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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-15

Chapter 2

Now I exhort [Paul said] therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and the giving of thanks, be made for all men ( 1 Timothy 2:1 );

So we are exhorted to pray for each other, to intercede. "Supplications, intercessions, the giving of thanks." And then,

For kings, and for those that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty ( 1 Timothy 2:2 ).

I believe that it is important that we pray for our leaders in government. I believe that we should be holding our president up in prayer. What an awesome responsibility that man has. I personally cannot understand why anybody would want to be president of the United States. I mean, that has to be one thankless job. He needs prayer. We need to pray for those who sit in the House of Representatives. We need to pray for the congressmen, the senators national, statewide.

Now the purpose of the prayers is that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. The real purpose of government is not to tax people. The real purpose of government is to preserve the good. That's the purpose of government, the preservation of good. And all laws should be designed for the preservation of good because there are these evil influences and powers and government is actually ordained for the purpose of preserving the good. Keeping out the evil. And when a government no longer is fulfilling that function, the evil that they allow will ultimately destroy that government.

Study your history books and you will see it is true over and over and over again. Most governments began with the high ideal of the preservation of good, but in time, the corrupt forces moved in. The laws were liberalized to where good was no longer being preserved but evil was being allowed, being tolerated and then being protected by the laws. And the next thing was that the evil then overthrew the government.

We are at that stage here in the United States, where the evil is now being protected. It is being mandated by law; protection of the evil being mandated by our laws. And the next state is the fall of that government. So we need to pray. Pray for the kings, those that are ruling over us.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth ( 1 Timothy 2:3-4 ).

What an opposite picture many people have of God who look at Him as One who wants to damn everybody. In fact, they go around asking Him to. And so people get in their minds and associate in their minds God judging and condemning everyone. How opposite that is to the truth of God's nature, who would have everyone to be saved.

Listen to God crying unto the people through Ezekiel the prophet as he said, "Turn now, turn now, for why will ye die, saith the Lord. Behold, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" ( Ezekiel 33:11 ).

Peter said God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" ( 2 Peter 3:9 ).

Here Paul tells us that God desires that all men be saved; the God of salvation who desires that all men should be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And what is the truth?

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus ( 1 Timothy 2:5 );

When Job was having all of his afflictions: He lost his possessions. He lost his children. He lost his health, lying in the misery covered with boils, lying in the ashes; his wife looking at him in this miserable state said, Honey, why don't you just curse God and die? Get it over with. I can't stand to see you suffer like this anymore.

His friends came to comfort him, but rather than being a comfort, they became accusers, condemners. One of his friends, Eliphaz, said, Why don't you just get right with God and everything will be okay? He said, Thanks a lot, Pal. What do you mean; get right with God? Who am I that I could stand before God and justify my case? He said, I go out, I look up at the stars and I realize how vast and great God is. And here am I, just a really nothing here on this planet. God is so great and I am so small. I try to find Him, I look here, I look there; I look around. I know He's around here but I don't see Him. And how can I stand before God to declare my innocence or to justify my case? With God so vast and I so nothing, there is no daysman between us who can lay his hand on us both.

Job saw the problem of man trying to communicate with God or trying to touch God. It's the trying to bridge over the great gulf between infinity and the finite. The only way Job can see it happening is that there be a daysman between who can touch us both. And in answer to the cry of Job, Paul said, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men. The man Christ Jesus." Through Jesus Christ, the cry of Job is answered. He is the daysman who can touch God, and can touch man. For "He was in the beginning with God and all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. And he became flesh and he dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory as of the only begotten Son of God," "One God, one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus."

Now what does that mean? That means that if you want to come to God, don't come to me. I'm not a mediator between God and you. If you want to come to God, you must go to Jesus Christ. He alone is the mediator between God and man. You can't go to another man. You can't go to the saints. You can't go to Mary. There is only one mediator, the man Christ Jesus. And He is the only One that can bring you in touch with God. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: and no man comes to the Father but by me" ( John 14:6 ). A very radical, exclusive claim, "One God, one mediator, the man Christ Jesus." But thank God, there is a mediator.

Oh how thankful I am I can come to God. Jesus stands there and puts His hand upon God but He also reaches down and puts His hand upon me, and He brings me in touch with God. I touch God through Him. For he was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God and yet he came in the likeness of man that he might touch me. And so God touched man through Jesus and in turn, man can touch God through Jesus; "One God, one mediator".

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time ( 1 Timothy 2:6 ).

You see, we were all sinners. And as a sinner, I was totally unable to redeem myself. Nothing I could do to save myself. Nothing I could do to make myself righteous. There is nothing that I could do that could atone for my past guilt.

Now you might say that there are high sinners and there are low sinners. There are good sinners and there are bad sinners, but you're all sinners. And really, it doesn't matter if you're a good sinner or a bad sinner. None of us can redeem ourselves. But Jesus gave himself as the ransom; He died for us and in our place.

Whereunto [Paul said] I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (and I am telling you the truth in Christ, I wouldn't lie to you;) I am a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and in truth ( 1 Timothy 2:7 ).

