1Timothy 2 - Outline of 1Timothy (Book Notes menu page)
Having been charged with the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel and to combat false doctrine with God's Word, where should this young pastor begin?
1. I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks,
be made for all men;
2 For kings, and [for] all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The first priority is prayer, for the servant is entirely dependent upon his Master. (Psa 123)
A self-confident, self-sufficient pastor will fail to 'war a good warfare' for the King eternal (1Tim 1:17,18; 2Cor 3:5).
     The only reasonable way for the Lord's servant to proceed is "...in every thing by prayer..." (Php 4:6).
     Prayer is so great a resource that it cannot be contained in one word (eg., v.1; Php 4:6; Eph 6:18). Yet, this resource is greatly neglected by the church, today. "The secret of our failure is our failure in secret prayer." [unknown]
Some aspects of Prayer (identified in v.1):
  • Prayer {GK=proseuche, the general word for prayer; from proseuchomai: to approach with request; cp. proserchomai: to draw near} -
    Prayer is the reverent approach to God. Through Christ, believers have access into God's presence (Heb 10:19-23). Prayer engages the inner man in sincere confession of sin, consciousness of the blood of Christ which cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and a 'true heart' of worship. Is your heart right with God? To engage in the appearance of prayer, with a heart that is far from Him, furthers the distance to Him (Isa 29:13-15).
  • Supplication {GK=deesis, entreaty; from deomai: to desire, to make request} -
    Having drawn near to the Father's Throne, the believer presents his supplication for matters of intense concern, in order to find Grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16).
    Some examples of 'supplication' (Note: In all of the following verses, this GK word is translated as 'prayer'): for a son (Luk 1:13); for salvation of loved ones (Rom 10:1); for the physical well-being of other believers (2Cor 9:14); for the spiritual well-being of other believers (Php 1:4,5).
  • Intercession {GK=enteuxis, an opportune meeting with a superior to plead for another's need} -
    The child of God intercedes, as he owns another person's desperate helplessness, and under the burden of that need, draws near to God in behalf of the other. The One, who bore our sorrows, continually intercedes for His own (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25).
       How often we sing: "I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me a sinner condemned unclean." How wonderful He is!
       Yet, I stand ashamed in His presence, for my prayers are not like His: "...He had no tears for His own griefs, but sweat drops of blood for mine... He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own, He bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone."
       [words in quotes from hymn 'My Savior's Love' by Charles H. Gabriel]
  • Thanksgiving {GK=eucharistia, lit., good graciousness} -
    As we pray, we are to 'watch in the same with thanksgiving' (Col 4:2), being careful to recognize the answers to our prayers, and to honor the One who has granted the Grace for which we sought. With thanksgiving, we also acknowledge that His Grace is good and His will is perfect, even when we do not understand His answer to our prayer (Php 4:6,7; 1The 5:18). Thanksgiving is an element of worship (Rev 7:11,12).
For whom should we pray? For what should we pray? (v.1-4)
God promises to answer when we ask according to His will (1Joh 5:14,15). Often our praying is shortsighted, focusing on personal, family or local church matters. While the Lord understands and cares for these concerns (1Pet 5:7), here, He tells us to pray...
  • For all men... for the will {desire} of God our Saviour is that all men should be saved and come to know the Truth.
    There are two very different aspects to God's will. (A) Whatever He determines to do, will be accomplished, because it rests entirely upon Him. (B) But some things that He desires, depend upon the response of men.
       Prime examples: (A) He pre-determined that the Saviour would pay the price of salvation for all who would believe. He has done everything that is necessary so that all men can be saved (1Pet 1:18-21). (B) But He will not force any man to believe. Rather, He pleads, "Come unto me..." (Mat 11:28). But He will not force you to come (Joh 5:39,40).
  • For kings, and for all that are in authority... that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life...
    The politicians may be unsaved and corrupt. You may strongly disagree with their policies. Yet, the Lord commands us to pray for them. It is God who raises up and puts down earthly rulers. When Paul wrote 'pray... for kings,' Nero was the emperor. Even a corrupt dictator provides a semblance of law and order. Often, when a strongman is removed, anarchy prevails. The 'powers that be' are ordained by God, for the good of society (Rom 13:1-4).
       Therefore, we are to pray for a tranquil {'peaceable'} environment in which believers can serve God {'godliness'} with dignity {'honesty'}, and in which the Gospel can be openly proclaimed. God desires all men to be saved. But how shall they hear the Truth without a preacher? (Rom 10:13-15)
5 For [there is] one God,
and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle,
(I speak the truth in Christ, [and] lie not;)
a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
This is 'the knowledge of the Truth' which men must embrace to be saved.
