On Mission

                                                            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.

 

·         THE PARAMOUNT DUTY OF PUBLIC PRAYER. “I exhort

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

      14:14-16).

 

Ø      The variety of terms in which it is here described implies the

      diversity of circumstances in which Gods 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;

                                    for example:

 

§         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,

                  “maketh intercession to”), against Israel;

 

§         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  αἰτέωaiteo - 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,

      Matthew 7:7;

§         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.” δεήσιςdeaesis.  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

with others.

 

·         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

      (Proverbs 16:12).

 

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

                                                            (vs. 3-4)

 

“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

      welfare.

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

Scripture.

 

§         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

      blood.

 

§         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

                                                truth.

 

 

                                                            Universalism (vs. 1-7)

 

·         UNIVERSALITY IN OUR APPEARING BEFORE GOD ON BEHALF

      OF OTHERS.

 

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

            our petitions.

 

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

undeserving Lot, and also on behalf of ungodly Sodom. He has also

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

bound.

 

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

      God therein.

 

§         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)

 

      “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under

      his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to

      Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.”  (I Kings 4:25)

 

      *  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!

 

 

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=every+man+under+his+vine+and+fig+tree&qpvt=every+man+under+his+vine+and+fig+tree&form=IGRE&first=1&cw=1129&ch=699

 

 

      * 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

17:26-28)

 

“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!