It is to proclaim this testimony of Jesus Christ that I've been called as an apostle, as a preacher. And I'm speaking the truth. I'm a teacher of these things.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting ( 1 Timothy 2:8 ).

Now this is one posture in prayer, lifting up your hands in prayer. And there are times when I pray I lift up my hands unto God. I do that more when I am praising the Lord than I do when I am making requests. Some people find it difficult to lift their hands unto the Lord and if you do, there's no problem. God understands that you've got a hang up and He'll listen to you just as much. There are a lot of discussion about the position of the body in prayer. Which position is most effective?

You know when I was a little kid in Sunday school, they used to always say, Now everyone bow your heads, fold your hands and close your eyes. We're going to pray. So I really thought that you couldn't pray unless your eyes were closed. And a lot of times I'd peak to see who was praying. And I'd say, He didn't pray, his eyes were open. Of course, they'd always nail me and they say how did you know? But I assume that because their eyes were open, they weren't praying. But I found that I can pray with my eyes open, but I found that it's better if I close them because if my eyes are open, then I'm oftentimes distracted by what I see and my mind is taken off of my prayer. I realize now that the teachers told us to fold our hands so we wouldn't be poking the one next to us when their eyes were closed. And so I can see the wisdom in telling the children to bow your heads, close your eyes, fold your hands. And I can understand the wisdom in that. But yet you don't have to have that position to pray.

Some people say well, you got to be kneeling. Paul said, "Before whom I bow my knee" ( Ephesians 3:14 ). And kneeling is a good posture for prayer. It sort of says something. It was a position that was more popular probably during the time when the King James Bible was translated. When they would come before the king and they would kneel before the king; it was just the posture that a person would take which did signify a posture of surrender and honor to the king. And so I'm coming before the King of the universe, and so I can see where kneeling is a good posture that might express this honor and all that I wish to give to Him. But I also found that if I kneel by the side of my bed and put my hand, my face in my hands there at the bed and I start to pray, I find that quite often I can fall asleep in that comfortable position. Good position to pray in, but it's also a fairly good position to sleep in if you're tired enough.

And so I have found that it helps me many times if I walk while I pray. I find that it's good if I will pray aloud because if I just pray in my heart or in my mind, I find that my mind has a tendency to wander over on other subjects. And pretty soon, I'm back in Kauai catching that wave that I missed. I got the extra kick this time and I really got a good slide. And so in just praying in my mind, my mind has a tendency to wander from the prayer. So I find that by praying aloud, by articulating my needs, my requests, that it does keep my mind from roaming off in other subjects. And so I love to just take a walk and talk with the Lord. It's very enjoyable to me to just take a walk and just talk to the Lord and just pour out my heart and my soul to Him as we're just sort of walking together.

I have discovered that it isn't the position of my body that's important to prayer but the position of my heart. That's what God is looking at. He's not paying any attention whether or not my hands are lifted or I'm kneeling or my head is bowed and hands folded and eyes closed. What's the attitude of my heart, the position of my heart? That's what's important in prayer. So men, here's for you, "Pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

Women, [well] adorn yourselves in modest apparel ( 1 Timothy 2:9 ),

There are fashions and styles that are designed to be sexually provocative. As a Christian woman, I do not believe that you should be wearing such styles. Jesus said "if a man looks upon a woman and desires her in his mind, he has committed adultery" ( Matthew 5:28 ). And thus to wear a style of clothing that would so display your body as to create a lust or desire, you're causing some man to sin. You don't want to do that. Modest apparel.

Now I don't believe that you, you know, should go to the other extreme to wear your apparel, you know, that immediately marks you as some kind of a weirdo. You know I think that there is just a lot of modest, beautiful style and I don't think that this in any way should inhibit your shopping. You can plan, spend plenty of money on clothes that are not of the provocative nature. And stay out of Frederick's. "Women adorn themselves in modest apparel,"

with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array ( 1 Timothy 2:9 );

Now this certainly has to be read in the context of the day in which Paul was writing and of the styles in those days, and styles change from time to time. I think that the best guide is just moderation. I think that as a Christian I should not seek to be ostentatious in my dress. And I think that this goes for the men as well as the women. Now I think that there are some pretty wild hairstyles, I've seen them on TV that you know are extreme. I don't think that we ought to be spending a lot of money to remain fashionable with the latest hairstyles and --or some of them are not the latest hairstyles. They go back a ways but they're very fancy indeed and costly.

I don't believe in a lot of fancy jewelry myself. I think that there is a better way to spend our money. Met a man today who had a very beautiful Rolls Royce. No doubt he was desperate for transportation. No, he was trying to say something; gold chain with a big gold pendant with diamonds in it, gold, wide gold wristwatch with his name in diamonds on it. Of course he had his name on the license plate of his Rolls Royce. He's trying to say something. I sort of felt sorry for him to be lacking in self-confidence, to have to say it with jewelry or something else. You know, I'm successful, I've got it made. I'm in the One Million Club. It's sort of sad indeed. So moderation.

