2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
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(7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear.—Or better, perhaps, the spirit of cowardice—that cowardice which manifests itself by a timidity and shrinking in the daily difficulties which the Christian meets with in the warfare for the kingdom of God. (Comp. John 14:27, and Revelation 21:8.) “Hath not given us,” in this particular case, refers to the time when Timothy and St. Paul were admitted into the ministry. The Holy Spirit is no Spirit, be it remembered, which works cowardice in men. But the reference is also a far broader one than merely to the Holy Spirit conferred on ministers of the Lord at ordination. It is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cowardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God.

But of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.—Instead of rendering the Greek word by “a sound mind,” it were better to substitute the translation, self-control. The Holy Spirit works, in those to whom it is given, power, or strength, to fight the fight of God, power, not only patiently to endure, but also to strike good blows for Christ—the power, for instance, of steadfastness in resisting temptation, the strong will which guides other weaker ones along the narrow way “of love.” It works, too, in those to whom God gives the blessed gift, that strange, sweet love for others which leads to noble deeds of self-surrender—that love which never shrinks from a sacrifice which may benefit the friend or even the neighbour. And lastly, the Spirit works in us “self-control”—selbst-beherrschung—that power which, in the man or woman living in and mixing with the world, and exposed to its varied temptations and pleasures, is able to regulate and to keep in a wise subjection, passions, desires, impulses.

2 Timothy


2 Timothy 1:7THE parts which we should naturally have expected Paul and Timothy to fill are reversed in this letter. ‘Paul the aged,’ a prisoner, and soon to be a martyr, might have been expected to receive encouragement and consolation. But Timothy seems to have been of a somewhat weak and timid nature, and this letter of the dying man is one long trumpet-blast to stir his courage. My text is the first of the ‘soul-animating strains’ which he blows. In it the Apostle would have his down-hearted young companion and helper remember what God has given him by the laying on of Paul’s hands. Whether the word ‘spirit’ in my text be regarded as meaning the Divine Spirit which is given, or the human spirit in which that divine gift is received, the qualities enumerated in the text are those which that Divine Giver creates in that human recipient by His indwelling presence; or to put it into shorter words, my text tells us what sort of people Christianity has a tendency to make, and it tells us, too, how it sets about making them.

The enumeration is by no means intended to be either complete or scientific. It is meant to embrace, mainly, the points which Timothy wanted most. And so it dwells predominantly on the stronger, ‘manly virtues,’ as men complacently call them.’ ‘God hath not given us the spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,’ which last word does not stand precisely upon a level with the other three, hut rather expresses the notion of self-control.

I think I shall best, in the few remarks that I offer you, bring out the meaning of the words before us if I simply follow the Apostle’s rough and ready enumeration, and try to learn what he says about each of these points.

I. The first thing, then, that he would have us understand is that Christ makes fearless men.

‘God hath not given us the spirit of cowardice.’ Now, of course, courage or timidity are very largely matters of temperament. But then, you know, the very purpose of the gospel is to mend temperaments, to restrain, and to stimulate, so as that natural defects may become excellences, and

excellences may never run to seed and become defects. So whilst we have to admit that religion is not meant to obliterate natural distinctions in character, we must also remember that we insufficiently grasp the intention of the gospel which we say we believe unless we realise that it is meant to deal with the most deeply rooted defects in character, to make the crooked things straight, and the rough places plain.

So I venture to say that any man who lives in the realisation of the truths which the gospel reveals, and in the use of the gifts which the gospel communicates, will {whatever his natural disposition of apprehensiveness} be stiffened into a fearless man; and be no longer a reed shaken with the wind, but a brazen pillar, and an iron wall, amidst all dangers and enemies.

One sometimes feels as if nothing but clearsightedness were needed to drive men into insanity. When you think of the possibilities of every life, and of the certainties of every life, of what may come .to any of us, any time, and of what must come to all of us one time, the wonder is that men live without a perpetual tremor of heart, and do so largely manage to ignore the evils that ring them round. Think of our relation to God, think of what must be the result of the collision of the perfectly righteous will of His with our wayward rebellions; of what must be the consequence - if there be a God at all, and if there be such a thing as retributive acts on His part - when He sets us down to drink of the brewst that we have brewed, and to reap the harvest that we have sown. Surely, ‘he troubled, ye careless ones,’ is His exhortation of wisdom to men.

