1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
1:2 To Timothy, my dear son [Timothy converted on Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14:8-23)]: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1:3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
1:4 Recalling your [Timothy’s] tears [possibly refers to tears shed at their last meeting prior to the writing of 1 Timothy (cf. 1 Tim. 1:3) or to tears shed at Paul’s visit recorded in Acts 20:17-38], I [Paul] long to see you [an intense longing for a reunion with Timothy], so that I may be filled with joy.
1:5 I have been reminded of your sincere [genuine] faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice [cf. 2 Tim. 3:15] and, I am persuaded [convinced], now lives in you also.
Note: The word “sincere” means “without wax” or “sine cera.” It was a word used to designate pottery or porcelain that was perfect. Cracked porcelain frequently was patched with wax and unsuspecting buyers would not discover the flaw in their purchase until the sunlight melted the wax. Thus some have defined the term “sincere” as meaning “judged in the sunlight.” Honest merchants were always careful to label their wares “sine cera.”
1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame [to stir up coals already burning] the gift [spiritual gift; in this case, Timothy’s God-given ability to preach and teach] of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands [this act acknowledged (publicly and officially) that Timothy had received God’s gift but was not the means of bestowing that gift; cf. 1 Tim. 4:14].
1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fearfulness, cowardice, hesitancy], but a spirit [refers to the spiritual traits God produces in believers] of power [God provides divine strength for the accomplishment of His divine work], of love and of self-discipline [self-control or sound judgment].
1:8 So do not be ashamed [these words are a warning, not an accusation; stand firm against any temptation to cowardice] to testify about our Lord [refers to the gospel message], or ashamed of me his prisoner [Paul was a prisoner of Jesus Christ, the One who had captured his heart]. But join with me [Christian ministry is a team effort] in suffering [cf. Matt. 5:11-12; Mk. 8:34-38; 1 Thess. 3:4] for the gospel, by [by relying on…] the power of God [not human strength alone],
1:9 who has saved us and called us to [salvation should result in holy living] a holy life [to live a life patterned after Jesus (cf. Rom. 8:28-30)]—not because of anything we have done [works] but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us [to all who place their faith in Christ alone for salvation] in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
1:10 but it [what God had planned from the beginning] has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed [abolished or made ineffective (for those who place their faith in Him; cf. Rom. 6:23)] death [ultimately death will be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26)] and has brought life and immortality [eternal life] to light through the gospel.
1:11 [cf. 1 Tim. 2:7] And of this gospel I [Paul] was appointed [indicates that Paul did not choose these roles…] a herald [one sent to announce some news to the public] and an apostle [one commissioned or sent to do a special task; cf. Acts 9:1-6] and a teacher [Paul instructed people about Christ].
1:12 That is why I am suffering [cf. 2 Cor. 11:22-27] as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know [means more than knowing facts; indicates personal relationship with Christ] whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted [himself, his salvation] to him for that day.
1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern [this term is translated “example” in 1 Tim. 1:6; could designate an outline] of sound [healthy (as opposed to false doctrine)] teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
1:14 Guard the good deposit [the truth of the gospel] that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit [convicts us when we stray from the truth] who lives in us.
1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia [included Ephesus, where Timothy ministered] has deserted me [because of his arrest and the influence of the false teachers], including Phygelus and Hermogenes [identity of these two is uncertain; possibly held leadership positions in the church].
1:16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because  he often refreshed [through his companionship and/or by providing for Paul’s practical needs (food, clothing, supplies)] me and  was not ashamed of my chains [he did not desert Paul because of his imprisonment].
1:17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard [made a great effort] for me until he found me.
1:18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.