1. “First of all, I exhort you that prayers, supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men.” We do not pray enough. We do not hold on long enough to get in touch with God and prevail. James v says: “Elijah prayed with prayer;” i.e., with the prayer which God gave him. He lived so close to God as to receive his prayers from him. In that case God always answers them. The English translators, evidently not knowing the spiritual meaning, do not render it literally but prayed earnestly instead of “prayed with prayer;” i.e., the prayer which God gave him The Greek also says the inward-working prayer availeth much: by the prayer wrought in you by the Holy Ghost. Here Paul enjoins upon us four distinct species of prayers; i.e., prayers in the ordinary sense—supplications; i.e., the importunate holding on to God, like wrestling Jacob, all night;
intercessions, like Moses when descending from the mount of God, and finding Israel fallen and gone back to Egyptian idolatry. God proposing to cut them all off, and verify the Abrahamic covenant with Moses, he throws himself into the breach, and pleads, “Lord, blot me out of thy book, but save this people.” Thus all Israel is saved by the intercessory prayers of Moses. God help us, like Jesus, to intercede for our lost loved ones! Thanksgiving is another species of prayer here commanded. We do not thank God enough. Get a brokenhearted, despairing penitent seeking at the altar to break out in thanks to God for convicting him, and soon he will be up shouting aloud.
3. In answer to our prayers God puts his hand on the kings of the earth, and turns them as he turns the rivers of water. How wonderfully he turned about Ahasuerus in the case of Mordecai and Esther!
4. “—Who wishes all men to be saved, and come to a perfect knowledge of the truth.” God is so anxious to save all men, he gives his Son to make it
lawful to save them. He also comes in the loving person of the Holy Ghost, warns and entreats every one to come and let him save them. What more could he do than he has done, and is doing? Yet the wicked blame him for their damnation. You go to hell because the devil takes you there, which he is certain to do if you die in his kingdom. God wills that all be saved, and come to a perfect knowledge of the truth—i.e., get sanctified; i.e., reach experimental certainty.
5. There is only one God revealed in three persons. I am a preacher, a book editor, and a teacher. Hence, a human trinity in your humble servant.
7. “—A teacher of the Gentiles in faith and in truth;” i.e., faithfully and truly.
8. “Therefore I wish the husbands to pray in every place, holding up holy hands without wrath and doubt.” This is a high standing in domestic life required of the husband. Perfect love is the only salvation from the malevolent affections, and perfect faith the only antidote for doubt. “Nothing but entire sanctification can give us perfect faith and love, and enable us to hold up holy hands.” The hand moves responsive to the heart. Hence, the only way to have holy hands is to make the heart holy; i.e., get sanctified wholly. So you see this husband, on whom God confers the supremacy of the home, is sanctified wholly, and will certainly do to trust. As we read repeatedly in the Pauline epistles, these things are in the Lord.
9. “Likewise, ye wives, in comely apparel adorn yourselves, with modesty and prudence; not with braided hair, gold, or jewelry, or costly clothing;
10. “But that which becometh women, professing godliness through good works.” Our money all belongs to God. Hence, we have no right to prodigalize it in dress or any other way. We should avoid all unnecessary expenditure of the Lord’s money, lest we prove unfaithful stewards. Hence, we see gold positively forbidden as a personal adornment. God says, “The gold is mine and the silver is mine.” He needs it as a circulating medium. We have no right to take it out and appropriate it to feed our pride. That is the cause of all of our present financial trouble, which, it has been feared, will wreck our Government. If the people will take the gold off their persons, and the silver out of their cupboards, and turn them back into the circulating medium, we will have plenty of money.
11. “Let the wife learn in silence, in all subordination.” She can well afford to be subordinate to the sanctified husband described in the eighth verse.
12. “But I do not permit a wife to dictate nor usurp authority over her husband, but to be in quietude.” The Greek dictionary gives teach, direct, and dictate, as meanings of didaskein. It is here homogeneous with authentein, usurp. Hence, I translate “dictate.” The same word is translated “masters” in E.V. (James 3:1.) The apostle is expounding domestic government, which, like all others, must have a head. God, in his wisdom, has appointed man to the head ship of the home government. But you see here (1 Timothy 2:8) the man is to pray in every place, holding up holy hands, without wrath and doubt. That kind of a husband will do to rule the home. If the husband is where God commands, the wife will never feel the weight of a feather under his rule, because it will be the reign of perfect love.
13,14. Do we not find here a Divine retribution on the woman for her leadership in the transgression in consequence of which she is subordinated in the home? If so, like labor and physical death, it has been so triumphantly redeemed as to be turned into a blessing in Christ. (Romans 5:20; Romans 8:28.)
15. “But she shall be saved through childbearing;” not as in E.V., “in childbearing.” In this way our Savior came into the world. Hence, we here have a terse allusion to Christ, who, as above written, has saved woman even from the Divine retribution consequent upon her precedence in sin. So, in the wonderful redemption of Christ, in whose incarnation woman was instrumental, she is even saved from the curse of subordination, because the grace of God in Christ through sanctification of the husband, makes his supremacy a blessing to his sanctified wife. “If they may abide in faith, Divine love, and sanctification with prudence.” This, with the plural form of the word, takes in all, husband, wife, and everybody. If your faith is all right, you receive the Divine agapee in regeneration. This love —the Divine nature—is poured out (Romans 5:5) in a heart corrupt by the fall. Like the delicious fruit-trees of the Holy Land, brought here to California and planted, the soil must be subsequently purified of indigenous filth, fertilized, and irrigated, or the valuable tree of the Orient will droop and die. So your heart-soil must be expurgated, fertilized, and irrigated, if the tree of paradise, panted in regeneration, would prove a success. Not only must you be sanctified; but here it says, “in sanctification with prudence” (E.V., sobriety). This prudence, enjoined by the Holy Ghost, is a guaranty against fanaticism. You must stick to the main trunk line of holiness to the Lord, and suffer nothing to deflect, sidetrack, or ditch you. Follow your Holy Bible, and let your battle-cry ever go up, “Holiness to the Lord.” Divine healing is all right, but do not make it a hobby. The Lord’s coming is all right, but do not make it your hobby. Shall I have any hobby? Yes. The Bible makes holiness a hobby from alpha to omega. All of the prophets, apostles, and martyrs made it their hobby. Keep your eye on Jesus, and he will keep his hand on you. Stick to the great trunk to the New Jerusalem, which is holiness to the Lord.
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Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week after Epiphany