Hold fast the form of sound words

2 Timothy 1

The second epistle to Timothy is remarkable as being probably the last which the apostle wrote; it contains dying advice, written in the immediate prospect of martyrdom. Looking forward calmly to the grave, and with the executioner’s axe in the foreground, Paul pens this letter to his favourite disciple, and solemnly charges him to abide faithful unto death.

2 Timothy 1:1-5

We see here the inmost heart of Paul. Deserted by many of his friends, and in the feebleness of old age, expecting a cruel death, he cherishes the memory of his beloved young disciple, and longs to look once more upon his face. With joy he remembers the holy mother and grandmother of his friend, and the unfeigned piety of Timothy himself. How natural and how touching!

2 Timothy 1:8-10

Do not hesitate to come to Rome and bear with me the reproaches and dangers which belong to the ministers of Christ,

2 Timothy 1:8-10

“The old man eloquent” feels his soul kindling as he describes the glories of the gospel, eternal in its purpose, matchless in its achievements. He sits on the brink of the grave, and sings of one who hath abolished death. Faith in the resurrection could alone suggest such a triumphant exclamation.

2 Timothy 1:13

This is the main burden of the apostle’s pleading with Timothy, “Hold fast.” We have equal need of the same exhortation, for this is an evil day, and thousands hold everything or nothing as the winds of opinion may change.

2 Timothy 1:14-18

This good man is here immortalised. When he risked his life to find out and succour a poor despised prisoner, he little knew that he would live for ever on the page of the church’s history. His cup of cold water given to an apostle has received an apostle’s reward. Are there any yet alive like Paul to whom we might minister in love after the manner of Onesiphorus?


Stripp’d of my earthly friends,

I find them all in One;

And peace, and joy that never ends,

And heav’n, in Christ alone!

The Interpreter: Or, Scripture for Family Worship.

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