I Timothy 2
June 9, 2019
The Regulation of Public Worship (v. 1)
The apostle gives Timothy a series of injunctions respecting the assemblies
for public worship, which sprang naturally out of the solemn charge he had
given him in the previous chapter.
therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, supplications, thanksgivings,
be made for all men.”
Ø The leading place given to prayer in this series of instructions
respecting the administration of the Church, proves its pre-eminent
importance. It is the breath of vital godliness.
o God promises to hear public prayer (II Chronicles 7:14-16);
o Christ sanctifies it by His presence (Matthew 18:20);
o the saints delight in it (Psalm 42:4);
o they are to be exhorted to the exercise of it (Hebrews 10:25);
o it is not to be conducted in an unknown tongue (I Corinthians
Ø The variety of terms in which it is here described implies the
diversity of circumstances in which God’s people are placed.
o “Intercessions.” ἐντεύξεις - enteuxeis - pleadings; intercessions
In some instances outside the Bible, it means “a request preferred
in a personal interview,” which is an extension of its common
meaning in classical Greek of “access,” “an interview,”
“social intercourse,” or the like. But when we turn to
the use of the verb ἐντυγχάνω – entugchano – intercession -
in the New Testament, we seem to get the idea of “intercession.”
It means primarily “to fall in with, meet with in order to
converse”; then, “to make petition,” especially “to make
intercession, plead with a person,” either for or against others;
§ against, Acts 25:24,
ü “made suit to (me),” RV [KJV, “have dealt
ü with (me)”], i.e., against Paul; in Romans 11:2,
ü of Elijah in “pleading” with God, RV (KJV,
intercession to”), against
§ for, in Romans 8:27,
ü of the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit for
the saints; v. 34,
ü of the similar intercessory work of Christ;
so Hebrews 7:25.
o “Petitions.” This term expresses the sense of insufficiency and need,
and may be a special form of a particular prayer. (αἰτήμα - aitaema -
petition - from αἰτέω – aiteo - “to ask” is rendered “petitions”
in 1 John 5:15: αἰτέω more frequently suggests the attitude of a
suppliant, the petition of one who is lesser in position than he
to whom the petition is made; e.g.:
§ in the case of men in asking something from God,
§ a child from a parent, Matthew 7:9-10;
§ a subject from a king, Acts 12:20;
§ priests and people from Pilate, Luke 23:23
(RV, “asking” for KJV, “requiring”);
§ a beggar from a passer by, Acts 3:2.
o “Prayers.” προσευχάς – proseuchas – prayers. This is prayer
in general, as representing the spirit of devotion.
o “Supplications.” δεήσις – deaesis. This signifies a closer dealing
with God, a more childlike confidence in prayer.
o “Thanksgivings.” εὐχαριστία - eucharistia – thanksgiving.
This suggests that element which ought never to be
absent from our supplications — gratitude for past mercies.
· FOR WHOM ARE WE TO PRAY? “For all men.”
Ø It would not be acceptable prayer if we were to pray only for ourselves.
It is not Christ-like to look down with a sense of superiority upon the
mass of men as sunk in perdition.
Ø We are bound to love all men, and therefore to pray for their welfare.
Much of our happiness depends upon our identifying ourselves lovingly
· PRAYERS ARE SPECIALLY TO BE MADE FOR KINGS AND
ALL IN HIGH PLACE. “For kings and for all in high place.”
Ø Such persons pre-eminently need our prayers.
o They wield great power for good or evil;
o they are exposed to many dangers;
o they are liable to greater temptations than other men.
Ø God has power to influence their public action.
o The hearts of kings are in His hands;
o He sets them up and He removes them (Daniel 2:21);
o He can establish their throne in righteousness and justice
Ø Kings can do much to promote the well-being of the Church of God.
“That we may pass a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and
gravity.” We should pray for kings, because they can promote our
outward peace and our inward tranquility, by restraining the bad and
encouraging the good. Kings can thus protect us in the exercise of our
religion and in the practice of godliness. Wicked kings can expose the
godly to cruel risks, and expose their gravity to unseemly perils.
Ø The duty of praying for kings is not affected by the consideration that
they are pagans, or oppressors, or persecutors.
Ø Christians will pray the more earnestly for them that God will change
their hearts. All the kings were pagans in the days of the apostle, and many
of them persecutors.