And then if we bring in all the other possibilities which to many of us have become in some measure past experiences, but still hang threatening on our horizon, like the half-emptied clouds of a thunderstorm, that is sure to come back again, dread seems to be wisdom. For what have we that we shall not have to part with? What do we that will not disappoint in the fruit? What dangers are there possible to humanity, concerning which you and I can say we know that ‘when the overflowing scourge passes by it will not reach us’? None! none!

You may remember having seen a gymnast that used to roll a ball up a spiral with the motion of his feet. That is how we are set to roll the ball of our fortunes and prosperities up the twisting ascent, and at every moment there is the possibility of its hurtling down in ruin, and one day it certainly will. So is there anything more empty and foolish than to say to a man whose relations with God are not right, whose command of the world is so

uncertain, as it-surely is, and who has frowning before him the grim certainties of loss and sorrow and broken ties, and empty houses and empty hearts, and disappointments, and pillow stuffed with thorns, and souls wounded to the very quick, and, last of all, a death which has a dim some. thing behind it that touches all consciences - to say to such a man ‘Don’t be afraid’? If he is not a fool he ought to be.

But then Paul comes in and says, ‘God hath not given us the spirit of cowardice.’ No, because He has given us the only thing that can exorcise that demon. He has given us the good news of Himself, whereby His name becomes our dearest hope instead of our ghastliest doubt. He has given us the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance and hallowing in Jesus Christ, whereby all the things whereof our consciences - which do ‘make cowards of us all’ - are afraid, are rectified, and some of them swept out of existence. He has given us truths which only need to be. grappled and laid upon our hearts and minds to make us brave. He has assured us that ‘all things work together for good,’ that He Himself will never leave us. And the Master who spoke on earth so often, and in so many connections, His meek and sovereign encouragement, ‘Fear not!’ speaks it from the heavens to all that trust Him. ‘He laid His hand upon me, and said, "Fear not!" I am the first and the last,’ from whom all changes originate, by whom all events are directed, unto whom all things tend. Therefore, whosoever is wedded to Him need fear no evil, for nothing that does not hurt Christ can ham Him,

II. Christ makes strong men.

‘He hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power.’ Again we have to remember a previous remark as to temperament. There are differences among us in this respect. Some of us, of course, are naturally far more facile, sensitive and yielding than others; some of us have natural force denied to our brethren. These differences will remain, and yet ‘the weakest may be as David,’ and although the weakest shall be made strong, the strongest shall be stronger still, ‘as the angel of God.’ The difference between the hind and front ranks will remain, but the whole battalion, as it were, will be shifted forwards.

Let me remind you how a condition of all that is worth doing and being is the cultivation of strength of will and of moral nature. To be weak is to be wicked nine times out of ten. I believe that the bulk of men that go wrong, that ‘go to the devil,’ as you say, do it, not so much because of a bias towards evil as of a fatal feebleness that is incapable of resistance; and I know of nothing that is more needed to be dinned into the ears - especially of the young who have their chances before them yet - than this truth: the man that cannot say ‘No!’ is doomed to say ‘Yes!’ to all bad things that may solicit him. To be weak is to be wicked in such a world as we live in; and many of you know how fatally, facilely, and feebly you have yielded, for no other reason than because the temptation was there and you were not man enough to stop your ears to it, and let it hum past you without touching you. What is the reason why half the men in the world that are drunkards are so?

Pure weakness. And so you may go all round the circle of vices and you will find that weakness is ordinarily wickedness, and it is, always misery. As Milton’s Satan tells us, to be ‘weak is to be miserable, doing or suffering.’ And it is generally failure, as witness the experience of thousands of men who have come into this city and been beaten in the race.

