Paul adds a description to his normal introduction. He is not only an apostle by the will of God, but he is an apostle “to further the promise of life in Christ Jesus.” What a description of evangelism!
This is Paul’s “Last Will and Testament” in a sense. He is in prison, and many have deserted him. Unfortunately, this is par for the course, but He continues to trust in God and recognize that God plans cannot be thwarted (1:11). He is writing because he wants to encourage Timothy, and to encourage a visit. Could we also detect a hidden message here? “Everyone in the province of Asia deserted me. Please don’t be one of them.”
Paul wants to encourage Timothy to continue using the gift that he received at his ordination. We don’t know what that gift was, but it was probably something to do with ministry. Perhaps Timothy was less bold in his preaching, in part because of the persecution that Paul was facing. That would make sense of Paul’s saying, “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Timothy shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel (or of Paul), but should gladly proclaim it, and be willing to “accept your share of suffering for the gospel.” And Paul reminds Timothy that it’s because of the gospel that they have life, hope, and salvation!
2 Timothy 9-10 “He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!”
We might not have exactly the same calling as Timothy, but Paul’s words should resonate with us as well. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel! We need to be willing to stand for God and His truth, even when it could bring persecution.