So do not be embarrassed about the personal affirmation [given us] from our Lord nor of me His prisoner, but suffer [if needs be, the embarrassment and ill-will of others] for the Good News according to the purposes of God, who has redeemed us [reclaiming us and setting us apart] by calling us with a holy calling, commissioning us and setting us on our path with a holy commission, not at all according to our works, but according to His own purposes and the gift given to us [by a decision made] in Christ Jesus before time began and now made manifest by the appearance of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, on the one hand abrogating death and on the other, bringing life and incorruptibility [sustained integrity] to light through the Good News, for which I have been put in my place [well and truly] as a herald, commissioned messenger and teacher and for which, because of these things, I have to endure the suffering that has come my way, but [of which] I am not [at all] embarrassed. For I am well aware of who it is in whom I have placed my trust, and am persuaded that He has the power to keep watch over that which I have thereby invested [my life no less] in Him until the day, that day. Keep in mind and hold to the outline of healthy [wholesome] teaching you have already received from me [along] with your faith and love of Christ Jesus. Guard this as your valuable investment given you by the Holy Spirit who dwells among us.
     You will already be well aware of the events in Asia, and how there has been a significant defection from me via Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord [continue to] have mercy upon the household of Onesiphorous because he has often refreshed me by his aid and has not been embarrassed by my chains, but coming [here] to Rome he diligently sought me out and found where I am. May the Lord grant him a merciful hearing on that day including how he served, as you well know, in Ephesus. - II Timothy 1:8-18/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne.

Guarding

Paul tells Timothy to guard as a "valuable investment" to teaching he had given him. PICTURE: John Salvino/Unsplash

 

"Paul simply reminds Timothy of the pattern, outline and sketch of the reliable teaching he has already given to him. Paul is not at all reserved in his estimation of the value of what he has been able to pass on."

Paul's opening words about Timothy's tears would suggest that news has reached him, presumably in his Roman house arrest (see 1:17; 2:9), and this had prompted him to write a reassuring word.

There will be afflictions that arise because of this work, he says, and you, Timothy, must shoulder your share of them. The boldness which is the natural or logical response for the person encouraged by the Lord means that one is not “put on the spot” with embarrassment by the afflictions that come our way. The ignominious social standing of one imprisoned is no reason for embarrassment, particularly when one is a prisoner for the Lord. These afflictions are to be shared among all who fear the Lord.

And so, later on in this passage, Paul refers to the loyal and refreshing support of Onesiphorous who “was not at all ashamed of my chains.” The personal affirmation given to His people by the Lord is productive of a boldness that will not be distracted by the ill-will of others. God works His purposes out in our lives; that is how we find ourselves commissioned with the work that lies before us, work that He has made possible for us to do.

And that boldness, with which Paul and Timothy are fitted to do their work in commissioned proclamation and teaching, is also given so that, with the imparting of the Good News, people will know what makes these followers of Christ Jesus so confident and bold in their proclamation. This is the proclamation that death has been well and truly gazumped and swallowed up in life. It is this message that may provoke the ill- will and bring suffering to those living by it, but what is at the root of this message is what is at the root of Paul's and Timothy's boldness under affliction.

Paul calls on Timothy not to be ashamed (verse 8) and then goes on to reiterate that neither is he ashamed and he writes in terms that have their own indelible character of authenticity: "and so I am well aware of who it is in whom I have placed my trust since I am persuaded that He has the power to keep watch over that which I have had invested in my name by Him until that day when his work is fully and finally shown to be complete".

And as if to reiterate the principle spelled out elsewhere: "What do we have that has not been given to us?" (I Corinthians 4:7).

Paul simply reminds Timothy of the pattern, outline and sketch of the reliable teaching he has already given to him. Paul is not at all reserved in his estimation of the value of what he has been able to pass on. It is an investment of the Holy Spirit (see v 12 - PARATHEKEN).

And now, Paul refers to some sobering developments, the defection of Phygelus and Hermogenes, even as the encouragement of Onesiphorous is explicitly noted. This man is commended to Timothy. Paul's side comment “May he receive a merciful hearing” notes this man's ongoing support and encouragement. Onesiphorous has obviously been in a tight corner with the defection of Phygelus and Hermogenes but has continued to give Paul encouragement, going out of his way to visit him in prison. Presumably Paul is in Rome and this is written after his arrival, during his house-arrest.