How then is a man to get strength? Brethren, I do not want to exalt the gospel of Jesus Christ by depreciating other and lower means by which feeble natures may get a dose of steel into their system. There are such ways, and they do help men. But if you want to have a power within you that will enable you to ‘stand foursquare to every wind that blows,’ believe me the surest way of getting it is by faith in Jesus Christ, to open your hearts to the entrance into them of that ‘strong Son of God’ who sends His mighty Spirit into every spirit that will accept it, to be the source of uncreated and triumphant strength. If we would only keep near to Jesus Christ, and live with hearts open for the influx of His great communications, we should need nothing else to make us strong for all service, against all temptation, in the midst of all suffering. There is a gift offered to every one of us in the gospel of Jesus Christ which will make our weakness into strength. A piece of sponge put into a so-called petrifying well is turned into a mass solid as iron by the infiltration of stony particles. So our yielding softness may be converted into firmness which will resist every pressure if we receive into our hearts the grace which Christ gives. He who is strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and he only, is truly strong. If then you want power learn where it is stored. -

‘His strength was as the strength of ten,

Because his heart was pure.’

There is part of the secret. But how is the heart to be made pure? By the entrance into it of the purifying Christ. Christ makes fearless and strong men.

III. Christ makes loving men.

Tis excellent to have a giant’s strength ‘Tis tyrannous to use it like a giant!

And power ever tends to be tyrannous. The consciousness of strength is ever. apt to degenerate into insolence, uncharitableness, want of sympathy with, and contempt for, weakness. And so, very beautifully, side by side with power, Paul puts love. There are some great moral teachers of this generation, and of the last, whose whole teaching has been fatally vitiated, for this amongst other reasons, because they lost sight of the fact that the strongest thing in the universe is love. But Paul, not a philosopher, and not in the least degree trying to set forth scientifically the relations or the limitations of the virtues that he speaks about, like a skilful painter, instinctively knows what tint will best bring up the one that is laid beside it, or like some jeweller with an eye to effect, understands how to dispose the stones in his bracelet, that the cool green of the emerald may be set off by, and set off, the flashing red of the ruby and the deep blue of the sapphire. So he says, Christ makes strong men, but He makes loving men too. ‘Quit you like men, be strong. Let all your deeds be done in charity.’ And cultivate no strength for yourselves, nor admire any in others, in which power is divorced from pity and tenderness.

I need not remind you of the one sovereign way by which Jesus Christ in His gospel wins men from that self-centred absorption in which they live, and which is the root of all sin, into that love which is the child of faith and the parent’ of all virtue. There is only one thing that makes men loving, and that is that they should be loved. And Jesus Christ, the incarnate Love, and Lover of all our souls, comes to us and shows us His hands and His side, and says,’ God - I in Him and He in Me - so loved the world, as these wounds tell.’ We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. Christ makes us love Him because He assures us that we are loved by Him.

IV. And lastly, Jesus Christ makes self-governing men.

I need not trouble you with any vindication of the rendering which for ‘sound mind,’ substitutes ‘self-control.’ I need only, in a word, ask you to

consider how manifestly we are made so as to need the exercise continually of firm and resolute self-government. We have tastes and desires rooted in the flesh, and others, of which the gratification is perfectly legitimate, but which to make the guides of life, or to gratify without stint and without restraint, is ruinous. Blind passions are not meant to guide seeing reason; but if reason be the eye it is meant to guide the blind. And the men who live ‘by nature,’ which is a polite way of saying ‘live by the worst half of their nature, and their animal passions,’ are sure to land before long in the ditch.

We have only to look at ourselves and see how there are in us a whole clamorous mob of desires, like nine-days’ kittens, with their eyes shut and their mouths open, yelping for their sustenance; and, further, to mark how in each man there is a voice that says, ‘Thou shalt, thou shalt not; thou oughtest, thou oughtest not’ - we need only, I say, look at ourselves to know that he is meant to coerce and keep well down under hatches all these blind propensions and desires, and to set sovereign above them a will that cannot be bribed, a reason that will not be deceived, and a conscience that will be true to God. Govern yourselves, or you will come all to pieces.

