(Vs. 8) Paul had exhorted Timothy to hold fast the pattern of sound words, to be strong in the gospel of grace, to endure hardness as a good soldier, and to commit the truth to faithful men who shall be able to teach others. In this verse he especially mentions that part of his doctrine which was under heavy attack from Satanthat Jesus Christ was born of the seed of David and arose from the dead (I Cor. 15:12-19). Christ our God really came to earth in the flesh, was truly man, was truly THE MESSIAH, and died on the cross for our sins. He arose from the dead, which not only implies that He died but that His sin-offering and sacrifice was accepted by the Father, Who raised Him and exalted Him to His right hand, where He is our Mediator. This is the fundamental truth of greatest importance to our faith, which Satan and his ministers seek to discredit (Acts 4:1-3; 17:18; 17:32; 23:6; 24:14-15). Paul calls it "my gospel" because he was saved by it, entrusted with it, committed to it, and distinguishes it from the gospel of the false teachers.
(Vs. 9) For the sake of that gospel I am suffering afflictions, put in prison, and even wearing chains like a common criminal (II Cor. 11:23-28); but the Word of God is not chained nor imprisoned. Men may be fettered and bound for the sake of the gospel, but persecution becomes the means for spreading the gospel (Phil. 1:12-13) and encouraging others to preach it (Acts 8:1-4). When men try to extinguish the light of the gospel, it burns more brightly!
(Vs. 10) There is an elect people, chosen by God and given to Christ (John 6: 37-39; 17:2, 9), for whom Christ suffered and died. It is on their account that the gospel is sent, preached, and published in this world (John 10:24-28; Rom. 10:13-14). For the sake of God's elect, ministers are called and qualified; so, whatever suffering, afflictions, or reproach these ministers are called upon to bear, they do so cheerfully if it promotes the salvation of the Lord's church. We will go to jail to preach to a jailer, or to the hospital to preach to a patient, or to a leper colony to call one of His own. Our goal is the salvation and eternal glory of Christ and His church, so whatever we endure here is nothing (Rom. 8:18).
(Vs. 11) "It is a faithful saying." Paul uses this phrase frequently in matters of great importance and when what he is about to say is opposite to the feelings of the flesh. Nothing is more opposite to the thoughts of men or the feelings of the flesh than that we must die in order to live or that life in the Spirit demands DEATH IN THE FLESH. It is true that when Christ died, we died with Him as our representative and we are alive to God forevermore. But there is a daily dying to this world, to our flesh, to those things which interrupt our fellowship and communion with Him, and a willingness to even lay down our lives for the gospel (II Cor. 4:7-11). As far as this world, its glories, its relationships, and its advantages are concerned, we are dead men (Gal. 6:14).
(Vs. 12) If we really love Christ, are called by His grace, and are partakers of His blessings, we shall also be called upon to endure reproach, loss of friends, persecution, and maybe even death (John 16:33; 15:18-21; II Tim. 3:12). But those who are faithful in the gospel shall enjoy gospel benefits (Matt. 10:40-42; 19:29). However, if we recant, disown, and deny Christ out of the fear of men, or to win the favor of men, or to avoid persecution for the sake of the Word, Christ shall disown and deny us (Luke 9:26; Matt. 13:20-21).
(Vs. 13) Most writers agree that the meaning is that our unbelief and denial of Christ takes nothing from the Son of God nor from His glory; He stands in no need of our confession. Let those deny Christ who will; He remaineth unchanged. Christ is not like men who are as changeable as the wind. He will abide faithful to His covenant, to His word of promise, and to His word of threatenings (Mark 16:15-16). He cannot go contrary to His word nor His nature; for that would be to deny Himself, which is not possible. Mr. Gill suggests that he may be speaking of believers whose faith is sometimes quite low, but Christ is faithful to His covenant engagements for them and will not suffer them to finally fall away. He is ever the same to them in love, mercy, and grace.
(Vs. 14) Tell the people of God these things which I have showed to you; and charge them in the presence of God that they avoid controversy over words of no profit (useless debates over doubtful subjects) which does no good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers.