2 Timothy 2:1
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
II.

(1) Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.—St. Paul, after the reference to the faithless Asiatics and the true loyal Onesiphorus, with which he interrupted his exhortation, turns again to Timothy. Thou therefore (oun), my son, considering what has taken place, be strong. It is as though he said, Imitate the one loyal follower, and make up to me for the faithless conduct of so many false friends. “Thou, then, be strong,” but not as men understand strength or firmness; but do thou be strong “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”—that is, be strong in the power of that inward sanctification which enables a man to will and to do according to what God has commanded, in the power of that inward sanctification which alone proceeds from Christ, and which will never be wanting to any one who is in Christ; in other words, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

2 Timothy 2:1-2. Thou therefore, my son — Animated by the example of fidelity and courage manifested by Onesiphorus; be strong Ενδυναμου, be encouraged and strengthened, in a firm reliance on the grace that is in Jesus — And which he is always ready to communicate to all that pray for and expect it. And the things — The wholesome doctrine, (2 Timothy 1:13,) that thou hast heard of me — To which I have often borne solemn testimony; among many witnesses — See 1 Timothy 6:12. By these many witnesses, he seems to have meant the elders, deacons, and others, present when Timothy was set apart to the sacred office of the ministry, and received a solemn charge from the apostle to execute his trust faithfully. The same commit thou — With great seriousness, care, and diligence, before thou leavest Ephesus; to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others — After thou art gone: that the truth may be continued, in an uninterrupted succession of such persons, who shall hand it down from one to another throughout all ages, even till the end of time.2:1-7 As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner, that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active, spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations. But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we would partake the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what they hear or read.Thou therefore - In view of the fact stated in the previous chapter, that many had turned away from the apostle, and had forsaken the paths of truth.

Be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus; - compare the notes at Ephesians 6:10. The meaning is, Be strong, relying on the grace which the Lord Jesus only can impart.

CHAPTER 2

2Ti 2:1-26. Exhortations; to Faithfulness as a Good Soldier of Christ; Errors to Be Shunned; the Lord's Sure Foundation; the Right Spirit for a Servant of Christ.

1. Thou therefore—following my example (2Ti 1:8, 12), and that of Onesiphorus (2Ti 1:16-18), and shunning that of those who forsook me (2Ti 1:15).

my son—Children ought to imitate their father.

be strong—literally, "be invested with power." Have power, and show thyself to have it; implying an abiding state of power.

in the grace—the element IN which the believer's strength has place. Compare 2Ti 1:7, "God hath given us the spirit of power."2 Timothy 2:1-14 Timothy is exhorted to constancy and perseverance in

the discharge of his duty, as a good soldier of

Christ, looking for a certain reward of his fatigues

and sufferings.

2 Timothy 2:15,16 to divide the word of truth rightly, and to shun

profane and vain babblings.

2 Timothy 2:17,18 The dangerous error of Hymenaeus and Philetus.

2 Timothy 2:19 The foundation of God standeth sure.

2 Timothy 2:20,21 Of vessels honourable and dishonourable.

2 Timothy 2:22-26 Timothy is taught what to flee, and what to follow,

and how the servant of Christ must behave toward all men.

The sense is either: Show thyself a stout and valiant man, not being affrighted at the dangers that threaten thee in the publishing and defence of the gospel which brings the glad tidings of the grace of Jesus Christ: or: Be thou strong through the gracious influence of Christ Jesus, without which thou canst do nothing.

Thou therefore, my son,.... The illative particle, "therefore", shows the connection between this and the preceding chapter; the appellation, "thou, my son", expresses the apostle's tender affection for Timothy, and is the rather used to engage his attention to the advice he was about to give him; which is, that since he had received the true grace of God, and unfeigned faith dwelt in him; and since he had such gifts, qualifying him for the work of the ministry; and since so good a thing as the glorious Gospel of the blessed God was committed to his trust; and since there were so many who had departed from it, and so few that abode by it, he would have him