Yes, and what is the use of saying that to men who cannot govern themselves, whose very disease is that they cannot; and who cry out often and often, sometimes before they have gone wrong and sometimes afterwards,’ Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ It is no use to tell a discrowned and deposed monarch to rule his kingdom. The mischief is that it is in full revolt, and he has no soldiers behind him. As Bishop Butler says, ‘If conscience had power, as it has authority, it would govern the world.’ But authority without power is but a jest. So it is no good for conscience to give forth proclamations that are worth no more than the paper that they are written on, when my will has been talked over or enfeebled, and my desires and passions have got the bit between their teeth, and are tearing down the road to the inevitable collision.

Brethren, there is only one thing that will give complete self-command. If you make trial, I will guarantee that it will not fail. Trust to Jesus Christ; ask Him to govern, and He will help you to control yourselves. That is the noblest conquest that any man can make. ‘Every man is a king, and crowns himself when he puts on his own hat,’ says our quaint moralist. Wherever you are master, be you master inside your own soul. And that you may, be the servant of Him who alone will make you master of yourself and of the

world. In Christ the most timid may ‘wax valiant in fight,’ the’ weakest may be made strong,’ the most self-centred heart be opened for love which is peace and joy, and the wildest revolt in the little kingdom within may be subdued. If we will only go to Him, and trust Him with ourselves, and live in true communion with Him, and in patient exercise of the gifts that He bestows, then He will say to us as of old, ‘Fear not! My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ His love will kindle answering flames in us; and He who brought the raging maniac, whom no chains could bind, to sit quietly at His feet, will give us authority over the one city which we have to govern, and will make the flesh the servant of the emancipated and enfranchised spirit.

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.For God hath not given us the spirit of fear - A timorous and servile spirit. This is said in order to encourage Timothy, who was not improbably modest and diffident.

But of power - Power to encounter foes and dangers; power to bear up under trials; power to triumph in persecutions. That is, it is the nature of the gospel to inspire the mind with holy courage; compare, however, Luke 24:49.

And of love - Love to God and to the souls of men. The tendency of This, also, is to "cast out fear" 1 John 4:18, and to make the mind bold and constant. Nothing will do more to inspire courage, to make a man fearless of danger, or ready to endure privation and persecution, than "love." The love of country, and wife, and children, and home, makes the most timid bold when they are assailed; and the love of Christ and of a dying world nerves the soul to great enterprises, and sustains it in the deepest sorrows.

And of a sound mind - The Greek word denotes one of sober mind; a man of prudence and discretion. The state referred to here is that in which the mind is well balanced, and under right influences; in which it sees things in their just proportions and relations; in which it is not feverish and excited, but when everything is in its proper place. It was this state of mind which Timothy was exhorted to cultivate; this which Paul regarded as so necessary to the performance of the duties of his office. It is as needful now for the minister of religion as it was then.

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.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: fear in this place signifieth fearfuluess, or cowardice, or poorness of spirit, in opposition to that holy fortitude which becomes ministers; this, he saith, is none of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and proceedeth not from God.

But of power: by power he means Christian courage and fortitude, not declining duty because of danger threatening us in the performance, but enabling us to encounter the greatest dangers and difficulties.

And of love; love to God, and to the souls of his people; love so strong as to constrain us to be willing to lay down our lives for Christ, and for his church and people.

