on 1-timothy 1 :18
This charge - See the note on 1 Timothy 1:5. It was a charge that the Judaizing teachers should not teach differently from that doctrine which the apostle had delivered to him. See 1 Timothy 1:3.
According to the prophecies - This may refer to some predictions by inspired men, relative to what Timothy should be: and he wishes him to act in all things conformably to those predictions. It was predicted that he should have this high and noble calling; but his behavior in that calling was a matter of contingency, as it respected the use he might make of the grace of his calling. The apostle therefore exhorts him to war a good warfare, etc. He was now called to that estate to which the prophecies referred; and now he is to act worthily or unworthily of that calling, according as he fought or did not fight the good warfare, and according as he held or did not hold faith and a good conscience.
Some think that the προαγουσας προφητειας, the foregoing prophecies, refer to revelations which the apostle himself had received concerning Timothy; while others think that the word is to be understood of advices, directions, and exhortations, which the apostle had previously delivered to him; we know that προφητευω signifies to speak to men to edification, to exhortation, and to comfort. See 1 Corinthians 14:3. This is a very sober and good sense of the passage.
War a good warfare - The trials and afflictions of the followers of God are often represented as a warfare or campaign. See Isaiah 40:2; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4; and see the reasons of this metaphorical form of speech, in the notes on Ephesians 6:13.
on 1-timothy 1 :18
This charge - This command or injunction. It does not refer to any "charge," or "cure," which he had as bishop or minister, as the word is sometimes used now, but to the commands or injunctions which he was delivering to him. The command particularly referred to is that in 1 Timothy 1:8.
According to the prophecies which went before on thee - The general meaning of this is plain. It is, that Paul was committing to him an important trust, and one that required great wisdom and fidelity; and that in doing it he was acting in conformity with the hopes which had been cherished respecting Timothy, and with certain expressed anticipations about his influence in the church. From early life the hope had been entertained that he would be a man to whom important trusts might be committed; and it had been predicted that he would be distinguished as a friend of religion. These hopes seem to have been cherished in consequence of the careful training in religion which he had had 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 3:15, and probably from the early indications of seriousness, prudence, and piety, which he manifested. It was natural to entertain such hopes, and it seems, from this place, that such hopes had even assumed the form of predictions.
It is not absolutely necessary to suppose that these predictions referred to by the word prophecies were inspired, for the word may be used in a popular sense, as it is often now. We speak now familiarly of predicting or foretelling the future usefulness of a serious, prudent, studious, and pious youth. We argue from what he is, to what he will be, and we do not deem it unsafe or improper to hazard the prediction that, if he lives, he will be a man to whom important interests may be entrusted. As there were, however. prophets in the Christian church (Acts 11:27 note; 1 Corinthians 14 notes), and as it is possible that in some cases they were inspired to foretell future events, it cannot be regarded as improper to suppose that some of them had foretold the future usefulness of this religiously educated youth. Whatever may be meant by the expression, this general observation may be made, that when a young man enters on the active duties of life, and when great interests are entrusted to him, it is not improper to remind him of the hopes which had been cherished of him; of the anticipations which had been formed of his future usefulness; and of the expressions which have been used by the pious and the discerning respecting his future character. This is a kind of reminiscence which will rather increase his sense of responsibility than flatter his vanity; and it may be made a means of exciting him to diligence and fidelity. A virtuous young man will not willingly disappoint the long-cherished hopes of his friends. He will be likely to be made more diligent by the remembrance of all their fond anticipations of his future success.
That thou by them - By those prophecies. That is, that being stimulated and excited by those predictions and hopes, you might be led to fidelity and usefulness.
Mightest war a good warfare - The Christian life is often compared to a warfare or struggle for victory (compare Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 4:4), and the services of the Christian ministry especially are likened to those of a soldier; 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Timothy 4:7. The meaning here is, that he should contend with earnestness as a Christian and a minister in that holy service in which he was engaged, and endeavor to secure the victory. He "wars a good warfare" who is engaged in a righteous cause; who is faithful to his commander and to his post; who is unslumbering in observing the motions of the enemy, and fearless in courage in meeting them; who never forsakes his standard, and who continues thus faithful until the period of his enlistment has expired, or until death. Such a soldier the Christian minister should be.
on 1-timothy 1 :18
1:18 This charge I commit to thee - That thou mayest deliver it to the church. According to the prophecies concerning thee - Uttered when thou wast received as an evangelist, 1Tim 4:14; probably by many persons, 1Tim 6:12; that, being encouraged by them, thou mightest war the good warfare.