(that which becomes women who are professing godliness) ( 1 Timothy 2:10 )

That's how you ought to dress so that it doesn't take away from that beauty that glows upon a woman who is walking with Jesus Christ. You know there are times in a woman's life when she glows with beauty. I think that there is just something really about pregnancy. I think that women rarely are as beautiful as they are when they are pregnant in sort of the last stages. There seems to be just sort of a glow. There's just something beautiful about it. And when a woman is walking with the Lord, there's just that glow of beauty about their lives. There's just that special little touch of God upon them, which I'll tell you, L'Oreal or none of the rest can duplicate. I don't care how much you spend. That beauty of the countenance of a woman who is walking with the Lord is something that is to be desired. It's glorious to behold.

Now Paul brings up a very controversial issue here. [He said], Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence ( 1 Timothy 2:11-12 ).

There are certain things that I wish Paul had not written. Paul is, notice, prohibiting the woman to teach or to usurp authority over the man, and that would be in spiritual things and in spiritual issues. Yet in writing to Titus, Paul said let the older women teach the younger women. There is a place of teaching for women, the teaching of the younger women: how to love their husbands, how to keep their homes and to talk in godliness and righteousness. And my wife has taken that as her calling here at Calvary to teach the younger women. Having raised now the family and being freed from the obligation of having the children at home, she's now free to share with the younger women those secrets that she has learned in walking with God and seeking to raise a godly family.

Paul mentions to Timothy how he have been taught in the Scriptures by his mother and his grandmother. And so the teaching of the children was largely the responsibility of the mothers. The only thing that is prohibited here is the teaching of men and usurping authority over them in spiritual things. That's the only thing that was being prohibited here by Paul. He is not prohibiting a woman sharing with men. Paul in writing to the Corinthians mentions the women praying or prophesying in a public assembly and he doesn't come down on them for that. He doesn't say that that's prohibited. And "he that prophesies speaks to the church for edification, for comfort, for exhortation" ( 1 Corinthians 14:3 ), and I see these as areas where women can minister effectively.

In fact, I think that they really are most of them tremendous exhorters, especially if they've been married. We had one little woman in Huntington Beach who had a marvelous gift of exhortation. A little grandmotherly woman, but she could stand up and say, Now you know, life isn't always easy. We face a lot of trials but the Lord is on the throne. And so often we forget that God is on the throne and we must remember that. And she could just start exhorting, and man, you'd feel like going out and conquering the world. You know, I'm not afraid of anything. God is on my side. God is ruling. And she had a beautiful gift of exhortation. Just the area of teaching or usurping authority over the man is the only thing that Paul comes against here. And so let's be careful not to broaden out from what Paul has said.

Now Paul isn't talking about a local cultural situation because he goes back to the beginning and he said,

Adam was first formed, and then Eve ( 1 Timothy 2:13 ).

The man was made first than the woman.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was the one that was deceived. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in the faith and love and holiness with sobriety ( 1 Timothy 2:14-15 ).

Now Paul points out the fact that Satan came and deceived Eve. The suggestion is that women are more susceptible to being deceived in spiritual things than are men. That's the suggestion that is made. It is interesting that many of the cults have been headed up by women. It is interesting if you'll look in the paper at the advertisements for the religious science churches and the advertisements for the theosophy and so forth, that so often women are the ones that are teaching in these off-branch kind of cults.

In the parables of the church, the kingdom parables in Matthew's gospel, a woman hid three, or put the leaven in the three loaves. In the church that we'll be covering in the book of Revelation, the church of Thyatira, it was the woman Jezebel who the church had allowed to teach and to bring them into this idolatry. So a woman's place is not that of a teacher or the usurper of authority over men in these spiritual matters.

Now Paul said,

Notwithstanding she shall be saved ( 1 Timothy 2:15 ),

The word there is preserved in childbearing. One of the greatest fears of a woman in those days when she became pregnant is that of death during the birth of the child, for there was a very high rate of death of the mother in childbirth. And thus there was always a mixed feeling when a woman realized that she was pregnant. There was that feeling of joy and exultation; we're going to have a baby, but there was that underlying fear, I wonder if I will survive the birth of the child, because so many died in childbirth because of their limited medical knowledge and facilities.

So Paul is encouraging them that the Lord will be with them during childbirth. They will be preserved. You don't have to fear that you're going to die in childbirth. The Lord will preserve you and keep you through this experience. If you just "continue in the faith and in love, and in holiness with sobriety," you don't need to fear death during the delivery of your child.

And now may the Lord enrich your hearts in His love and in His truth, that you may walk in fellowship with Him in a way that is pleasing unto Him. That the Lord will minister to you in a very special way in your hour of need. That He will come and take you by the hand and comfort you in your time of sorrow. That you just might experience in these days a greater realization of God's love and of God's touch upon your life as He ministers to you through His abundant mercy and grace in Christ Jesus.

May God be with you, watch over you, and keep you in His love. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-timothy-2.html. 2014.
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