be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; by which may be meant either the free favour and love of God in Christ, Romans 8:39 which is in itself always strong, immovable, and unalterable; and is the strength and security of the saints, though they have not always the same strong believing views of it; and to be strong in it, is to be rooted and grounded in it, and to have a strong sense and firm persuasion of interest in it, and that nothing can separate from it: or else the Gospel, which is a declaration of grace, and is in Christ, and comes by him; and to be strong in it, is to preach it boldly, to defend it bravely, and courageously oppose every error and heresy, and every abettor thereof; and it also becomes every private believer to hold it fast, stand fast in it, abide by it, and earnestly contend for it; and so the phrase may stand opposed to , or "one strong in the law", which is so often used by the Jews (d): or rather by grace is meant the fulness of grace which is in Christ, for the supply of his people; for in that grace which is in him, and not in that which is in themselves, should their dependence be. It is very agreeable to be strong in grace received, in point of exercise, but not in point of contentment; so as to rest satisfied with the present measure of it, without growing in it, and going on to perfection; and much less in point of consolation, so as to derive peace and comfort from it; and still less in point of trust and confidence in it; for it is but a creature, though a very glorious one, being the workmanship of God, and very variable as to its exercise, and as yet imperfect; and not that, but the object of it, is to be trusted in: though indeed a person's enjoyment of everlasting glory and happiness may be strongly concluded from the work of grace which is begun in him; that being an immortal seed, and a well of living water springing up into eternal life; and with which glory is inseparably connected. But grace in Christ is what believers should always have recourse unto, and exercise faith on; and not only believe that there is such a fulness of grace in Christ, which they have both heard of and seen, and which they know is laid up for them, and given to them, and is sufficient for them; but they should go forth out of themselves unto it, and draw water with joy out of the full wells of salvation in Christ: and this grace is of a strengthening nature, both to ministers of the word, to enable them to fulfil their ministry, to bear reproaches, afflictions, and persecution for the Gospel, and the infirmities of weak brethren; and to private believers, to strengthen them against every corruption, temptation, and snare, to exercise every grace, and discharge every branch of duty.

(d) Targum in Ruth ii. 1. & in Psal. lxxxii. 1. & cxii. 2. & in Eccl. x. 17. & in Cant. viii. 10, vid. T. Bab. Sota, fol. 14. 1. & Tzeror Hammor, fol. 9. 3.

Thou {1} therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

(1) The conclusion of the former exhortation which has also a declaration added to it: how those who do not keep that worthy thing that is committed to them, who keep it to themselves, but rather those who do most freely communicate it with others, to the end that many may be partakers of it, without any man's loss or hindrance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Timothy 2:1. After interrupting his exhortations by an allusion to the unfaithful Asiatics and to the faithful Onesiphorus, Paul with σύ resumes his exhortations to Timothy, at the same time connecting them by οὖν with those already given. In the first place, he now appeals to him: ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χρ. Ἰησ.] ἐνδυναμοῦσθαι does not mean: “feel oneself strong,” nor: “depend on something” (Heydenreich); but: “become strong, grow strong” (see Ephesians 6:10). The active voice is found in 2 Timothy 4:17 and 1 Timothy 1:12. As the apostle sees the end of his labours draw nearer, he is the more anxious that Timothy, for whom he has the warmest paternal love (τέκνον μου), should become a stronger and bolder champion for the Lord.

ἐν τῇ χάριτι] may either be a completion of the idea of ἐνδυναμοῦ (Wiesinger), or define it more precisely (van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann). The second view is the correct one: Timothy is to become strong by the χάρις ἡ ἐν Χρ., that he may be capable of discharging faithfully the office entrusted to him; comp. the passage in Ephesians 6:10.

ἡ χάρις ἡ ἐν Χρ. .] is not the office of teacher (Calovius and others), nor is it equivalent to χάρισμα, 2 Timothy 1:6; on the other hand, it is not “the life imparted by divine grace,” nor “the redemption” of the Christian (Wiesinger); it is objectively the grace dwelling in Christ, the grace of Jesus Christ, or better: “the grace obtained for us in the person of Christ” (Hofmann).

ἐν is explained by Chrysostom and others as equivalent to διά; this is not incorrect, only that ἐν indicates a more internal relation than διά. The believer lives in the grace which is in Christ; the strengthening to which Timothy is exhorted can only be effected by his abiding in this grace.2 Timothy 2:1. σύ: emphatic, as in 1 Timothy 6:11 and ch. 2 Timothy 3:10; but the appeal is not primarily that Timothy should imitate Onesiphorus, or learn by the example of Phygelus and Hermogenes, but rather marks the intensity of the apostle’s anxiety for the future conduct of Timothy in the Church; and similarly οὖν is resumptive of all the considerations and appeals for loyalty in chap. 1.

τέκνον: See note on 1 Timothy 1:2.

ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν, κ.τ.λ.: The thought is resumed from 2 Timothy 1:8-9, and expanded in 2 Timothy 2:3-13. The closest parallel is that in Ephesians 6:10, ἐνδυναμοῦσθε ἐν Κυρίῳ, κ.τ.λ. See note on 1 Timothy 1:12 and reff., esp. Romans 4:20, Php 4:13. Although the verb is passive, as indicated in the R.V., those who are, or who are exhorted to be, strengthened are not merely passive recipients of an influence from without. The act of reception involves man’s co-operation with God. Compare “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4). The perfection of God’s power is conditioned by the weakness of man (2 Corinthians 12:9).

τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χρ. Ἰησ.: The two passages, 2 Corinthians 12:9, and Ephesians 6:10, alluded to in the last note, explain this. Grace here has its simplest theological meaning, as the divine help, the unmerited gift of assistance that comes from God.1. Thou therefore, my son, be strong] Rather render my child, as in 1 Timothy 1:2 where the difference is explained, and be strengthened, ‘be emboldened,’ because the verb is of the same class in Greek as our English verbs with the ending -en. It occurs again in the active 2 Timothy 4:17 ‘the Lord stood by me and strengthened me.’ So the Vulg. here has the Low Latin ‘confortare,’ whence our own ‘comfort’ and ‘comforter.’

in the grace that is in Christ Jesus] ‘Christ Jesus’ here and in 2 Timothy 2:3 according to the order of the words as they framed themselves on the aged Apostle’s lips in these last years. See note on 1 Timothy 1:1. ‘In the grace,’ strengthened, that is, in those virtues and spiritual powers which in their fulness are in Christ. ‘The grace that is in Christ Jesus,’ as distinguished from ‘the Grace of Christ’ appears to be used only here. We have had ‘life that is in Christ Jesus’ 2 Timothy 1:1; then ‘faith and love that are in Christ Jesus,’ the first two movements and powers of that life, 2 Timothy 1:13; and now the full ‘grace,’ all the developed activities of strong life. As a matter of language the prepositional phrase ‘that is in Christ Jesus’ may mark progress towards the adjectival phrase which we should use now, ‘the Christian life,’ ‘the Christian graces’; see note on 1 Timothy 1:2. But we may rejoice that the changing phrase was (as it were) crystallised for us here at a stage that shews so plainly how inward sanctification is nothing but continued and increased vital personal union with Christ.

1–7. Personal and Ministerial Zeal enforced by Parables from the life of the Soldier, the Athlete and the Farmer

The Apostle resumes the main thread of exhortation to Christian courage. After its enforcements by Timothy’s inherited grace (2 Timothy 1:5) and the grace of his ‘laying on of hands’ (2 Timothy 1:6), by the free gift of the Saviour’s own life with all its love and light (2 Timothy 1:9-10), by his own apostleship (2 Timothy 1:11-13), the defection of false friends (2 Timothy 1:15), the refreshing zeal of Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 1:16-18), he plies his scholar with new illustrations yet of the old lesson. Courage to hold the torch up and hand the torch on (2 Timothy 2:1-2) is to be drawn from the soldier’s life (2 Timothy 2:3-4), the athlete’s (2 Timothy 2:5), the farmer’s (2 Timothy 2:6); and our Lord Himself, the Great Teacher by parables, will point their moral for him (2 Timothy 2:7).2 Timothy 2:1. Σὺ, thou) The exhortation is intensified; 2 Timothy 2:3, ch. 2 Timothy 3:10, note [in antithesis to the previously mentioned backsliders, ch. 2 Timothy 1:15].—τέκνου μου, my son) An argument why Timothy should imitate Paul, viz. from his spiritual relationship.—ἐνδυναμοῦ) 2 Timothy 1:7, be strong, and show thyself to be so. [This is treated of in 2 Timothy 2:3-13.—V. g.]—ἐν τῇ χάριτι, in the grace) Common grace incites and strengthens us even for extraordinary duties. It is an incentive and stimulus.Verse 1. - Child for son, A.V.; strengthened for strong, A.V. Be strengthened (ἐνδυναμοῦ); more exactly (as Huther), become strong, or, which is the same thing, strengthen thyself; implying, perhaps, though gently expressed, some previous weakness, as m Hebrews 11:34, "From weakness were made strong;" where the image seems to be that of recovery from sickness. In Ephesians 6:10, however (ἐνδυναμοῦσθε ἐν Κυρίῳ), there is no evidence of preceding weakness, but only a call to use the strength they had; and it may be so here too. The strength, Timothy is reminded, by which he was to fight the good fight, was not his own, but that which would come to him from the grace and love of Jesus Christ (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 4:13). Therefore (οὖν)

In view of what has been said in the previous chapter.

Be strong (ἐνδυναμοῦ)

In Paul, Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13. Lit. be strengthened inwardly.

In the grace (ἐν τῇ χάριτι)

Grace is the inward source of strength. Comp. the association of grace and strength in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

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