5. The parts of the Epistle are divided by the number of chapters. Interpreters of the Epistle, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic; and also a Synoptic Table.
Just as in the former, so also in the present Epistle, you would search in vain for tidy sequence of parts, since admonitions abounding in variety are not subject to rules. Therefore, it is agreeable again to distinguish the parts of the Epistle by the number of chapters.
I. An admonition concerning stirring up the gift, patience, holding fast the form of doctrine; and praise of Onesiphorus, Chapter 1.
With the inscription and a prayer going before (verses 1, 2), he gives thanks to God for the faith of Timothy, whom he desires to see (verses 3-5), and exhorts him to stir up the gift of God (verses 6, 7), to learn from his own example how to suffer for the Gospel according to the power of God, who saves by His own grace (verses 8-12), to retain the form of sound words, to keep the deposit (verses 13, 14); and, with his deserters marked, he prays for Onesiphorus (verses 15-18): chapter 1.
II. An exhortation to fortitude, the passing on of pure doctrine to others, patience, and purity of life, Chapter 2.
He exhorts that he be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ (verse 1), that he commend the things received from him to faithful men (verse 2), that he exercise a good warfare, with a crown and fruit promised (verses 3-7), that after his own example he habituate himself to suffer for Christ, who is raised from the dead, and in the certain hope of life and the Kingdom (verses 8-13), that he abstain from conflicts over useless words, and show himself approved as the workman of God (verses 14-18), since the foundation of God stands sure (verse 19), indicating by the parable of the vessels in a house the reason why he sometimes permits disputes of words (verse 20); he exhorts him again to purge himself, to avoid youthful lusts, foolish questions, and to exercise gentleness towar the refractory (verses 21-26): chapter 2.
III. A prophecy concerning men of the last time, the persecution of the good, the success of the evil; and an admonition to constancy in the faith of the Word of God, Chapter 3.
Prophesying difficult times in the last days, and the worst men (verses 1-5), whom, entering into the houses of the aged, always learning but resisting the truth, he commands to be avoid, with himself set forth for imitation (verses 6-11); and also persecutions to fall on the good, that the evil are to proceed from bad to worse, (verses 12, 13), he urges constancy in those things that he learned from the word of God, the perfection of which he asserts (verses 14-17): chapter 3.
IV. An exhortation to faithful and constant preaching; an invitation to Timothy, and greetings, Chapter 4.
Before God, the judge of the living and the dead, he charges Timothy to preach the word fearlessly, since the time is at hand, when Men will not endure sound doctrine (verses 1-5), with his own pouring out predicted after the fight of his good fight (verses 6-8); then he invites him to himself, having been deserted by all except Luke (verses 9-15); he foretells his release from this life (verses 16-18), and closes with greetings and prayer (verses 19-22): chapter 4.