Ø It was specially necessary to enjoin prayer for kings upon Christian
communities, consisting largely of Jews who had an intense longing to
throw off the Roman yoke. It is a curious fact that it was the cessation of
prayer by the Jews on behalf of the Roman emperor that led to the final
war four years after this injunction was given by the apostle. It may have
been owing to his injunction that the Christians were not involved in the
disasters of that fatal rebellion.
The Beneficial and Acceptable Nature of Such Universal Prayer
“For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior.”
· SUCH PRAYER FOR ALL SORTS OF MEN IS GOOD. It is good:
Ø Because it springs from a good motive, a loving interest in our fellowmen.
Ø Because it is directed to a good end, the promotion of their highest
Ø Because it is a divinely commanded duty.
· SUCH PRAYER IS ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD OUR SAVIOR.
It meets God’s highest approval because it is in accordance with his own
gracious designs toward the sons of men.
· REASON OR GROUND FOR THIS UNIVERSALITY OF OUR
PUBLIC PRAYERS. It is good and acceptable “before God our Savior,
who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the
truth.” He wills that all men should be saved, therefore we should pray for
all men. Our prayers will thus be in conformity with His wilt.
Ø Consider the nature of the salvation here described.
o It is not mere salvation from intellectual error, for it is that which is
involved in “the full knowledge of the truth.”
o It is not mere salvability, as if He made the salvation of all men possible.
o It is not salvation merely offered for man’s acceptance, but salvation
actually obtained and enjoyed. The immediate end is “the knowledge
of the truth,” the ultimate end salvation in its completeness.
Ø Consider the relation of the Divine will to this salvation. “Who will
have all men to be saved.”
o There is nothing in the language to justify the theory of Universalists
that all men will ultimately be saved.
§ The apostle uses the term θέλει – theli – is willing, not the
stronger term βουλέται – bouletai which implies will with
a purpose or intent.
§ If he had used the term σῶζαι – sozai - He must have
saved all; but the word is σωθῆναι – sothaenai – to be
saved, implying His will that they should be brought, through
the knowledge of the truth, to salvation.
§ If we are to interpret the will of God by his providence,
we must understand it in consistency with the fact that the
large majority of mankind have never heard of salvation
and have no knowledge of it.
§ It must be remembered that many must have failed to reach this
salvation before Christ died at all.
o The language of universality is consistent with other language of
§ Christ says, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto
me” (John 12:32); “All men shall see the salvation of the
Lord” (Luke 3:6). The Messiah “shall pour out His Spirit
upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). Christ “died for all,” and He
may therefore be truly called Salvator hominum (Saviour
of men). He died for all to arrest the immediate execution
of the sentence of the Law upon man for sin; to obtain for
him unnumbered blessings in this life, that He might secure
a proper foundation for the offer of salvation through His
§ But the design of God in the death of Christ had not the same
relation to all. He is “the Savior of all, but especially of them
that believe.” (ch. 4:10) HE IS THE SAVIOUR OF:
ü of His people,
ü of His Church,
ü of the elect.
§ The language of universality used in the passage was suggested
by way of contrast to the restrictiveness of Gnostic teaching,
which led the apostle to say to the Colossians that his aim was
“to present every man perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:27-28);
perhaps, likewise, the restrictiveness of a narrow Judaism,
for he emphasizes in the context his mission as “a teacher
of the Gentiles.” There is deep mystery in God’s counsels.
But he here sets forth his good will to man, and charges it
on the conscience of believers to pray that ALL WITHOUT
EXCEPTION should be brought to the knowledge of the
Universalism (vs. 1-7)
· UNIVERSALITY IN OUR APPEARING BEFORE GOD ON BEHALF
Ø Broad teaching. “I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications,
prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men.” This is the first
duty which pressed upon the apostle’s mind, as claiming attention. If a
priest is one who acts for others, then there is here required of us priestly
service, which is only in accordance with our being called, in I Peter 2:5,
a holy priesthood. Our priestly service is here regarded as twofold.
o Prayer for all. For the sake of emphasis and fullness three words are
used to denote prayer, which a Greek would be better able to
distinguish than we can do now.
§ The first word “supplications” seems to mark the
state of need out of which petitions take their rise.
§ The second word “prayers” seems to mark our
approaching God with our petitions.
