι η{ν αἰτίαν); so ver. 12 and Titus 1:13, but nowhere else in St. Paul's Epistles, though common elsewhere. The clause seems to depend upon the words immediately preceding, "I am persuaded in thee also; for which cause," etc. Stir up (ἀναζωπυρεῖν); here only in the New Testament, but found in the LXX. of Genesis 45:27 and I Macc. 13:7, in an intransitive sense, "to revive." In both passages it is contrasted with a previous state of despondency (Genesis 45:26) or fear (1 Macc. 13:2). We must, therefore, conclude that St. Paul knew Timothy to be cast down and depressed by his own imprisonment and imminent danger, and therefore exhorted him to revive . 'the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind," which was given him at his ordination. The metaphor is taken from kindling slumbering ashes into a flame by the bellows, and the force of ἀνα is to show that the embers had gone down from a previous state of candescence or frame - "to rekindle, light up again." It is a favourite metaphor in classical Greek. The gift of God (τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ); as 1 Timothy 4:14 (where see note). The laying on of my hands, together with those of the presbytery (1 Timothy 4:14; comp. Acts 13:2, 3). The laying on of hands was also the medium through which the Holy Ghost was given in Confirmation (Acts 8:17), and in healing (Mark 16:18; comp. Numbers 27:18, 23).

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.Wherefore I put thee in remembrance,.... Because of the great affection the apostle had for Timothy, and because of that confidence he had of him, that unfeigned faith dwelt in him, as well as because this had had a place in his relations before him; he therefore acts the part of a kind monitor to him, and, upon these considerations, doubts not of succeeding in his following admonition:

that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee; by "the gift" is meant his ministerial gift; for what qualifies men for the ministry, is not anything natural in them, nor acquired by them, but what is given unto them, and that of God: and this was "in" him; it continued with him; it was not lost by him, nor taken from him, as gifts may be, when they are not used; and yet it seems as if there was some decline, some backwardness and indifference as to the exercise of it: he might be too remiss, negligent, and forgetful of it; wherefore the apostle puts him in mind to "stir" it up: there is in the word used a metaphor taken from coals of fire covered with ashes, as if almost extinct, and need to be blown up into a flame, and a very apt one it is; since the gifts of the Spirit, especially his extraordinary ones, such as ministers in those times had, are compared to fire: see Matthew 3:11 and these may be reinflamed or increased, when they seem on the decline, by reading, meditation, prayer, and the frequent exercise of them. Agreeably to this the Arabic version renders it, "that thou kindle the fire of the gift of God which is in thee"; and the rather the apostle took this freedom with Timothy, not only because of his superior age and office, but because this gift was through his means;

by the putting on of my hands; though not alone, but with the rest of the presbytery; See Gill on 1 Timothy 4:14.

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