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1 Timothy 2





As Paul begins this chapter, he speaks about prayer.  He actually uses four different synonyms for prayer: supplication or request, prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving.  All of those have a bit of a nuanced meaning that is somewhat different from the others but the point is we are urged to pray as this chapter opens.

Paul says first of all that we should pray for all people.  There should be no one that we intentionally exclude from our prayers.  One of the reasons for that is verse 4 says God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  There is not one that God doesn’t want to save.  Therefore, there is not one that we shouldn’t want to pray for.

From the category of all people, Paul draws out a select group of kings and people in government positions.  At the time Paul was writing this, the Godless Roman Emperor Nero was on the throne.  He was certainly not a friend of Christ followers.  Yet, here those Christians in Ephesus were told to pray for him.  And so, should it be for us.  We need to pray for those who have positions of authority in our government.  When we agree with them, we should pray for them.  When we disagree with them, we should pray for them. 

Paul goes on to give us some motivation for praying for those in authority.  He speaks of our praying leading to a peaceful and quiet life.  Peaceful, here, refers to an inward peace that only Jesus gives.  Quiet life refers to an external peace with those around us.  Paul adds to that the importance of living  a godly and holy life.  Godly refers to living in a way that honors God.  Holy refers to living a life that is different from those who don’t know Jesus. 

As we have already seen, in verse 4, the Bible is clear that God desires or wants all people to be saved.  This does not mean that everyone everywhere will be saved.  It simply means God wants everyone to be saved.  So, if God wants this, why doesn’t it happen?  When we were created we were given a free will.  Among other things that means we have the power to choose.  So, while God may choose for us to be saved, we may not choose that.  And if we don’t choose God’s offer of salvation, we will not be saved.  God honors the free will that He gave us.

From there we move on to a most powerful statement.  “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.  The word for mediator refers to being in the middle.  One who mediates in any dispute or deal stands between the two parties but he must be able to relate to both parties.  The only way Jesus can relate to both parties is He is God and He is man.  Because He is the only one who fits that description, He is the only one who can serve as mediator between God and man. 

From there we move to verse 6 which says that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all.  In other words, Jesus gave Himself as a payment for all.  When He died on Calvary’s cross, He died once for all.  His sacrifice was sufficient for all people of all time.  His payment covered the sin debt of all humanity.  That’s the reason God can desire that all men be saved.  Because of what Jesus accomplished, salvation is available to everyone. 

Posted by Joe Ligon with

1 Timothy 1


Today we have the privilege of starting another book of the Bible. This one is unique among all the others we have done so far. It is referred to as a pastoral epistle. It is written to an individual in relationship to pastoring a church. 2 Timothy is another example of this as is Titus. So, when we read pastoral epistles, we not only get to see what Paul is saying to individuals about leading a local congregation but we also get insight into the Lord’s plan for a local church.
In verse 2, Paul refers to Timothy as his true child or son. This doesn’t mean Timothy was Paul’s biological son. It means that Paul was instrumental in Timothy’s salvation and that Timothy held a very special place in Paul’s heart. It would be like someone saying, “That boy is like a son to me.”
Paul had a lot of confidence in Timothy. As we find in verse 3, Timothy was pastoring the church in Ephesus. That was a most difficult assignment. Ephesus was the center of the worship of Diana, the goddess of sexual instinct. Ephesus was not only known for its idolatry but also its rampant immorality. You can see Paul’s description of that in verse10. We also know that the church in Ephesus was beset by Judaizers and false teachers as mentioned in verses 6-9.
Ephesus was a tough responsibility. But what made it even more difficult is it seems that Timothy was easily discouraged. Despite his salvation, his calling, his giftedness, and his very special relationship with Paul, Timothy seemed to struggle with discouragement and even depression.
Discouragement and even depression are common among pastors. Even today and especially today a lot of pastors struggle. Part of that comes from an uncommon isolation that many pastors deal with. You would think that since pastors spend so much time with so many people, it would be impossible for them to deal with isolation and its dark companion, loneliness. But it is a very real problem in ministry. We see it in Timothy and we see it in many pastors today.
So, Paul is writing this letter to encourage young Timothy. We will discover that Paul will also give instruction on how a local church should be organized and managed. And we will see that Paul will teach great and powerful doctrine to Timothy and to us as we are privileged to read this letter.
In the first eleven verses, Paul exhorts Timothy to teach sound doctrine. That doesn’t mean Timothy was teaching unsound doctrine. It means that there were some in Ephesus that were guilty of teaching unsound doctrine. As a result, Timothy had to be courageous and preach truth to counteract the lies of false teachers.
In verses 12-17, Paul is reminding Timothy not only of the ultimate power of the Gospel but also of the privilege and necessity of preaching the Gospel. The Gospel is the only thing that can truly change us for the better from the inside out.
As the chapter closes, Paul is challenging Timothy to fight the good fight. Paul even mentions two men: Hymenaeus and Alexander as particular trouble makers. Let us remember the church is worth the fight. Always.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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