And of a sound mind; swfronismou we translate it a sound mind; others, sobriety; others, a calm and quiet mind. A sound mind, in the ordinary notion of it, for a judgment sound in the faith, is requisite to it minister of the gospel. Sobriety is the gift of the Spirit: sobriety is a very general term, and signifies the moderation and government of our passions; that which seems to be here meant is such a govermnent, and composure of spirit, that nothing shall deter us from the discharge of our duty; and the term sound mind, opposed to a meak and sickly mind, staggering at every danger, may well enough express the apostle’s sense.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear,.... A pusillanimous, cowardly spirit, so as to be afraid of men or devils, of what they will say or do; and so as to be discouraged in, sink under, or be deterred from the work of the Lord, the preaching of the Gospel, opposing the errors of false teachers, and reproving men for their sins, and doing other parts of the ministerial function; such a spirit is not from God, and such a fear brings a snare:

but of power, and such is the Spirit of God, who is called "power from high"; Luke 24:49 by which the minds of Christ's servants are fortified against reproaches and persecutions for his sake, and are strengthened to resist Satan's temptations, to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, to quit themselves like men, in opposition to false teachers, and to do the will and work of God:

and of love; to God, and Christ, and his church, and which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit; and such who have it seek not their own ease and credit, but the glory of God, the interest of Christ, and the good of souls; and having such a spirit, and fired with such love, they are not easily intimidated by the adversary;

and of a sound mind: in the principles and doctrines of the Gospel; and which shows itself in a prudent conduct and behaviour; in sobriety, moderation, temperance, purity, and honesty; all which may be signified by the word here used: and these who have such dispositions and qualities from God, will not easily give way to the enemies of religion, or decline their duty for fear of them.

For God hath not given us the spirit of {d} fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

(d) To pierce us through, and terrify us, as men whom the Lord will destroy.

2 Timothy 1:7. The exhortation in 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul confirms by pointing to the spirit which God has given to His own people: οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ Θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας] By ἡμῖν, Otto understands not Christians in general, but the apostle and Timothy in particular as office-bearers. The context, however, does not demand such special reference, since the apostle, in order to confirm his exhortation to Timothy, might very well appeal to a fact which had been experienced by Christians in general as well as by himself. Besides, the ἡμᾶς in 2 Timothy 1:9 is against Otto’s view. Πνεῦμα here is either—(1) the objective spirit of God, the Holy Spirit (Bengel, Heydenreich, Otto), of whom it is first said negatively that it is not a spirit of δειλία, i.e. not a spirit producing δειλία in man, and then positively that it is a spirit of δύναμις κ.τ.λ., i.e. a spirit imparting δύναμις to man; or (2) πνεῦμα is the subjective condition of man, the spiritual life wrought in him by the Spirit of God (Mack, Matthies, Leo, similarly, too, Hofmann[8]), which is then described more precisely as a spirit, not of δειλία, but of δύναμις κ.τ.λ. The context in which the similar passage in Romans stands, and especially the passage corresponding to this in Galatians 4:6, make the first view preferable.

δειλία denotes timidity in the struggle for the kingdom of God; comp. John 14:27; Revelation 21:7-8.

The ideas δύναμις, ἀγάπη, and σωφρονισμός are closely related to each other. That the Christian, as a warrior of God, may rightly wage the warfare to which he is appointed, he needs first δύναμις, i.e. power, not only to withstand the attacks of the world, but also to gain an increasing victory over the world. He has need next of ἀγάπη, which never suffers him to lose sight of the goal of the struggle, i.e. the salvation of his brethren, and urges him to labour towards it with all self-denial. Lastly, he has need of σωφρονισμός. While Chrysostom and Theophylact leave it uncertain whether this word is to be taken intransitively, reflectively, or transitively (Theophylact: ἢ ἵνα σώφρονες ὦμεν· … ἢ ἵνα σωφρονισμὸν ἔχωμεν τὸ πνεῦμα, κἄν τις πειρασμὸς ἡμῖν ἐπιγένηται, πρὸς σωφρονισμὸν τοῦτον δεχώμεθα· ἢ ἵνα καὶ ἄλλοις ὦμεν σωφρονισταί), later expositors (Hofmann too: “discretion”) have taken it as synonymous with σωφροσύνη (thus Augustine, ad Bonif. iv. chap. 5: continentia; Vulgate: sobrietas; Beza: sanitas animi; Leo: temperantia); de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt make it reflective, “self-control” (properly, therefore, “the σωφρόνισις directed towards oneself”). Neither explanation, however, can be justified by usage. Etymology and usage are decidedly in favour of the transitive meaning, which therefore must be maintained, with Otto, unless we attribute to the apostle a mistake in the use of the word. In itself the Holy Spirit might be called πνεῦμα σωφρονισμοῦ in the other sense, since the σωφρονίζειν is His characteristic, He practises it; but, as the preceding genitives denote effects, and not qualities, of the spirit, the genitive σωφρονισμοῦ would stand to πνεῦμα in a relation differing from that of the other genitives. The Holy Spirit can therefore receive such a designation here, only in so far as He produces the σωφρονίζειν (comp. Titus 2:4) in the Christian, i.e. impels him not to remain inactive when others go wrong, but to correct them that they may desist. Thus taken, the idea of σωφρονισμός appropriately includes that of ἀγάπη, part of which is to be active in amending the unhappy circumstances of the church,—here all the more appropriately because the thought which is true of all Christians is specially applied here to Timothy.[9]