§ The third word “intercessions” seems to mark the
urgent way in which we are to approach God with
An intercessory character is given to all three by the accompanying
words. It is right that we should turn our wants into petitions for
ourselves, that we should approach God with these petitions, and
that we should press them with all urgency. But there is a range of
want beyond ourselves which we are here directed to cover by
intercession. We are to turn the wants of others into intercessions for
them; with our intercessory petitions we are to go to the throne of grace,
and we are to press them there with all the urgency of which we are
capable. We are not to be so selfish as to think only of ourselves in
our prayers. The Spirit, even in the way of blessing us, would direct
us away from ourselves to what others need. But for whom are we to
intercede? This is the point to which the teaching of the apostle
specially refers. It is certainly our duty to intercede for our family and
friends. “He that provideth not for his own, and specially for those
of his own house, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
(ch. 5:8) And, if we do not take the wants of our own before God,
we are not acting the natural part, which is to be expected of us as
Christians. But there is also a family selfishness, from which, if we
would have the larger blessing, we must be freed in our prayers.
“O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly
beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest
be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health
unto all nations.” We are not to be prevented from interceding for
others by reason of their ill desert. God has shown us Abraham, that
prince of the elder covenant, using his privilege on behalf of
Lot, and also on behalf of ungodly
shown us His afflicted patriarch Job under direction to pray for the
uncharitable Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad. They were to offer sacrifice;
but God said, “My servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I
accept.” (Job 42:8) “We are to pursue the sinner with love; we are to
weave around the impenitent a network of prayer from which he may
find it hard to extricate himself.” We are not to allow obscurity or
distance to separate us from souls. Surely we are entitled to convey
our prayers to the most forgotten soul in this world. Roman Catholic
writers are to be commended for the stress they lay on the ties which
unite us to the great human society in which God has placed us. It is
not their truth, for it is simply the spirit of our being here enjoined to
offer up prayer for all men. We are to think of ourselves as belonging
to a great world of need, belonging to it more than we do to ourselves;
and we belong to it in this way, that we are bound to pray for it with
all earnestness that the ends of Christ may be advanced in it; thus,
we believe, making our influence felt in circle after circle to its utmost
o Thanksgiving for all. It is the frequent teaching of the apostle that
thanksgiving is to accompany the presentation of petitions. We are
not to be so much taken up with our wants as to forget our mercies.
While, then, we are to be quick to see the wants of others, we are
also to be quick to see their mercies. And while we turn their wants
into intercessions, we are to turn their mercies into thanksgivings.
But for whom are we to thank God? We are especially to give thanks
for those who are bound up with us in the family unity, if they are
free from calamity, and more so if they are the subjects of saving grace.
There may be those in our homes who cannot thank God for themselves,
and we are to do this for them. But we are to give our thanksgivings a
wider sweep, We are to give thanks for our neighbor, even when he
may bear us a grudge, even when his interests may seem to conflict
with ours. We are to get beyond all that would narrow our
souls, and lay hold upon this, that God sees fit to bless him; and why
should we begrudge the Giver His due of praise? We are to thank God
for those who are sensible of their mercies, and are not remiss
themselves in thanking God. We do not need to be afraid of God
receiving too much gratitude for mercies bestowed. If there are those
who are ungrateful for mercies and do not give God the glory, it is
meet that we, who have a right understanding of things and are
jealous of God’s glory, should see that He is not robbed of His
sacrifice of praise (“the calves of our lips” – Hosea 14:2 – CY –
2019). Our thanksgiving is to extend far beyond our knowledge.
We are to seize the spirit of universality which the apostle here
teaches. “Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy
servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy
goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men.” A requirement
for both parts of this priestly work is, that we take pains to acquaint
ourselves with the men that dwell on the earth, and with what is
taking place among them. A second requirement is that we open our
hearts to their needs and mercies. By intelligence and large-
heartedness, our work shall answer its end, viz. the calling down
of blessing on men.
o Special teaching. “For kings and all that are in high place; that we
may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.” We
are to understand the highest and the subordinate representatives of
authority in the state. Our duty branches out in the same way as before.
