6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
therefore (v.6) — because of Timothy’s faith
stir up (v.6) = keep in full flame, kindle afresh — It’s in the present tense, so “keep stirring up”
gift (v.6) = Greek charisma = gift of grace. The gift here refers to Timothy’s ability to meet the challenges of the ministry with love and self-control and without fear.
laying on of my hands (v.6) — Paul had been divinely directed to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:18). Paul’s “laying on of hands” had imparted God’s gift of ministry. That of the elders indicated acknowledgement and identification (1 Timothy 4:14 where see note).
spirit (v.7) — moral qualities and activities. Here, the spirit is of power and love and a sound mind, referring to the gift (v.6).
fear (v.7) = fearfulness, timidity
power (v.7) — the ability to meet the challenges of the ministry
love (v.7) = agape
sound mind (v.7) = discipline, self-control
With the apostasy raging about him, it would have been most natural for Timothy to become discouraged. He was not aggressive and his opponents were; thus there was a strong possibility that they might gradually silence him by causing him, in his modesty, to give way before them, in their belligerence.
“Don’t let this happen,” says Paul. “Stir up the gift which is in thee” (v.6). The Greek for “stir up” actually means to “kindle up,” to stir and fan into flame. Paul would have Timothy re-awaken the burning fire which had been kindled upon the altar of his soul.
Years before, Timothy had received his pastoral gift by the laying on of Paul’s hands. It was this contact with the great apostle and other devoted men of God (1 Timothy 4:14), that the Holy Spirit had used to instill into him a deep desire and confidence to teach the Word. This took place before the close of the Pentecostal era, when the laying on of hands to bestow spiritual gifts was part of God’s program.
This, of course, has all been changed now, for, in Hebrews 6:1 the apostle says, “Therefore leaving the principles[i.e., the elementary things]of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on into perfection; not laying again the foundation,” and he includes in the list of foundation stones, the “laying on of hands.” — Stam, pages 151-152.