[8] Hofmann, to a certain extent, combines the two, saying: “The spirit which we have received is, looking to its source, the Spirit of God; but, looking to what we become through it, it becomes in us the spirit of our life thus created.”

[9] The explanation here given of σωφρονισμός is in substantial agreement with that proposed by Otto, except that Otto regards the σωφρονισμός as a work, official in kind.

2 Timothy 1:7. οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν: The γάρ connects this statement with the exhortation preceding in such a way as to suggest that God’s gift “to us” of a spirit of power is in the same order of being as the charisma imparted to Timothy by the laying on of St. Paul’s hands. The question is, then, To whom is reference made in ἡμῖν? We can only reply, The Christian Society, represented by the apostles on the Day of Pentecost. (The aor. ἔδωκεν points to a definite occasion). Then it was that the Church began to receive the power, δύναμις, which had been promised (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) by the Lord, and realised by the apostles collectively (Acts 4:33; 1 Corinthians 4:20; 1 Corinthians 5:4), and individually (Acts 6:8; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Whatever special charismata are bestowed on the ministers of the Church at ordination, they are a part of the general stream of the Pentecostal gift which is always being poured out by the ascended Lord.

πνεῦμα δειλίας: It is simplest to take πνεῦμα here as a comprehensive equivalent to χάρισμα, as in 1 Corinthians 14:12, ζηλωταί ἐστε πνευμάτων. God did not infuse into us fearfulness, etc. The gen. after πνεῦμα, in this and similar cases, Romans 8:15 (δουλείας, υἱοθεσίας), Romans 11:8 (κατανύξεως), 1 Corinthians 4:21, Galatians 6:1 (πραΰτητος), 2 Corinthians 4:13 (πίστεως), Ephesians 1:17 (σοφίας, κ.τ.λ.), expresses the prominent idea, the term πνεῦμα adds the notion that the quality spoken of is not self-originated. The personal Holy Spirit is not meant unless the context names Him unambiguously, as in Ephesians 1:13.

δειλία: fearfulness, timidity, timor. This is the right word here, as δουλείας is the right word in Romans 8:15. It is curious that in Leviticus 26:36, where B has δουλείαν A &c. have δειλίαν. See apparat. crit. There was an element of δειλία in Timothy’s natural disposition which must have been prejudicial to his efficiency as a Church ruler. For that position is needed (a) force of character, which if not natural may be inspired by consciousness of a divine appointment, (b) love, which is not softness, and (c) self-discipline, which is opposed to all easy self-indulgence which issues in laxity of administration. σωφρονισμοῦ: sobrietatis. Better active, as R.V., discipline, first of self, then of others. See Blass, Grammar, p. 61.

7. For God hath not given us] Rather, gave us; i.e. both St Paul and Timothy, at the time of their ‘setting apart’ for the ministry; this gift is of special grace for special work, more particularly the proper temper and character formed in them by the Holy Spirit; and this not a spirit of cowardice, ‘a spirit’ being preferable to ‘the spirit’ of A.V. as more plainly indicating this character, the spirit we are of in regard to ministerial work, than ‘the spirit,’ which though written with s, not S, is still liable to be mistaken by the listener or reader as though the Holy Spirit were meant. This indeed Bp Ellicott wishes, needlessly making two classes of passages, one like Ephesians 1:17, and this, where the reference to the gift from God is very near, and one like Galatians 6:1, where it is not. But all the passages in effect suppose the working of the Holy Spirit on our human spirit so that we have a certain spirit, temper, character, resulting.

