This book was written at a time when the churches established through the apostle's ministry in the Gentile world were in a trend of degradation and the apostle himself was confined in a remote prison. Many had turned away from him and forsaken him (v. 15; 4:16), including even some of his co-workers (2 Tim. 4:10). It was a discouraging and disappointing scene, especially to his young fellow worker and spiritual child, Timothy. Because of this, in the opening of this encouraging, strengthening, and establishing Epistle, he confirmed to Timothy that he was an apostle of Christ not only through the will of God but also according to the promise of life, which is in Christ. This implies that though the churches may become degraded and many of the saints may backslide in unfaithfulness, the eternal life, the divine life, the uncreated life of God, promised by God in His holy writings and given to the apostle and all the believers, remains forever the same. With and upon this unchanging life the firm foundation of God was laid and stands unshaken through all the tide of degradation (2 Tim. 2:19). By such a life those who seek the Lord out of a pure heart are able to stand the test of the church's decline. This life, which the apostle in 1 Timothy charged Timothy and others to lay hold on (1 Tim. 6:12, 19), must have been an encouragement and strengthening to the apostle in perilous times.