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2 Timothy 1:1-2

1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

1. Paulus apostolus Iesu Christi per voluntatem Dei, secundum promissionem vitae, quae est in Christo Iesu,

2. To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy; and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2. Timotheo dilecto filio gratia, misericordia, pax a Deo Patre, et Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

1 Paul an Apostle From the very preface we already perceive that Paul had not in view Timothy alone; other wise he would not have employed such lofty titles in asserting his apostleship; for what purpose would it have served to employ these ornaments of language in writing to one who was fully convinced of the fact? He, therefore, lays claim to that authority over all which belonged to his public character and he does this the more diligently, because, being near death, he wishes to secure the approbation of the whole course of his ministry, 135135     “Although, in all that Paul has left us in writing, we must consider that it is God who speaks to us by the mouth of a mortal man, and that all his doctrine ought to be received with such authority and reverence as if God visibly appeared from heaven, yet still there is in this epistle a special object to be kept in view, that Paul, being in prison and perceiving his death to be at hand, wished to ratify his faith, as if he had sealed it with his blood. So then, as often as we read this epistle, let the condition in which Paul was at that time come before our eyes, namely, that he was looking for nothing but to die for the testimony of the gospel (which he actually did) as its standard-bearer, in order to give us stronger assurance of his doctrine, and that will affect us in a more lively manner. Indeed, if we read this epistle carefully, we shall find that the Spirit of God has expressed himself in it in such a manner, with such majesty and power, that we are constrained to be captivated and overwhelmed. For my own part, I know that this epistle has been more profitable to me than any other book of Scripture, and still is profitable to me every day; and if any person shall examine it carefully, there can be no doubt that he will experience the same effect. And if we desire to have a testimony of the truth of God, which pierces our heart, we may well fix on this epistle; for a man must be in a profound sleep, and remarkably stupid, if God do not work in his soul, when he hears the doctrine that shall be drawn from it.”-Fr. Ser. and to seal his doctrine which he had labored so hard to teach, that it may be held sacred by posterity, and to leave a true portrait of it in Timothy.

Of Jesus Christ by the will of God First, according to his custom, he calls himself an “Apostle of Christ.” Hence it follows, that he does not speak as a private person, and must not be heard slightly, and for form’s sake, 136136     “Oui par acquit.” like a man, but as one who is a representative of Christ. But because the dignity of the office is too great to belong to any man, except by the special gift and election of God, he at the same time pronounces a eulogy on his calling, by adding that he was ordained by the will of God His apostleship, therefore, having God for its author and defender, is beyond all dispute.

According to the promise of life That his calling may be the more certain, he connects it with the promises of eternal life; as if he had said, “As from the beginning God promised eternal life in Christ, so now he has appointed me to be the minister for proclaiming that promise.” Thus also he points out the design of his apostleship, namely, to bring men to Christ, that in him they may find life.

Which is in Christ Jesus He speaks with great accuracy, when he mentions that “the promise of life” was indeed given, in ancient times, to the fathers. (Acts 26:6.) But yet he declares that this life is in Christ, in order to inform us that the faith of those who lived under the Law must nevertheless have looked towards Christ; and that life, which was contained in promises, was, in some respects, suspended, till it was exhibited in Christ.

2 My beloved son By this designation he not only testifies his love of Timothy, but procures respect and submission to him; because he wishes to be acknowledged in him, as one who may justly be called his son, 137137     “Comme en celuy qui pent a bon droict estre nomme son fils.” The reason of the appellation is, that he had begotten him in Christ; for, although this honor belongs to God alone, yet it is also transferred to ministers, whose agency he employs for regenerating us.

Grace, mercy The word mercy, which he employs here, is commonly left out by him in his ordinary salutations. I think that he introduced it, when he poured out his feelings with more than ordinary vehemence. Moreover, he appears to have inverted the order; for, since “mercy” is the cause of “grace,” it ought to have come before it in this passage. But still it is not unsuitable that it should be put after “grace”, in order to express more clearly what is the nature of that grace, and whence it proceeds; as if he had added, in the form of a declaration, that the reason why we are loved by God is, that he is merciful. Yet this may also be explained as relating to God’s daily benefits, which are so many testimonies of his “mercy”; for, whenever he assists us, whenever he delivers us from evils, pardons our sins, and bears with our weakness, he does so, because he has compassion on us.

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