The Promise of Life

2Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

‘Apostle’ [Greek: Apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of the New Testament Christians, it means God sent them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated as apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16).

‘Promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.’ Another proof that eternal life is yet a promise, forfeitable until the end of a life of sowing to the Spirit. There are twenty-three conditions of eternal life: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65). Eat His flesh – drink His blood, partake in His sacrifice to bring life to the world (John 6:50, 51, 53, 58).

Labour (John 6:27). Reap – win souls (John 4:35-38). Hate (love less) the life in this world (John 12:25). Know God and Christ (John 17:2-3). Enter the right gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Do not offend others (Matt. 18:8-9). Keep commandments (Matt. 19:17). Forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30). Live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14). Continue in well-doing and seek eternal life (Rom. 2:7). Sow to the Spirit (Gal. 6:7-8). Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19). Be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13 with Rom. 8:24). Endure temptations (Jas. 1:12). Let the promise of it remain in you and continue in God and Christ (1Jn. 2:24-25; 5:11-20). Love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15). Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24). Overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15). Believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5). Be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the above conditions, but it does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

‘Grace, mercy, and peace.’ This salutation is unique to Timothy and Titus.

‘From God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Another clear reference to two distinct persons of the three who make the Godhead (1John 5:7-8).

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