Vs. 1 – Be strong in the grace of Christ. That is where our strength ultimately lies.
Vs. 2 – Be strong in my witness! Again Timothy seems to be timid. Paul is saying, get encouragement from my boldness and example. I think we can not only look to Christ, but look to other believers for our support. And I love how Paul who is bold doesn’t forsake Timothy but works to build him up. Iron sharpens iron!
Vs. 3-4 – Solider – please your officer. Don’t be involved in civilian affairs. What does that mean?
Vs. 5 – Athlete. Play by the rules. Don’t cut corners; do all things as if working for the Lord. Good reminder for athletes. 1 Cor. 9:25 – Our crown will last forever. 1 Cor. 9:26 Don’t run aimlessly, don’t fight the air.
Vs. 6 – Farmer should be first to receive a share of the crops. Dedication is the key to these three illustrations – Solider, athlete, and farmer. The farmer works hard but receives the fruit of his labors in season. Our fruit will be fruit of seeing people blessed by the Lord.
Vs. 7-10 – Paul’s sharing his example of dedication. He might suspect Timothy will share a similar fate, and Paul is encouraging Timothy to not worry about it, because Christ was raised from the dead. It’s worth all suffering so that others might receive salvation.
Vs. 11-13 – Maybe an early hymn. We died with Christ in the past, when he died on the cross (so says the Greek). We therefore are also raised with Christ. Ephesians 2:6 – God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. He is faithful even when we are not. That is where our salvation lies.