Paul was an apostle not only according to the faith and the knowledge of the truth but also in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised in eternity. This corresponds with according to the promise of life in 2 Tim. 1:1. In the hope of eternal life means on the basis of, on the condition of, relying on the hope of, eternal life. Eternal life, the uncreated life of God, is not only for us to partake of and enjoy today but also for us to inherit (Matt. 19:29) in its full extent for eternity. Today's experience of eternal life qualifies us to inherit it in the future. The enjoyment of eternal life today is a foretaste; the inheritance of eternal life in the coming age and in eternity will be the full taste. This inheritance is the hope of eternal life (see note Titus 3:73c). This is the blessed hope revealed in 2:13, composed of the freedom of the glory of full sonship, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:21-25), the salvation to be revealed at the last time (1 Pet. 1:5), and the living hope of the incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance kept in the heavens for us (1 Pet. 1:3-4). This is the full, spiritual, divine, and heavenly blessing and enjoyment of eternal life, both in the millennium and in the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 1:11; 3:13; Rev. 21:6-7), referred to in 1 Tim. 4:8. Paul assumed his apostleship and accomplished his apostolic ministry not based on any benefit in the present life, nor taking the privilege of the law as a condition, but based on this hope as a condition, indicating that for his apostleship he relied on and trusted in the divine life with all its hope, which God promised in eternity and which was brought to us through the gospel (2 Tim. 1:10).
This Epistle concerns the maintaining of order in the churches. For this, the faith of God's chosen ones, the truth according to godliness, and eternal life are indispensable. Hence, in the very opening word these three things are set forth.