1:18-20 The ministry is a warfare against sin and Satan; carried on under the Lord Jesus, who is the Captain of our salvation. The good hopes others have had of us, should stir us up to duty. And let us be upright in our conduct in all things. The design of the highest censures in the primitive church, was, to prevent further sin, and to reclaim the sinner. May all who are tempted to put away a good conscience, and to abuse the gospel, remember that this is the way to make shipwreck of faith also.
18. He resumes the subject begun at 1Ti 1:3. The conclusion (apodosis) to the foregoing, "as I besought thee … charge" (1Ti 1:3), is here given, if not formally, at least substantially.
This charge—namely, "that thou in them (so the Greek) mightest war," that is, fulfil thy high calling, not only as a Christian, but as a minister officially, one function of which is, to "charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1Ti 1:3).
I commit—as a sacred deposit (1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 2:2) to be laid before thy hearers.
according to—in pursuance of; in consonance with.
the prophecies which went before on thee—the intimations given by prophets respecting thee at thy ordination, 1Ti 4:14 (as, probably, by Silas, a companion of Paul, and "a prophet," Ac 15:32). Such prophetical intimation, as well as the good report given of Timothy by the brethren (Ac 16:2), may have induced Paul to take him as his companion. Compare similar prophecies as to others: Ac 13:1-3, in connection with laying on of hands; Ac 11:28; 21:10, 11; compare 1Co 12:10; 14:1; Eph 4:11. In Ac 20:28, it is expressly said that "the Holy Ghost had made them (the Ephesian presbyters) overseers." Clement of Rome [Epistle to the Corinthians], states it was the custom of the apostles "to make trial by the Spirit," that is, by the "power of discerning," in order to determine who were to be overseers and deacons in the several churches planted. So Clement of Alexandria says as to the churches near Ephesus, that the overseers were marked out for ordination by a revelation of the Holy Ghost to St. John.
by them—Greek, "in them"; arrayed as it were in them; armed with them.
warfare—not the mere "fight" (1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 4:7), but the whole campaign; the military service. Translate as Greek, not "a," but "the good warfare."