§ Prayer for kings and magistrates. We are to pray for them
especially in their official capacity, that they may be enabled
faithfully to discharge the duties of their office, and to glorify
§ Thanksgiving for kings and magistrates. In this land we can
give unfeigned thanks to God that we enjoy so largely the
blessings of good government. (One of the many penalties
from an apostasy from God is “poor leadership”. CY –
2019) The public recognition of kings and magistrates would
be conducive to their leading a tranquil and quiet life (The
Old Testament equivalence to “But they shall sit every
man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall
make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath
spoken it.” (Micah 4:4)
his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to
* Read: Jeremiah 23:5-8
* Read: Zechariah 3:1-10 (compare Isaiah 66:8)
* Compare the words of Rabshakeh in Isaiah 36:13-21
* Read Psalm 81:8-16
“Our churches don’t need more coffee bars, laser lights,
Cool worship songs, celebrity pastors, and topical sermons on
HAVING YOUR BEST LIFE NOW!
We need men who will teach the whole Word of God,
who will magnify Jesus above all else,
Who won’t minimize sin, but call people to repent,
And who will make it clear that
JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED
And without faith in Him, you will not go to heaven!
* The first words ("kings - all in authority") point to the state
not using its power against them.
* The second words ("we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
in all godliness and honesty")point to their not provoking
a collision with the state.
By the course enjoined, a right impression would go abroad
regarding them, that they were not decriers of dignities, nor
secret plotters against the existing form of government. It was
good advice which was given to the Jews of the Captivity:
“Seek the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to
be carried away captives, and Pray unto the Lord for it:
for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that
love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within
thy palaces. For my brethren and companion sakes, I will
now say, Peace be unto thee." (Psalm 122:6-8) So the
good advice of the apostle here saved the Christians (in
the midst of the Roman empire) from many a false step
(and it will for you "upon whom the ends of the world
are come." (I Corinthians 10:11) They could follow the
quiet course in all godliness and gravity.
* The first word ("godliness") points to the habit of the
Christian’s mind, which is that he has a regard to the
will of God in all things.
* The second word ("honesty") points to his having a
regard to the propriety of things, which is “the appropriate
setting of higher graces and virtues.” Not mere policy,
but the God-regarding habit, and the sense of propriety,
kept the Christians in the quiet course.
o Motive. “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
The intermediate reference is brought in to illustrate the universality
of our service for others. This service in its universality is
recommended, as having a high excellence in itself. Moreover,
it is peculiarly pleasing to God in His character as Savior, which
is to be further brought out. Even Rousseau is our teacher of
universality. “The good man,” he says, “plans his life with a
reference to the whole, while the wicked man would gladly
order all things with reference to himself. The latter makes
himself the center of all things, the other orders all with
reference to a common Center, even to God.”
· UNIVERSALITY OF THE PURPOSE OF SALVATION. “Who
willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the
truth.” It would be making feebleness of the words to suppose the
apostle’s idea to be that God is willing that all men should be saved, as it is
plainly dogmatic prejudice that accounts for Calvin’s assertion that the
apostle is thinking, not of individuals, but of classes of men. It is a great
truth, of which we are not to be robbed, that OF EVERY MAN IT
CAN BE SAID THAT GOD WILLETH THAT HE SHOULD BE SAVED!
We are to think of His will as in a state of active volition. It was in this state
when, in the depths of eternity, he formed the purpose of our salvation.
(Revelation 13:8) It is in this state now when, in the pleadings of the exalted
Christ, in the workings of the Spirit, in all the dealings of Providence, He is
seeking to secure the condition of our salvation, viz. our coming to the
knowledge of the truth. We are to understand not mere intellectual
knowledge, but experimental knowledge by our laying hold by faith
upon our Representative, and coming to know in our experience that
there is salvation in Him. This His active volition is directed toward all;
it cannot Be said that He desires the salvation of one more than of another.
He uses means, not towards one here and another there, but towards all
alike coming to
the knowledge of the truth, AND FINDING AMPLE
AND EVERLASTING SHELTER IN HIS LOVE! And if it is so with God,
it is made plain as it could not otherwise be, that we are not to narrow down
our petitions and thanksgivings (which are expressive of active volition) to
a little circle of our own, but are to widen them out even toward all men.
· UNIVERSALITY OF THE DISPENSATION OF SALVATION.
Ø Presided over by the one God. “For there is one God.” The pagan idea
was that there were many gods. There was a god for every nation, a god
for every small community, a god for every household. The god so
attached was supposed to be devoted to the interests of his devotees, in
preference or even in opposition to the interests of all others. What was
that but breaking up the race into factions, and under the most powerful
example? We have a much nobler conception — all men under one God,
and not different men under different gods. As we are all under the
canopy of heaven, so we are all under the same canopy of the Divine
love. “Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles?
