1:8-10 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,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Bible teachers often teach students to identify the word, therefore. Once identified, it is crucial to see what the therefore is there for In verse 7, the reader will see that God gave us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
Because of our Godly calling and the spirit given that equips us, it would be unreasonable to have shame in the work and testimony of God nor his fellow-worker Paul, who was in chains.
Paul highlights boldness in this Scripture, the antithesis of fear. Timothy, who like Paul, was a church elder was being called to a high standard and as we will further see, the cling to sound doctrine to strengthen him.
Being a partaker of afflictions for the Gospel’s sake, should be a natural effect of walking the Godly walk. So many times, within the New Testament, the Christian is assured that there will be trouble in this world for Christ’s sake (John 15:18; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-14). These warnings often come with a reassurance of God’s presence and power that rests upon the believer (2 Corinthians 12:10).
The power of God that within us is the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead, saved us, and by which we are called to a holy calling (Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:19-20). Saying this, the emphasis of the power that we wield, is all on Christ. This verse dismisses any assumption or false teaching that salvation is by works. Humanity is saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God’s redemptive plan had always been planned to reconcile sinful man to the holy God. This is true as we see even “before the world began.” Nonetheless, it was not until the manifestation of Jesus, God incarnate, that this plan came to fruition through His finished Gospel, death was defeated, and humanity could be justified, sanctified, and sealed unto the next life.
1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
This message was revealed to Paul by direct revelation of Jesus Christ and the apostle was appointed as the minister of the Gentiles.
Paul held a unique position as well as here we see that three of the five positions that Paul lists within Ephesians 4:11-12 that had the purpose of edifying the early church Body. The two excluded but are obviously exemplified elsewhere in Paul’s life and writings his role as prophet and evangelist.
1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
It was because of the above appointments and Paul’s work for the Gospel that he suffered his imprisonment and afflictions (8). The encouragement that is reiterated here in verse 12 as it was alluded to in verse 10, is that despite affliction and trouble it is minor compared our Heavenly inheritance.
Paul throughout the entirety of his ministry was convinced of this truth and of his sealing in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Infamously, Paul described the things of which he was convinced could not separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:37-39). The list is all encompassing of any time, entity, or circumstance that may try but ultimately end up- Unsuccessful.
Therefore, the emphasis is that we, as the Body of Christ, are already “more than conquerors” because our victory is eternally assured by the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37).
Saying this, it is important to remember that this immortality and assured victory is not according to works or whether we suffer but rather “whom [we] have believed.” Belief denotes a sense and establishment of trust within the heart of the believer.
It would be worth noting that when Paul states that he “persuaded,” the Greek word utilized is peithō. This word of course describes belief, trust, and faith. Looking to the depth of this word how its descriptor practically plays out, I want to note that this word is a verb often meaning “to tranquilise” or “to yield.” The word reflects recognition that one is inferior to a higher power or truth, and therefore submits themselves to the such.
Paul is glorifying God’s power over his own life into the next life and in recognizing the power of God, he is not ashamed because of the minor tribulations of the world around him.
1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
This is similar instruction, given from Paul to Timothy in Titus 1:9. Holding “fast the form of sound words” essentially is clinging to healthy doctrine. Specifically, Paul instructs Timothy to hold fast to form of sounds word given from Paul. Paul, as a minister to the Gentiles, knew the Old Testament Scriptures like Timothy but taught the rightly divided Gospel of Jesus Christ as dispensed to him by revelation (Galatians 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Holding fast to the doctrine directly applicable unto the Body of Christ has many specifically designated functions. As seen in Titus 1:9, the reader will see that is persuasive unto those who will try and contradict it. Coming in 2 Timothy 2 some more functions are listed including: Reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, and building up the Christian.
As Christians, we are to cling to the Truth in faith (Being persuaded of the Truth) and in love (Exemplifying the Author of the Truth). This is Paul’s answer and further encouragement for Timothy’s gift that need by stirred (2 Timothy 1:6). The Truth [Healthy doctrine] will restore an accurate picture of God’s grace and his calling as a minister of it.
I caution against those who depict the Holy Spirit as a Holy entity that will abandon ship at the appearance of “back-sliding.” The Holy Spirit is present within Timothy despite a need to restir the fire and passion within. Once again, I defend the sealing of the Holy Spirit and God’s faithfulness to sustain the person of God until the day of our redemption from this world.
1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
We see the contextual realism of Paul’s situation and by which he writes to Timothy. It is apparent, that Timothy was already (at least partly) aware of Paul’s conundrum and circumstances. We see this when it is stated, “This thou knowest.” Paul does define two of “all” the people who had abandoned him in his time of need.
It is likely that Phygellus and Hermogenes were from Ephesus since they were highlighted and considering that Timothy knew of them. A less likely location of these men could be Troas where it is believed Paul was arrested prior to his imprisonment because of the objects left abruptly by him there (2 Timothy 4:13). Speculatively, the men could be named because of a possible ministry position as well.
Coincidentally, Phygellus’s name depicted his action against Paul. Phygellus literally means, “a little fugitive.” A fugitive is someone fleeing from imprisonment or persecution. This is an action played out not only in his name, but also by his infamous action.
1:16-18 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
In 2 Timothy 1:16 and 2 Timothy 4:19, Paul refers explicitly to the house[hold] of Onesiphorus. This is often noted because many scholars believe that Onesiphorus, although a refreshing presence in the life of Paul, was at this time deceased or away from his household for an unknown reason. Paul often addresses characters in his life directly, but this circumstance seems to be detracted from the trend.
Nonetheless, this could be an ode to the Godliness of an entire family and therefore Paul offers a blessing over them. Regardless, Onesiphorus was a personal friend of Paul who, in Paul’s most dire situation, sought him out and was not ashamed to be associated with the prisoner Paul.
Although a minor character within the narrative of the Apostle Paul, Onesiphorus holds special significance. This man displayed Godly qualities necessary in the ministry of all Christians: Diligence, perseverance, love, and compassion for those in bondage.
The Greek word for “refreshed” denotes fellowship and restoration. Anapsychō depicts a cooling effect or revival from exhaustion and heat. During the hot seat of Paul’s prison and coming trial, he found solice in the company of a friend. It is here we see that the only things that Paul could offer in return were spiritual. This notable however because truly, this is the only pertinent thing within the life we live, regardless of conditions.
The needs that Onesiphorus met for Paul in Ephesus is not entirely certain and would be entirely speculative, nonetheless, they were known by Timothy and left a lasting impression on Paul and in his memory.
Onesphorus could be viewed as archetype (Example) of Jesus. As Jesus is to be the refreshment our souls within tribulation and who sought us out in the raggedness and sinfulness of our past evil position that had us imprisoned to depravity. We have nothing to offer to Him but our praise, yet even so, He freely gave His life for us.