2 Timothy 1:1-2
God's grace, mercy, and peace to Paul's beloved son Timothy.
Published December 10th, 2018
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2 Timothy 1:1-2
Main point summary
Greeting (1:1-2)
Questions for Clarification
2 Timothy 1:1-2 NASB
2 Timothy 1:1-2
2 Timothy Timothy Charged to Guard His Trust 1 1 Paul, a an apostle of b Christ Jesus 1 c by the will of God, according to the promise of d life in Christ Jesus, 2 To a Timothy, my beloved 1 b son: c Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Main point summary
Paul greets Timothy and wishes him grace, mercy and peace from God and Christ.
Greeting (1:1-2)
2 Timothy 1:1-2
[who is ] an apostle of b Christ Jesus
1 c by the will of God,
according to the promise of d life in Christ Jesus,
To a Timothy,
[who is ] my beloved 1 b son:
c Grace, mercy and peace
from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Questions for Clarification
Q. What does it mean that Paul is an apostle "by the will of God" (1:1c)? This could possibly refer to, or imply, a few things : 1. Christ, who both is God and only does God the Father's will (John 5:19; 6:38), appeared to Paul personally and directly (Acts 9:3-17), choosing him as His special apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). 2. God is Sovereign and rules everything by His will and providence, therefore the only way that Paul is an apostle is through God's will. " The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe as a whole (Ps 103:19) , the physical world (Matt 5:45 ), the affairs of nations (Ps 66:7) , human destiny (Gal 1:15 ), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52 ), and the protection of His people (Ps 4:8 ). This doctrine stands in direct opposition to the idea that the universe is governed by chance or fate." ˜ ( 3. "As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul stood in the place of Christ and spoke the Word of Christ, and he did so by the will of God the Almighty Father. Paul writes Timothy not merely as a dear friend but as a divinely commissioned ambassador of God the Father and God the Son. He is not offering brotherly counsel, but declaring divine truth with firm authority." ˜MacArthur's New Testament Commentary on 2 Timothy Q. What does "the promise of life in Christ Jesus" refer to (1:1d)? A. This refers to the good news of Christ - the gospel. Outside of Christ everyone is spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). It is only "in Christ" that anyone can have life, and have it abundantly ( John 10:10). God promises that everyone who believes in Christ (with a true, genuine, saving faith that manifests in a transformed life) will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). Q. What is the semantic significance of the words "according to" (1:1d)? A. Paul's apostleship is "according to" the gospel - meaning that Paul was called as a messenger of Christ, and his message was the gospel. The message of the gospel (specifically to the Gentiles) was the main focus and purpose of his calling. Q. Is Timothy Paul's biological son (1:2b)? A. No, Paul is referring to Timothy in the way that rabbis and philosophers referred to their disciples - as sons. Timothy is Paul's spiritual child in the faith. Q. What is the "grace... from God" (1:2c)? A. God's grace is Him graciously giving us what we don't deserve to get. Like food, clothing, shelter, rain, sunshine, a loving wife, obedient children, forgiveness, eternal life. Everything a believer has that is good, is everything that he does not deserve to have, but has by God's amazing grace. Q. What is the "mercy... from God" (1:2c)? A. God's mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve . Like eternal punishment, death, separation from Him and His glory. Q. What is the "peace... from God" (1:2c)? A. This could refer to peace from a positional perspective - Every person is born into sin, born a natural enemy of God (Rom 5:10). But the gospel is God's message of peace to people who were His enemies. Like Paul explains in Eph 2:11-17, Christ Himself is our peace, who reconciled both Jew and Gentile into one people. It could also refer to peace from a state-of-mind point of view (which is probably the case in this passage, since Timothy is undoubtedly already saved and already knows God's positional peace) - God's grace and mercy brings about God's peace in a believer's life. In Philippians 4:4-7 Paul urges his readers to have this type of peace, saying that instead of being anxious about anything, they should rejoice in every circumstance, knowing that the Lord is not far away, but near, and that they should let all their requests be made known to God with prayer and supplication. The promised result is that the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard their hearts and minds in Christ. This is the type of peace that comes to a believer by knowing and believing fully that God "works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28). If a person truly believes that, how can he ever be anxious about anything? Q. Where specifically does "grace, mercy, and peace" come from (1:2c-e)? A. Grace, mercy, and peace comes only from God and Christ. Apart from Christ, no one can have peace with God through His mercy. If God is not Sovereign and divinely controls all things, how can anyone have any peace about their life and its circumstances? If satan, or people, or government, or criminals, or circumstances could outwit the Almighty Creator of the universe, who made everything by speaking a word, how can anyone ever have any internal peace about anything? If everyone in Joseph's life circumstances could mean everything for evil against him, but God could mean every evil act they freely committed for Joseph's good (Gen 50:20; see again Rom 8:28), and if satan had to ask God for permission to do anything against Job, if God orchestrated every single second of history to lead perfectly up to the point of Jesus' life, crucifixion, and resurrection, can we not be at peace, knowing that He's doing the same in our lives?
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.