8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
do not be (v.8) = don’t start — the tense is forbidding an action not yet begun
testimony of our Lord (v.8) — testimony by our Lord — His teaching (through Paul)
His prisoner (v.8) — prisoner for the Lord’s sake — Paul wrote this from prison in Rome.
share with me in the sufferings (v.8) — partake with the Lord and Paul with respect to their suffering for the gospel’s sake (Colossians 1:24).
according to the power of God (v.8) — referring to “share with me in the sufferings”
God (v.8) — So often in Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ is called our Savior and it is true that He went to Calvary for us, to bear the penalty for our sins. But in 1 Timothy and here again the apostle refers to God (i.e., the Father) as our Savior. (See 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; cf., 2 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:10, 13; 2 Timothy 3:4).
In 1 Timothy and in 2 Timothy 1:1, the apostle refers to that great promise which God made to Himself before the world began, His eternal purpose regarding everlasting life, vested in Christ who was to die for our sins (cf., Titus 1:2).
Also, since “God was in Christ [at Calvary], reconciling the world to Himself,” His role now is that of Savior. — Stam, page 155-156
saved (v.9) — tense indicates a particular point in time
called (v.9) — To salvation (1 Corinthians 1:26), to a heavenly position in Christ (Philippians 3:14), to a position as His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 4:1). Indeed, the Greek word klesis (calling) is the root of the word ekklesia (from ek, “out,” and klesis “calling”), generally rendered Church. The true Church is God’s “called-out” assembly. The word “holy,” in this connection, is hagios, which means “to separate to oneself as sacred. Thus God has set us apart to Himself as His own in a special, sacred relationship. — Stam, page 156.
according to (v.9) = lit. “down” in the sense of “control” or “domination” — Salvation is not controlled by the works of the one being saved.
own (v.9) — stressed in the Greek
before time began (v.9) = before eternal times — before the most remote period in the past that we can conceive of
now (v.10) — God’s purpose and grace, “given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” has now been manifested. The first question to ask here is How? How was it manifested? The answer is: … by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death (v.10).
Note carefully, this is how God’s purpose and grace could now be manifested. Not when, but how. It could now be manifested because of our Savior’s appearance on earth and His work in our behalf. Where the ushering in of the new dispensation is concerned we must often ask How? and When? Many otherwise difficult problems are often solved when we do this.
The Law (as a covenant) was abolished by the death of Christ (Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14), but it was surely not done away historically at that time. The eleven apostles, after the cross, were distinctly commissioned by the Lord to teach their hearers to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). A glance at Matthew 23:1-3, Acts 3:1 and Acts 22:12 will show that observance of the Mosaic Law was involved. Thus the abolishing of the Law in historical practice took place, not at Calvary, but after the raising up of Paul (Romans 3:21), who was sent forth with a message different from that which the eleven had been sent to proclaim (Galatians 2:2). No one before Paul did, or could, rise to say “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.”
It is not until the raising up of Paul that we read how “the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant” to him, the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:12-15) as “a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him [Christ] to life everlasting (1 Timothy 1:16). Moreover it is Paul, and no one until Paul, who asks: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ephesians 3:2). It is Paul, and no one until Paul, who refers to: “… the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God“ (Acts 20:24).
How, then, was the grace provided for us? By the finished work of Christ at Calvary. But when? When God raised up Paul to proclaim what had been accomplished at Calvary. — Stam, pages 156-158.
made manifest (v.10) = to make visible or known what has been hidden or unknown
appearing (v.10) — beginning with His birth and continuing
brought … to light (v.10) = cause to exist and become clear to all
immortality (v.10) = incorruptability
Verse 11 is very similar to 1 Timothy 2:7.
preacher (v.11) — used for the imperial herald who made a public proclamation of the Emperor’s message (2 Timothy 4:2).