1:1 - It was God’s will (the Father) for Paul to become the apostle of Christ (Gal 1:15–16).
The purpose of Paul’s call to be an apostle of Christ is to announce the promise of life (eternal life) that is for all those who believe in Christ, find themselves in Christ (in the Church).
Timothy is presented as Paul’s beloved child - spiritual child, child in faith (compare Acts 16:3; Philemon 1:10).
“Forefathers” - God-fearing Jewish believers who lived before Christ’s death.
Serve - latreo- service offered to God embracing our entire life in worship and daily life.
“Clean conscience” (1 Tim 3:9; Acts 23:1; 24:16) - sincere heart, mind enlightened by faith. On the opposite side is bad conscience (Titus 1:15), which does not seek truth and goodness, and easily gets blinded.
Paul was praying for Timothy - day and night - regularly. In prison there is plenty of time to pray and reflect.
Timothy’s tears? - Was it when they separated the last time? (See Acts 20:17.36–38; - Timothy was appointed as the bishop of Ephesus. Did he cry with them?)
Timothy’s faith is unfeigned - on the opposite side is a hypocritical faith - just pretending to believe. In Rom 12:9; 2 Cor 6:6 - Paul indicates that love should also be like that.
Paul shows the chain of that faith: from Timothy’s grandmother, through his mother, then in him (Acts 16:3). We have here a clear indication of parents as being the first transmitters of faith - in the form of example and preaching.
Here, we see contrast between Paul and Timothy. Paul is imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel. Moreover, he is not ashamed of this fact. He seems to be proud of it. On the other hand, Timothy seems to be intimidated either by Paul’s imprisonment or by the difficulties he is experiencing shepherding the community.
Thus, the old and imprisoned Paul remind the young and free Timothy about (1) Timothy’s ordination and (2) the powerful Spirit of God that they both possess.
Timothy needs to go on retreat and “to fan the flame of the gift of God” - revive his ministry, and realized the quality of the Spirit of God: (1) power, (2) love; (3) self-control.
“General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once sent this message to those under him: ‘The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.’ Anyone who has tended a fireplace fire knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally.“
1:8 - Was Timothy ashamed of Paul’s imprisonment? Was he afraid of getting into prison himself? Paul tells him to get hold of himself, rely on the Spirit of self-control and join him in suffering for Christ’s sake.
1:9 After all, Christ first suffered for Paul and Timothy. Not only that, he also called them to preach the Gospel.
1:10–12 The Gospel sheds light on life and immortality. There is more to life then just this life. Life can also be lived in a different way - Paul can be an example - giving up everything for Christ and yet being extremely happy and satisfied with his life.
Yet, Paul and Timothy would not know it without Christ and His Gospel. It also goes for the world. The world needs to know the Gospel and those, who preach the Gospel, should be ready to suffer for it. After all, they know that there is something more awaiting them after this life - true life and immortality. It is an honor to preach the Gospel, then.
Personal advice to Timothy that are similar to those in 1 Timothy (1 Tim 10–11; 6:20–21). The “sound/healthy words” that Timothy heard from Paul - the apostolic kerygmat - he should preserved.
Love and faith are connected again (see Gal 5:6).
“Good Deposit” (1 Tim 6:20) - the entire doctrine of faith. It can be safeguarded with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Here also we find the statement that the Holy Spirit lives in us - since the moment of our baptism (1 Cor 6:19; Rom 8:11).
We have here some personal information about the events that took place after Paul’s arrest.
All those from Asia - the Roman province of Asia - turned away from Paul. Two names are mentioned. The only one that stood by him was the family of Onesiphorus, who personally help Paul a lot in Ephesus. Notice that Onesiphorus himself is not mentioned as such (2 Tim 4:19).
Paul prays that he will find mercy on “this day”. This day seems to refer to the coming of Christ in glory - Parousia. In that case, it would indicate that he was already passed away (in 2 Tim 4:19 - the reference is to his house). In that case, it would be the instance of Paul praying for the dead.