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4. Paul's Charge to Timothy

1I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. 5But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. 6For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: 8henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing. 9Give diligence to come shortly unto me: 10for Demas forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering. 12But Tychicus I sent to Ephesus. 13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: 15of whom do thou also beware; for he greatly withstood our words. 16At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account. 17But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 19Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus remained at Corinth: but Trophimus I left at Miletus sick. 21Give diligence to come before winter. Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. 22The Lord be with thy spirit. Grace be with you.

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6. Greek, "For I am already being offered"; literally, as a libation; appropriate to the shedding of his blood. Every sacrifice began with an initiatory libation on the victim's head (compare Note, see on Php 2:17). A motive to stimulate Timothy to faithfulness—the departure and final blessedness of Paul; it is the end that crowns the work [Bengel]. As the time of his departure was indicated to Peter, so to Paul (2Pe 1:14).

my departure—literally, "loosing anchor" (see on Php 1:23). Dissolution.

7. "I have striven the good strife"; the Greek is not restricted to a fight, but includes any competitive contest, for example, that of the racecourse (1Ti 6:12 [Alford]; 1Co 9:24, &c.; Heb 12:1, 2).

kept the faith—the Christian faith committed to me as a believer and an apostle (compare 2Ti 1:14; Re 2:10; 3:10).

8. a crown—rather as Greek, "the crown." The "henceforth" marks the decisive moment; he looks to his state in a threefold aspect: (1) The past "I have fought"; (2) The immediate present; "there is laid up for me." (3) The future "the Lord will give in that day" [Bengel].

crown—a crown, or garland, used to be bestowed at the Greek national games on the successful competitor in wrestling, running, &c. (compare 1Pe 5:4; Re 2:10).

of righteousness—The reward is in recognition of righteousness wrought in Paul by God's Spirit; the crown is prepared for the righteous; but it is a crown which consists in righteousness. Righteousness will be its own reward (Re 22:11). Compare Ex 39:30. A man is justified gratuitously by the merits of Christ through faith; and when he is so justified God accepts his works and honors them with a reward which is not their due, but is given of grace. "So great is God's goodness to men that He wills that their works should be merits, though they are merely His own gifts" [Pope Celestine I., Epistles, 12].

giveGreek, "shall award" in righteous requital as "Judge" (Ac 17:31; 2Co 5:10; 2Th 1:6, 7).

in that day—not until His appearing (2Ti 1:12). The partakers of the first resurrection may receive a crown also at the last day, and obtain in that general assembly of all men, a new award of praise. The favorable sentence passed on the "brethren" of the Judge, who sit with Him on His throne, is in Mt 25:40, taken for granted as already awarded, when that affecting those who benefited them is being passed [Bengel]. The former, the elect Church who reign with Christ in the millennium, are fewer than the latter. The righteous heavenly Judge stands in contrast to the unrighteous earthly judges who condemned Paul.

me—individual appropriation. Greek, "not only to me."

them that loveGreek, "have loved, and do love"; habitual love and desire for Christ's appearing, which presupposes faith (compare Heb 9:28). Compare the sad contrast, 2Ti 4:10, "having loved this present world."




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