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Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
Wherefore ° I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:4 thy tears. Timothy evidently had wept when he heard of Paul’s imprisonment (probably his second Roman imprisonment—see note on I Timothy 1:3) and coming execution. Paul himself was frequently moved to tears on behalf of those whom he was trying to help (e.g., Acts 20:31; Philippians 3:18). John also wept (Revelation 5:4), and so did Jesus (John 11:35; Luke 19:41). There is, indeed, “a time to weep” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

1:5 thy mother Eunice. Note II Timothy 3:15. There is great blessing in having a godly heritage, even when only one parent and one grandparent contribute to it. It will be a joy to meet Lois and Eunice in heaven in the age to come! Note also the testimony concerning the parents of John the Baptist. “They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6).

1:6 putting on of my hands. See note on I Timothy 4:14. Paul may have considered himself one of the presbytery (elders) who had special prayer for Timothy as he entered his ministry at Ephesus.

1:7 spirit of fear. Under the severe persecution of Nero, with Paul in prison and condemned to death, it would be natural for Timothy and other believers to be afraid and to refrain from speaking out for Christ. The same tendency to fear affects believers today as well, often for much less reason. Paul would remind us that this fearful attitude is not from God. He has given us the Spirit of power (Acts 1:8), the Spirit of love (Galatians 5:22), and the Spirit of a sound (that is “sober”) mind, that is, the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).

1:8 ashamed of the testimony. Paul was not ashamed, in spite of suffering in prison (I Timothy 1:12) and Onesiphorous was not ashamed to minister to Paul in prison (I Timothy 1:16). Therefore Paul encouraged Timothy not to be ashamed to give testimony to Christ (I Timothy 1:8).

1:9 before the world began. This remarkable revelation is incomprehensible to finite minds. We who are “in Christ Jesus” were saved and called (note the past tense), not only before we consciously accepted Christ but even before we were born and before He created the world. See also Ephesians 1:4. While we cannot understand this with our minds, we can apprehend it with our hearts, and thank the Lord.

1:10 appearing. Depending on context, the “appearing” (Greek epiphaneia) of Christ may refer either to His first coming, as here, or to His second coming (e.g., I Timothy 6:14).

1:10 immortality. See note on I Timothy 6:16. The Greek words are different in the two verses, but the sense is the same.

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