Yes, of the Gentiles also.” (Romans 3:29) "And hath made of one
blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and
hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their
habitation. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel
after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of
us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;" (Acts
“The great God that loveth all,
Hath made both great and small.”
Ø That shuts out all clashing of administration. As all are under the same
Divine government, so all are governed on the same impartial, universal
principles, and governed toward the one end of their salvation.
Ø In the hands of the one Mediator. “One Mediator also between God
and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus.” A mediator is one who acts
between two. Christ Jesus is here said to be Mediator between God
and man. God, as it were, allows the administration to go out of His
hands, but it does not suffer in doing so; for it passes into the hand,
not of many mediators with many administrations, but into the hands
of ONE MEDIATOR, by which there is preserved the grand equality
and universality of the administration. Christ could mediate on the
Divine side, being God Himself, thus carrying into the administration
the whole mind of Him whom He represented. The remarkable thing
which alone is noted was that, to mediate on the human side,
He became man, being linked not to some men, BUT TO ALL
MEN so that His mediation could be in the interest, not of some,
BUT OF ALL! It is matter for solemn thought to every man that
Christ is linked to him, and linked to him with a view — according
to the whole spirit of the administration — to his being saved.
· UNIVERSALITY OF THE RANSOM. “Who gave himself a Ransom
for all.” If the language had been that Christ gave Himself for all, there
would not have been excluded the idea of substitution. But emphasis is
given to this idea by the word which is translated “ransom.” It is literally
“loosing-price instead of.” It is implied that we were captives, hopelessly
bound in the consequences of our sins. Not able to do anything for
ourselves, we needed to be indebted to a substitute. The price our
Substitute paid as ransom was Himself, i.e. His life, which, being the life of
Him who was God as well as man, was more than equal to the lives of all
men together. Such is the way — not to be too much literalized — in
which the truth is conveyed here. The stress of the thought is to be laid on
all. Time was when it was considered dangerous to say that Christ died for
all. The apostle does not shrink from it, neither here nor where his
language is that “Christ tasted death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9)
It adds a deep solemnity to the
existence of a man that THIS PRICE HAS
BEEN PAID FOR HIM! How shall he get rid of the obligation incurred,
unless by doing as the captive does for whose ransom the stipulated money
has been paid? As the captive goes forth into the possession of freedom,
grateful to his redeemer, so let each of us go forth into the possession
of our freedom in Christ, grateful to Him as having REDEEMED
US BY HIS BLOOD!
· UNIVERSALITY OF THE TESTIMONY. “The testimony to be borne
in its own times.” It is generally assumed that the reference is to the
universal proclamation of the gospel. But there is this to be considered,
that what is to be witnessed to is, that Christ Jesus gave Himself a Ransom
for all, i.e. ALL:
Ø that ever lived,
Ø that live now, or
Ø shall ever live.
And this does not seem to be properly witnessed to or borne out merely by
the men of a distant time, or of distant times or ages, all having the knowledge
of the gospel. It is better not to fix down the manner of the testimony, but to
allow the verse to remain in its own universality, to have its due weight as
one of many verses that bear upon the same point. There is suggested —
not more than suggested — some great testimony to THE UNIVERSALITY
OF THE RANSOM! We cannot tell what the testimony will be, as it is
here, for good reason, not condescended on. It is not borne now, but it is
to be borne — it may be after long ages — yet in its own times.
· PAUL’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE
TESTIMONY. “Whereunto I was appointed a preacher and an apostle
(I speak the truth, I lie not), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
Paul was privileged in his day — before the arrival of the times — to help
forward the demonstration of the universal ransom. For this he was
appointed a preacher, literally a herald, i.e. one that cried aloud in the
Name of Christ and spared not. He was also appointed to the high office of
apostle, with which is connected the double asseveration, “I speak the
truth, I lie not.” We cannot think of it being made thus strong for the sake
of Timothy, but for the sake of some who were to be reached through
Timothy. He was further appointed a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and
truth. In this he overstepped Jewish limits, and was entering as far as he
could into the universality of the gospel. And what he called upon men
everywhere to do was TO BELIEVE, the object of their faith being
THE TRUTH THAT CHRIST DIED FOR THEM AND FOR ALL!