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.
9. Who … called us—namely, God the Father (Ga 1:6). The having "saved us" in His eternal purpose of "grace, given us in Christ before the world began," precedes his actual "calling" of us in due time with a call made effective to us by the Holy Spirit; therefore, "saved us" comes before "called us" (Ro 8:28-30).
holy calling—the actual call to a life of holiness. Heb 3:1, "heavenly calling" [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]; whereas we were sinners and enemies (Eph 1:18; 4:1). The call comes wholly from God and claims us wholly for God. "Holy" implies the separation of believers from the rest of the world unto God.
not according to—not having regard to our works in His election and calling of grace (Ro 9:11; Eph 2:8, 9).
his own purpose—The origination of salvation was of His own purpose, flowing from His own goodness, not for works of ours coming first, but wholly because of His own gratuitous, electing love [Theodoret and Calvin].
grace … given us—in His everlasting purpose, regarded as the same as when actually accomplished in due time.
in Christ—believers being regarded by God as IN Him, with whom the Father makes the covenant of salvation (Eph 1:4; 3:11).
before the world began—Greek, "before the times (periods) of ages"; the enduring ages of which no end is contemplated (1Co 2:7; Eph 3:11).