2 Timothy 1:13
Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
So that faith is necessary to keep the pattern; for it purifieth the heart inwardly, and is the true ground of all outward and acceptable obedience. And for love, that's needful also. For love helpeth attention, strengtheneth the memory, setteth the will at work, uniteth to God and man, and therefore it is rightly said that by love we fulfil the law, for without this affection our best actions neither please the Creator, nor be profitable to the creature. Would we then practise the apostle's doctrine? then let us strive for faith and love. These two support the estate of a Christian, as the two pillars did the house of the Philistines. If these be removed, the foundation of our obedience and salvation fail and fall. He that would soar to heaven wanting either of these may as soon see a bird mount on high and take her stand who wanteth one wing. Faith, like the hand, takes hold on Christ, and love, like the feet, must carry us to Him. Thou wilt say, how may I know when an action is done in faith and love? If it be done in faith: First, Thou must be in the faith, that is, in Christ, and Christ in thee (2 Corinthians 13:5). Secondly, It must be guided by the rule of faith (2 Peter 1:19). Thirdly, It must be done with faith, not doubtingly (Romans 14:23). Fourthly, It must be done to the object of our faith, viz., in obedience to God in Christ, and for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). If an action be done in love: First, It is done so freely that there is not the least expectation of any future recompense (Genesis 23. 15.) Secondly, So secretly that (if possible) none might ever come to the knowledge thereof. Thirdly, So cheerfully, as there is equal (or rather greater) joy in the doing, than receiving of the like favour. Fourthly, so affectionately, that the more good we do to any, the more we find our hearts enflamed with the love of that person. Which is in Christ Jesus. From the fourfold interpretation we may note so many doctrines.
I. THAT FAITH AND LOVE ARE GIVEN TO MAN OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.
II. THAT FAITH AND LOVE IN CHRIST SHOULD STIR US UP TO KEEP THE PATTERN.
III. THAT THE OBJECT OF FAITH AND LOVE IS CHRIST JESUS.
IV. THAT FAITH AND LOVE ARE COMPREHENDED IN CHRIST JESUS.And whereas our apostle hath now brought in this phrase five several times in this short chapter, we may note divers things worthy our instruction.
I. THAT WE ARE HARDLY BROUGHT TO BELIEVE THAT ALL GRACE AND MERCY COME THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. DIVINE TRUTHS ARE NOT EASILY BELIEVED.
II. THAT THE BEST THINGS MAY OFTEN, FOR GOOD ENDS, BE MENTIONED.
III. THAT WHEN WE SPEAK OF ANY GRACE OR FAVOUR RECEIVED, WE SHOULD CONSIDER THROUGH WHOM IT IS CONVEYED TO US, VIZ., CHRIST JESUS.
IV. THAT THE OFTEN REPETITION OF THE SAME THING IS PROFITABLE.
V. THAT WHAT THE PEOPLE MOST NATURALLY ARE PRONE TO DOUBT OF, THAT IS PRINCIPALLY AND OFTEN TO BE PREACHED.
VI. THAT A HOLY HEART IS NOT WEARY IN WRITING ON SPEAKING THE SAME THINGS OFTEN.
(J. Barlow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.