Some mss. and Versions (and so Clement and Chrysostom) have confused this verse with Romans 8:15 and read instead of deilias, ‘cowardice,’ the word that is used there in the totally different connexion, douleias, ‘slavery.’ And similarly we have there the variant deilias, ‘cowardice.’ It is quite natural that the new phrases coined for the new needs should echo the very ring of the older at times, and at times be (as we have seen) fresh-minted altogether. The noun ‘cowardice’ occurs only here in N.T.; the verb and adjective belonging to it occur only as used by our Lord Himself, John 14:27,’ let not your heart turn coward’; Matthew 8:26, ‘why are ye cowards, O ye of little faith’ (so Mark 4:40); Revelation 21:8, ‘for the cowards and unbelieving … their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire.’ This striking usage emphasises the warning that follows not to be ‘ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.’

but of power, of love, and of a sound mind] ‘power—yes, for surely not in vain is spoken over us the consecrating word; not in vain do we go forth bearing authority from Christ … We “preach Christ crucified,”—“the power of God.” ‘Bp How, Pastoral Work, c. vi; who also well describes the ‘love’ as ‘a simple, self-forgetting, self-sacrificing love’ that can lay itself out to win even ‘the uninteresting, the hard, cold, rude, ignorant, degraded’; but for ‘sound mind’ gives a less convincing quotation from Keble’s preface to the Christian Year, ‘a sober standard of feeling in matters of practical religion.’ The R.V. gives ‘discipline,’ and in the margin as the exact rendering of the Greek, ‘sobering,’ sôphronismos differing from sôphrosynê ‘soberness,’ as logismos, ‘reasoning,’ differs from logos, ‘reason.’ But as the word is the noun of the verb rendered Titus 2:4 ‘train in purity,’ and its root is the word sôphrôn rendered 1 Timothy 3:2 and elsewhere in these epistles ‘pure’ (see notes), ‘training in purity’ would seem the exact force here. And though the verb (note on Titus 2:4) and therefore its noun seems in general usage to mean only ‘train,’ ‘discipline,’ yet here too, thinking of the keywords in these epistles, we shall believe that St Paul is raising the word back to its proper level of ‘moral discipline.’ So St Gregory treating of the life of the Pastor (Pastoral Charge, Pt. ii. c. 2) makes this the first qualification; ‘Rector semper cogitatione sit mundus—quia necesse est ut esse munda debeat manus quae diluere sordes curat.’ Then we find, as we should expect, that these three brief notes of the ministerial character of Timothy are expanded through the next chapter: power, 2 Timothy 2:14-19, moral discipline, 2 Timothy 2:20-22, love, 2 Timothy 2:23-26.