The Gospel message is presented precisely. This Truth stands in stark contrast against the errors of false teachers.
  • There is one God... -
    He is the God of Israel (Deu 6:4). He is the God of all men (Rom 3:29,30). He is the God who created all things for His purposes (1Cor 8:6).
  • There is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...-
    Job longed for a 'daysman' or 'arbitrator' who would intervene and enable communication, by spanning the gulf between him and God (Job 9:33). A mediator whose hands can touch both God and man, must be both God and man. There is only one person like that: the man Christ Jesus (Mat 1:23; Luk 2:10,11; Joh 1:14).
       While some teachers point to other mediators, such as the virgin Mary, saints, angels, human priests, or the various theistic emanations of the Gnostics, only God the Son qualifies for this role. Only He is fully God and fully man. Only He could accomplish the work of salvation. The Scriptures identify no other mediator between God and man (Acts 4:12).
  • Who gave himself a ransom for all...
    The Lord Jesus Christ paid the awful price of redemption, which no one else could pay. The price He paid was sufficient ransom 'for all' (1Joh 2:2). Yet, in the end, it will be a ransom 'for many' (Mat 20:28), because not all will come. The redemption paid for all, applies only to 'as many as received Him' (Joh 1:11-13; 3:16; 5:39,40).
...to be testified in due time, whereunto I am ordained a preacher...
This Mediator, whose Person and work was fore-ordained before the world was made, and whose coming was fore-told by the OT prophets, would be 'declared by witnesses' {'testified'} in the fullness of time (after He came into the world and paid the price of redemption, Gal 4:4,5). From that time forward, the Gospel of Christ would be proclaimed throughout the world. To this end, Paul was ordained to {appointed, placed in} the roles of preacher, apostle, and teacher to the Gentiles.
...I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not... in faith {belief, conviction, persuasion} and verity {truth}.
While false teachers questioned Paul's authority and opposed the message he proclaimed, Paul was absolutely certain of his appointment as a messenger of God, and of the truth of His message.
     By whom was Paul ordained to this ministry? Not by any human authority, but by Christ Himself (1Tim 1:1; Gal 1:1). Thus, with the authority vested in him, Paul continues to teach about the necessary work of prayer:
Who should pray? Where? How?
8 I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
...men...- He will address the women shortly.
Christian men have the first responsibility in prayer... privately, at home, and in the church.
...every where {lit., in every place}...- This is public prayer.
For the early church, public prayer was an essential part of their daily ministry (Acts 2:42). When an issue arose which would have distracted the apostles from their primary task, deacons were designated to handle those matters, thus enabling the apostles to "give ourselves continually to the prayer and to the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4, The Greek text includes both definite articles.) The apostles not only gave themselves to 'prayer' (praying personally), but also to the work of instructing and encouraging the people in 'the prayer' (a public ministry of the gathered church).
     Pretense and ostentation are the chief dangers of public prayer. Therefore, unless a man regularly engages in private prayer, in secret, alone with God, he ought not to pray publicly (Mat 6:5,6). Men may be impressed by eloquent words. But God honors the stammering tongue of a heart overwhelmed and dependent upon Him.
How should men pray?
  1. lifting up holy hands...- The position of prayer does not make hands holy.
    God hears and answers the prayer of 'a righteous man' (Jam 5:16).
    He cannot honor men whose lives dishonor Him (Psa 66:18; Isa 1:15; 59:1-4).
    'Holy hands' belong to a man whose heart belongs to God. Whatever such hands do is to His glory (1Cor 10:31). This includes the activities and interactions at work (Titus 2:9.10) and at home (1Pet 3:7).
  2. without wrath {GK=orge, indignation, malice, vengeance}...
    The Lord tells us to 'pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.' Our natural tendency is to call down fire from heaven to destroy them. Yet, our Lord desires that all men should 'come to repentance.' Mat 5:22-24, 44; 2Pet 3:9
       Whether I have been wronged by a man of the world, or by a brother in Christ, my petition at the Throne of Grace, should be like that of Christ for me, lest I grieve the Holy Spirit (Luk 23:34; Eph 4:30-32; Rom 8:26,27).
  3. [without] doubting {GK=dialogismos, doubtful disputations, questioning of truth, hesitation}
    We are to ask confidently, for those things which we know are according to God's will. Mark 11:24; 1Joh 5:14,15
       We are to ask in faith, not with a duplistic mind that is uncertain of God's will, or of its desire for God's will. Jam 1:5-8
9. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety;
not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
In like manner {lit., 'as them'} also, that women...
While the men are to take the lead in public prayer, the believing women share this responsibility.
In the following verses, the instructions concerning how men should pray (in v.8), are adapted and applied to the situation of women.
