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Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Expositor's Dictionary of TextsExpositor's Dictionary

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Verses 1-15

1 Timothy 2:1

St. Paul says somewhere, 'I exhort that first of all prayers... be made for all men'. Few souls are capable of that wide and deep prayer which embraces the interests of all the earth and all the Church of God. We limit ourselves too much; we look at our own concerns too closely; souls remain as it were folded back upon themselves, saddened by the monotonous view of their own imperfections and discouraged by their weakness. We must know sometimes how to shut our eyes to ourselves, to lose ourselves from sight, to forsake the sad and wearisome care for our own interests, to look higher and farther, to see God's work in the world and to pray for the coming of His kingdom.

Lettres de l'Abbé Perreyve, p. 393.

References. II. 1. W. F. Shaw, Sermon Sketches for the Christian Year, p. 131. W. M. Sinclair, The New Law, p. 55. E. W. Attwood, Sermons for Clergy and Laity, p. 529. Expositor (6th Series), vol. xii. p. 57. II. 1, 2. P. M'Adam Muir. Christian World Pulpit, vol. lii. p. 10. J. Keble, Sermons for Septuagesima to Ash Wednesday, p. 402. G. C. Lorimer, Christian World Pulpit, vol. liv. p. 259. Bishop Frodsham, Church Family Newspaper, vol. xv. p. 632. II. 1-4. F. J. A. Hort, Village Sermons in Outline, p. 58. II. 1-5. Expositor (4th Series), vol. i. p. 140; ibid. vol. vi. p. 421.

1 Timothy 2:2

The duty of princes is not to save souls but to preserve peace.


1 Timothy 2:2

'In Church today,' Dr. Arnold writes from Paris, in 1827, 'there was a prayer for the king and the royal family of France, but they were prayed for simply in their personal capacity, and not as the rulers of a great nation, nor was there any prayer for the French people. St Paul's exhortation is to pray, not for kings, and their families, but for kings and all who are in authority, "that we may lead a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty". So for ever is this most pure command corrupted by servility and courtliness.' See further J. A. Froude's Bunyan ('English Men of Letters'), pp. 88, 89.

References. II. 2. Expositor (5th Series), vol. vii. p. 459. II. 3, 4. R. F. Horton, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lvii. p. 312. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvi. No. 1516. II. 4. W. H. Harwood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlv. p. 294. J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons (9th Series), p. 205. J. Keble, Sermons for Easter to Ascension Day, p. 171.

The Man Who Is Best Worth Talking About

1 Timothy 2:5

There is surely nothing in the world so well worth thinking of as this Man; and most of us believe that there will be nothing in the future world so well worth looking at as His face. He is the only human form on which the thoughts can dwell and the eyes can gaze for ever without growing weary.

I. This Man is our religion. If you want to find out what Christianity is in its simplest and largest meaning, you have only to find out what this Man said and did and was. A Christian is one who believes thoroughly in the Man Christ Jesus, who makes this Man Christ Jesus the Master of his thoughts, the guide of his actions, the judge of his daily life, who loves and obeys and adores this Man above everything else, and who tries in his own poor way to make his own life a little like that of his Master. There is no definition of a Christian which will bear examination except that.

II. I would remind you that it was the simple unadorned manhood of this Man that makes Him beautiful and worth looking at The Man Himself, and not His belongings. When we are speaking of the great ones of the earth, we say, Look at his throne, his elevated position, his noble birth, his splendid surroundings, palace, servants, wealth, or his gifts, talents, and genius. But when we are speaking of Jesus, we say, Look at the Man. He needs no setting off, no gilded framework. He had nothing but His own sweet goodness to win for Him the reverence of the world. And it teaches us all this lesson, that goodness and qualities of heart are the only really beautiful things in the world.

III. He brings the great unseen God down to us, and makes the unseen, far-off God near. For truly no man could have lived a life like that if He had been only man. In His face is a glass, through which we see Him who governs all things the great eternal Father. It is our only way of learning what God is like. For no mortal man has ever seen Him. Where is He and what is He like, we say? and there is no clear answer but this: 'The Man Christ Jesus'. All that we know of God is there, and it is all we need to know.

IV. I would point you to this Man, because the thought of Him and the sight of Him give us hope and promise concerning ourselves. His manhood lifts our own nature up our own nature. It proves that we have something in us akin to the Divine; something that can become Godlike. By the help of God we can each become in a measure Christlike, and therefore Godlike. Now that is what makes it so stimulating to look at this Man.

J. G. Greenhough, The Cross and the Dice-Box, p. 177.

References. II. 5. W. M. Sinclair, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xliv. p. 17. Bishop Gore, ibid. vol. xlix. p. 257. T. F. Crosse, Sermons (2nd Series), p. 64. H. Allen, Penny Pulpit, No. 1558, p. 93. Expositor (5th Series), vol. iv. p. 257.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

'For there is one God' (a Mohammedan could go thus far: but the Christian confession is completed by the further testimony), 'one mediator also between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.' This might serve as a text for a sermon upon the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ. Dr. Theodor Kaftan has published an address, in the fourth series of the Biblischen Zeit- und Streitfragen (1908), which discusses it in this light. All truth, as he points out, is exclusive. If there is one correct method in an inquiry, it is mistaken kindness to talk as though the question of method were still debatable. The man who knows the true road to knowledge in any province, will not amiably let beginners try vain experiments along lines of their own, to the inevitable and sometimes irreparable loss of time and money. He will insist upon attention to the proper method. Dr. Kaftan applies this to the modern attitude towards comparative religion. 'Nowadays, "religions" not religion is the clue: or, to put it otherwise, "religion" not "the religion". The claim of Christianity to be the religion a claim based on this very fact that there is but one mediator between God and man this claim is felt by many to be an unjustifiable reflection upon all other religions, and a highly suspicious isolation of the Christian religion.' As he proceeds to show, it is in reality neither. One can recognise with perfect sympathy and gratitude the moral and religious aspirations voiced outside Christianity. One can and one must; for Christianity is no partisan religion, nor does it lie outside all historical relations to the other movements of religion among men. But it is exclusive none the less, inasmuch as Jesus Christ for the first time made fellowship between God and man a reality; through the knowledge of God, which he revealed, this fellowship became possible, and through the reign of God, which he incorporated, it is perfected. The pre-eminent and distinctive place of Jesus Christ must be conserved. 'To allow Him to fall into the background in the religious life of the soul; to let Him disappear, as it were, behind God; to seek in this direction the solution of our Christological difficulties is practically the same as if we were to recognise that the purity and soundness of our bodily condition lay in as anaemic a condition as possible.' The one God implies one mediator.

James Moffatt.

References. II. 5, 6. W. M. Clow, The Cross in Christian Experience, p. 101. II. 6. Expositor (4th Series), vol. v. p. 434. II. 7. Ibid. (6th Series), vol. viii. p. 235. II. 8. Lyman Abbott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lvi. p. 49. M. G. Glazebrook, Prospice, p. 164. G. C. Lorimer, Christian World Pulpit, vol. liv. p. 259. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Timothy, p. 353. II. 20. Expositor (6th Series), vol. i. p. 211. 111. 5. Ibid. vol. vii. p. 275.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-timothy-2.html. 1910.
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