John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Verse 3. Whom I serve from my forefathers - That is, whom both I and my ancestors served. With a pure conscience - He always worshipped God according to his conscience, both before and after his conversion One who stands on the verge of life is much refreshed by the remembrance of his predecessors, to whom he is going.
Verse 4. Being mindful of thy tears - Perhaps frequently shed, as well as at the apostle's last parting with him.
Verse 5. Which dwelt - A word not applied to a transient guest, but only to a settled inhabitant. First - Probably this was before Timothy was born, yet not beyond St. Paul's memory.
Verse 6. Wherefore - Because I remember this. I remind thee of stirring up - Literally, blowing up the coals into a flame. The gift of God - All the spiritual gifts, which the grace of God has given thee.
on the Whole Bible
Verse 7. And let nothing discourage thee, for God hath not given us -That is, the spirit which God hath given us Christians, is not the spirit of fear - Or cowardice. But of power -Banishing fear. And love and sobriety - These animate us in our duties to God, our brethren, and ourselves. Power and sobriety are two good extremes. Love is between, the tie and temperament of both; preventing the two bad extremes of fearfulness and rashness. More is said concerning power, 1 Timothy 1:8; concerning love, 2 Timothy 2:14, &c.; concerning sobriety, 2 Timothy 3:1, &c.
Verse 8. Therefore be not thou ashamed - When fear is banished, evil shame also flees away. Of the testimony of our Lord - The gospel, and of testifying the truth of it to all men. Nor of me - The cause of the servants of God doing his work, cannot be separated from the cause of God himself. But be thou partaker of the afflictions - Which I endure for the gospel's sake. According to the power of God - This which overcomes all things is nervously described in the two next verses.
Verse 9. Who hath saved us - By faith. The love of the Father, the grace of our Saviour, and the whole economy of salvation, are here admirably described. Having called us with an holy calling - Which is all from God, and claims us all for God. According to his own purpose and grace - That is, his own gracious purpose. Which was given us - Fixed for our advantage, before the world began.
Verse 10. By the appearing of our Saviour - This implies his whole abode upon earth. Who hath abolished death - Taken away its sting, and turned it into a blessing. And hath brought life and immortality to light - Hath clearly revealed by the gospel that immortal life which he hath purchased for us.
Verse 12. That which I have committed to him - My soul. Until that day - Of his final appearing.
Verse 13. The pattern of sound words - The model of pure, wholesome doctrine.
Verse 14. The good thing - This wholesome doctrine.
Verse 15. All who are in Asia - Who had attended me at Rome for a while. Are turned away from me - What, from Paul the aged, the faithful soldier, and now prisoner of Christ! This was a glorious trial, and wisely reserved for that time, when he was on the borders of immortality. Perhaps a little measure of the same spirit might remain with him under whose picture are those affecting words, "The true effigy of Francis Xavier, apostle of the Indies, forsaken of all men, dying in a cottage."
Verse 16. The family of Onesiphorus - As well as himself. Hath often refreshed me - Both at Ephesus and Rome.