2 Timothy 1:7. Πνεῦμα, spirit) That is, the spirit which God has given us is not the spirit of fear, but of power, etc. Hence arises the testimony which believers give, spoken of in the following verse and in John 15:26-27 [ye also shall bear witness, etc.].—δειλίας) Eustathius says, δειλὸς ὁ δεδιὼς τὰς ἴλας, one that is afraid of troops of soldiers; comp. Sirach 37 :(11) 12. This derivation is quite in consonance with the sense here; comp. ch. 2 Timothy 2:3. The fear meant is that, of which the causes are in the mind, rather than from without. This fear within in too great a degree exaggerates the causes which are without. The act of fear always has its cause in the mind, but a courageous disposition repels and overcomes external causes.—δυνάμεως) of power. Δυνάμις, power, strength, is opposed to fear. Divine power in us, not our own, is intended; see 2 Timothy 1:8; and so of love and sober-mindedness. [They also, the ἀγάπη and σωφρονισμὸς (which Engl. Vers. renders a sound mind) meant, are not our own, but are created by God in us]. All these operate in us, and animate us to the discharge of our duties towards God, the saints, and ourselves. Power [strength] and sober-mindedness are the two extremes, but these in a good sense; love is in the middle, and is the bond, and as it were the check upon both, taking away [counteracting the liability to] the two bad extremes, timidity and rashness. Concerning strength or power, see 2 Timothy 1:8, etc.; concerning love, ch. 2 Timothy 2:14, etc.; concerning sober-mindedness, ch. 2 Timothy 3:1, etc. [These gifts are preferable to any miraculous powers whatever.—V. g.]—καὶ ἀγάπης, and of love) Moreover love embraces even those who are prisoners [in a spirit of bondage], by driving out fear; comp. 1 John 4:18.—καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ, and of sober-mindedness) This is a verbal noun [the being sober-minded]. The duty of young men is σωφρονίζεσθαι, to act with sober-mindedness, Titus 2:4; Titus 2:6 : and Timothy was a young man, ch. 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Timothy 4:12. He is therefore admonished to give up all the advantages and pleasures of life, ch. 2 Timothy 2:4, and to remove the ‘thorns,’ by which he may be entangled; Luke 8:14. The Spirit teaches this lesson; and he who learns it, is delivered from fear, and heartily embraces the testimony of his Lord.

Verse 7. - Gave us not for hath not given us, A.V.; a spirit of fearfulness for the spirit of fear, A.V.; and for of, A.V.; discipline for of a sound mind, A.V. A spirit of fearfulness; or, cowardice, as the word δειλία exactly means in classical Greek, where it is very common, though it only occurs here in the New Testament. Δειλός also has a reproachful sense, both in classical Greek, and also in the LXX., and in the New Testament (see Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:40; Revelation 21:8). It seems certain, therefore, that St. Paul thought that Timothy's gentle spirit was in danger of being cowed by the adversaries of the gospel. The whole tenor of his exhortation, combined as it was with words of warm affection, is in harmony with this thought. Compare with the phrase, πνεῦμα δειλίας, the πνεῦμα δουλείας εἰς φόβον of Romans 8:15. Of power and love. Power (δύναμις) is emphatically the attribute of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 2:4, etc.), and that which he specially imparts to the servants of Christ (Acts 1:8; Acts 6:8; Ephesians 3:16, etc.). Love is added, as showing that the servant of Christ always uses power in conjunction with love, and only as the means of executing what love requires. Discipline (σωφρονισμοῦ); only here in the New Testament; σωφρονίζειν is found in Titus 2:4, "to teach," A.V.; "to train," R.V. "Discipline" is not a very happy rendering, though it gives the meaning; "correction," or "sound instruction," is perhaps nearer. It would seem that Timothy had shown some signs of weakness, and had not boldly reproved and instructed in their duty certain offenders, as true love for souls required him to do. The phrase from Plutarch's 'Life of Cato,' quoted by Alford, exactly gives the force of σωφρονισμός: Ἐπὶ διορθώσαι καὶ σωφρονισμῷ τῶν ἄλλων, "For the amendment and correction of the rest." 2 Timothy 1:7Spirit of fear (πνεῦμα δειλίας)

Better, of cowardice. N.T. Comp. Romans 8:15, and see on the Spirit, Romans 8:4, 5.

Of power (δυνάμεως)

Found in all the Pauline Epistles except Philemon. In Pastorals only here, 2 Timothy 1:8, and 2 Timothy 3:5. Not used by our writer in the sense of working miracles, which it sometimes has in Paul. Here, the power to overcome all obstacles and to face all dangers. It is closely linked with the sense of παρρησία boldness.

Of love (ἀγάπης)

See on Galatians 5:22.

Of a sound mind (σωφρονισμοῦ)

N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Not self-control, but the faculty of generating it in others or in one's self, making them σώφρονες of sound mind. Comp. Titus 2:4. Rend. discipline. See on σωφροσύνη 1 Timothy 2:9.

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