v. 10. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
v. 11. persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
v. 12. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
v. 13. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
The apostle here, by way of contrast to the preceding paragraph, describes the manner of conduct which should characterize all true servants of the Lord: But thou hast carefully followed my doctrine, manner of living, aim, faith, steadfastness, love, patience. Paul commends Timothy for choosing him as an example after which he might model his own life. He had made Paul his type, and he had conformed his life to that type, having thus been approved in the foremost virtues of a Christian teacher. He had preached the Christian doctrine just as it had been transmitted to him by Paul, knowing this doctrine to be the Word of God. He had followed Paul's manner of living, copying the tact which the great apostle showed in the various situations that confronted him. He had made use of Paul's example also in his aims and purposes, in the clear-cut manner in which he brought out the object of his office. For that reason he also made use of proper faithfulness, which is the external manifestation of the faith of the heart. With this there was combined long-suffering or steadfastness in working, even where the Lord does not bless the work with immediate visible success. The exercise of this virtue naturally demands a rich fund of love, both toward Christ on the basis of His wonderful redemption and toward one's neighbors near and far, as people that are included in the salvation of the Lord. And this love, in turn, teaches the right patience, even in the midst of suffering and tribulation, which is always associated with the preaching of the Gospel. With respect to all these virtues Timothy had conformed his conduct to that of his teacher, having followed the example of Paul. This recital reminds the apostle of several occasions upon which he was strongly in need of a number of these virtues: (Thou hast followed) the persecutions, the sufferings, all that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra, what persecutions I endured; and out of them all the Lord delivered me. It seems that the sufferings of the early years of Paul's ministry, of his first missionary journey, made an exceptionally deep impression upon him. It was in and near the home of Timothy that these afflictions and tribulations had come upon him, Act_13:45-52; Act_14:1-19. The greatness and intensity of these early sufferings had made an ineffaceable impression upon his memory; he would always think of Antioch, of Iconium, of Lystra as the cities in which he had been taught steadfastness, patience, long-suffering. It is not for the sake of his own praise that Paul makes mention of all these matters, but rather for the sake of voicing his praise and thanksgiving to God, who had delivered him so wonderfully, tearing him out of the midst of all these dangers. See 1Co_10:13. The thought that is implied is this: Timothy had had evidence enough that the Lord had never forsaken His apostle, even in the midst of the greatest perils; therefore he should not hesitate for even one moment to continue as the Lord's minister. This comforting thought is brought out directly in the next verse: Yes, and all that want to live piously in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. That is a general truth, which finds its application at all times. In case he should be called upon to bear his measure of tribulation, Timothy was to remember that his was not an unusual, a singular experience. All men that are really disciples, followers of Christ, and are eager to live a life of godliness in Christ, through the power which He imparts, all believers that give evidence of their faith in Christ in a life that accords with the will of God, must bear also the cross of Christ. Their life affording such a strong contrast to that of the unbelievers, the latter naturally feel that they suffer by the comparison, and resent the implication in a corresponding manner. So they give evidence of their disapproval, of their hatred, in various persecutions, in making life as miserable as possible for the Christians. This fact was prophesied by Christ, Joh_16:1-4, and therefore His disciples expect nothing else. They take their cross upon themselves daily and follow Him. At the same time the enemies of Christ persist in their godless behavior: But evil men and seducers make continual progress in evil, deceiving and being deceived. By the exposure of their wickedness, of which the apostle spoke in v. 9, the wickedness is not removed from the world. Such men will rather continue with all the greater energy their attempt to lead others astray. Whenever they find a Christian that is weak in faith, they try to seduce him into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice. But by this persistence in their wickedness the enemies of Christ prepare for themselves the greater damnation. In the same measure that they make progress in all vices and continually devise new methods of leading people astray, they themselves sink down into perdition. It is their own fault if they find themselves, in the end, suffering the punishment of hell. Thus also the judgment that will eventually strike wicked men is a source of comfort to the believers.