12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
for this reason (v.12) — referring back to his preaching, apostleship and teaching in verse 11
I am not ashamed (v.12) — “I am not disappointed in hope” (Romans 1:16) — In verse 8, Paul told Timothy not to be ashamed of him (Paul) for being in prison. Here, Paul says he is not ashamed of him own imprisonment.
I know whom I have believed (v.12) = “I know Him whom I have trusted” — tense indicates a past action with continuing results, an abiding ongoing trust
know (v.12) = absolute knowledge, with no room for doubt
persuaded (v.12) — tense indicates past action with continuing results
able (v.12) = from dunatos = power
what I have committed (v.12) = my deposit — a banking term
Expositors and Alford concur in saying that they refer to the apostle committing the salvation of his soul into the keeping of God. Vincent maintains that they refer to the deposit of the truth and the responsibility to preach it, that God has committed to Paul. In cases like this, the acid test as to who is correct, is a recourse to the context. The latter does not have to do with salvation, but service. This consideration has decided the present writer [Wuest] for Vincent. The Revised Standard Version has, “He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” Paul had just been speaking of himself as a herald, an apostle, and a teacher. In verse 13 he exhorts Timothy to maintain sound doctrine. In verse 14 he charges him to guard the deposit of the truth which God had entrusted to him. Vincent says: “The meaning of the passage is that Paul is convinced that God is strong to enable him to be faithful to his apostolic calling, in spite of the sufferings which attend it, until the day when he shall be summoned to render his final account.” — Stam, page 124.
This is a classic example of studying to discover what Scripture actually says as opposed to what I’ve always been told it says. It’s hard to convince myself that the well-known song has been misleading me all these years. Not that God doesn’t guard our salvation until the Rapture; He does. But that apparently isn’t what the verse is saying. He will guard Paul’s gospel, the gospel of the grace of God, until the end, in spite of what Paul and others who preach it might do to oppose it. It takes the focus off the individual and puts it on the greater reality — that God can be entrusted to accomplish His will, and for that reason, we should trust Him in our ministry to Him, knowing that our hope is secure.
keep (vs.12 and 14) = guard, keep secure — a military term
that day (v.12) — evidently referring to the Judgment Seat of Christ where believers will be rewarded
pattern (v.13) — Form [pattern] is hupotuposis. The verb is hupotupoo, “to sketch, outline.” the noun tupos means “a blow”; it was used of the beat of horses’ hoofs; it mean the impression left by a seal, the effect of a blow or pressure, an engraved mark, a pattern, a model. The word thus speaks of a pattern by which one can maintain the sameness of a thing. Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast the pattern of the sound words committed to him. That is, he is to hold to the doctrinal phraseology he received from the great apostle. Particular words are to be retained and used so that the doctrinal statements of the truth may remain accurate and a norm for future teachers and preachers. This is vitally connected with the doctrine of verbal inspiration which holds that the Bible writers wrote down in God-chosen words, the truth given by revelation. — Stam, page 125.
in faith and love (v.13) — referring back to “hold fast”
that good thing which was committed to you (v.14) = the beautiful, precious deposit entrusted to you
good (v.14) = kalos = , precious, fair, excellent
dwells (v.14) = to be at home in one and influence him for good.