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6For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.


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6. WhereforeGreek, "For which cause," namely, because thou hast inherited, didst once possess, and I trust ("am persuaded") still dost possess, such unfeigned faith [Alford].

stir up—literally, "rekindle," "revive the spark of"; the opposite of "quench" or "extinguish" (1Th 5:19). Paul does not doubt the existence of real faith in Timothy, but he desires it to be put into active exercise. Timothy seems to have become somewhat remiss from being so long without Paul (2Ti 2:22).

gift of God—the spiritual grace received for his ministerial office, either at his original ordination, or at his consecration to the particular office of superintending the Ephesian Church (see on 1Ti 4:14), imparting fearlessness, power, love, and a sound mind (2Ti 1:7).

by the putting on of my hands—In 1Ti 4:14, it is "with [not by] the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." The apostle was chief in the ordination, and to him "BY" is applied. The presbytery were his assistants; so "with," implying merely accompaniment, is said of them. Paul was the instrument in Timothy's ordination and reception of the grace then conferred; the presbyters were the concurrent participants in the act of ordination; so the Greek, "dia" and "meta." So in ordinations by a bishop in our days, he does the principal act; they join in laying on hands with him.

7. For, &c.—implying that Timothy needed the exhortation "to stir up the gift of God in him," being constitutionally "timid": "For God did not give us (so the Greek, namely, at our ordination or consecration) the spirit of fear." The spirit which He gave us, was not the spirit of timidity (literally, "cowardice," which is weakness), but of "power" (exhibited in a fearless "testimony" for Christ, 2Ti 1:8). "Power is the invariable accompaniment of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Lu 24:49; Ac 1:8; compare Ac 6:6, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," with 2Ti 1:8, "full of faith and power." Fear is the result of "the spirit of bondage" (Ro 8:15). Fear within exaggerates the causes of fear without. "The spirit of power" is the spirit of man dwelt in by the Spirit of God imparting power; this power "casteth out fear" from ourselves, and stimulates us to try to cast it out of others (1Jo 4:18).

love—which moves the believer while "speaking the truth" with power, when giving his testimony for Christ (2Ti 1:8), at the same time to do so "in love" (Eph 4:15).

a sound mind—The Greek, is rather, "the bringing of men to a sound mind" [Wahl]. Bengel supports English Version, "a sound mind," or "sober-mindedness"; a duty to which a young man like Timothy especially needed to be exhorted (2Ti 2:22; 1Ti 4:12; Tit 2:4, 6). So Paul urges him, in 2Ti 2:4, to give up worldly entanglements, which as thorns (Lu 8:14) choke the word. These three gifts are preferable to any miraculous powers whatever.




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