II Tim. 1:1-18
Sometime after writing his letter to Titus, Paul was arrested and returned to Rome. Dates are uncertain, but this letter was probably written about A.D. 67 or 68 from the Roman prison. By that time, Titus had left Crete and was in Dalmatia. With winter approaching, Paul asked Timothy to bring his cloak and to try to arrive before winter. Paul, an old man deserted and alone was expecting to be executed soon and wanted to relay a message of instruction and encouragement to Timothy, his young son in the faith.
This letter began with greetings from Paul, the apostle to Timothy. He reminded the young preacher of his own background of serving God with a clear conscience and how that he continually remembered Timothy in his prayers. Paul also praised Timothy for the genuine faith that he had received by word and example from his grandmother and mother. He was admonished to remain strong in the faith and to use his spiritual gifts to continue preaching the gospel.
Paul encouraged Timothy to remember that God had given him a spirit of power, love and sound mind that would help him to conquer the evils of the world. He would be able to boldly come to Paul’s aid in prison and also endure whatever sufferings that would accompany him in his preaching.
As he had pointed out in previous letters, Paul again reminded Timothy of the plan that God had for man’s salvation. He stated that it was not by any great works of man, but that through God’s grace, He planned before the beginning of time that His Son would come to earth and die for man’s sins. By faithful obedience and submission to Him, man can avoid a second death of eternal punishment. It was through this grace and hope that Paul was able to preach and to endure the sufferings brought on by his preaching. He would not reject his faith and trust in God because of his confidence of the heavenly reward.
Paul urged Timothy to continue to preach the sound gospel as he had heard him teach in times past. He had laid the foundation. It was necessary for Timothy and others to build upon that same base as had been inspired by the Holy Spirit in the faith and love of Christ.
When things are not going well, as in Paul’s imprisonment, weaker Christians tend to forsake their faith. He mentioned some who had turned away from him.
Onesiphorus was cited as one who had gone to the extreme toward helping Paul. He had aided him in his work at Ephesus and had searched until he had found him in the Roman prison where he continued to be of benefit to Paul.