A. With holy hands...
...that women adorn {GK=kosmeo, arrange, prepare, embellish} themselves...
  • in modest apparel...- ie., clothing that covers appropriately.
    The world prefers scant and revealing styles.
  • with shamefacedness {ie., bashfulness} and sobriety {propriety}...-
    'Shamefacedness' is derived from root words referring to 'cast down eyes.' The godly woman is not bold or brash. She is not self-asserting. She does not flaunt her personal charms in the way that godless women seek to arouse lustful attention (as in Prov 7:10-12). She does not worship the idol in the mirror (Isa 3:16-f).
  • not with broided hair... or costly array...-
    There is nothing wrong with a modest amount of makeup or jewelry. But the inward beauty of a godly woman is of far greater value than any external attractiveness. 1Pet 3:3-5; Prov 31:10
  • with good works (that which becometh women professing godliness).-
    Such good works may include the way she nurtures her children, provides for her family, helps those less fortunate, shows hospitality, etc. Some examples: Ruth (Ruth 2:11,12); Solomon's 'virtuous woman' (Prov 31:10-31); Dorcas (Acts 9:36,39); Priscilla, Tryphena and Tryphosa (Rom 16:3-4,12). The Lord has uniquely gifted every believing woman. Not all will be married. Not all will have children. Not all will have the gift of hospitality.
    But God expects all of His people to live for Him alone, in true holiness (1Cor 10:31).
Prayer will not 'avail much' unless it comes from 'a righteous man' (or woman). Jam 5:16
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived,
but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
B. Without wrath... (cp. v.8)
These verses (v.11-14), which are in preparation for prayer, are often misunderstood as a prescription for male chauvinism. However, the Bible teaches that, in Christ, men and women are equal before God (eg., (Gal 3:28). Yet, in the church, God has ordained an order of responsibility: (1) God the Father, (2) Christ, (3) man, (4) woman (1Cor 11:3-5). To explain this order, Paul takes us back to the first man and woman.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
"God created man, in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Gen 1:27). The man and the woman, together, displayed something about the nature of God. The picture would have been incomplete if the man (or woman) had dwelt alone. It has been observed that God took Eve from Adam's side, not from his feet that he might lord it over her, and not from his head that she might dominate him, but from his side that there would be an equality. Yet, God established an order of responsibility. "Adam was first formed, then Eve." God gave Adam instructions concerning the care of the garden of Eden, and concerning the one forbidden tree. Adam was responsible to God. Adam related the Lord's commandments to Eve. She, having only second hand knowledge of God's Word, was responsible to Adam.
Adam was not deceived, but the woman...
Satan, in his subtlety, took advantage of Eve. "Yea, hath God said...?" 'Did God really say those words, or were they Adam's invention?' In response, Eve misquoted the commandment, received from Adam, about the forbidden fruit, adding "...neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." No doubt, Satan put the fruit in her hand to demonstrate that she would not die, and from that convinced her that God's words were domineering and unfairly limiting. So, having been deceived, she ate the fruit and gave it to Adam to eat. "Adam was not deceived." He knowingly chose to disobey God's command... probably out of love for Eve. Whatever "thou shalt surely die" might mean, at least, they would be in it together. (Gen 3:1-7)
"The woman being deceived was in the transgression."
The Lord's command was violated, because the woman was deceived. Could that deception have been avoided? Perhaps... If Eve had consulted Adam, he probably would have seen through Satan's lies. But she followed her own mind, took the lead, with the resulting ruin for the race. Yet, the sin was Adam's because he was not deceived (Rom 5:12).
     Following the Fall, God clearly delineated the order of responsibility, for the protection of the woman: "...thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen 3:16b).
Paul makes practical application of this order, to the church, and in regard to prayer...
  • Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection...
    "Silence" {GK=hesuchia, quietness (in feminine gender, in v.11,12)}, does not imply that a woman is absolutely forbidden to speak. The masculine form of this word is rendered "peaceable" in v.2. Rather than being confrontational and argumentative, women are to display a "quiet spirit." (1Pet 3:3-6). This corresponds to the attitude in which men are to pray 'without wrath' {GK=orge, indignation, malice, vengeance; v.8}.
       "Subjection" {GK=hupotage, obedience, submission} does not condone control by domineering men. Rather, recognizing the wisdom of the God ordained order, the woman yields to godly male leadership of the family and congregation. If a woman questions what the leaders are teaching, she is to bring her questions to her husband, rather than subverting the leadership with accusations (1Cor 14:34,35; Titus 2:3-5).
  • ...I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.-
    The word "teach" {GK=didasko} refers to 'doctinal dissertations.' Sadly, many men have turned away from the apostles' doctrine to teach 'other doctrine' which is contrary to God's Word (1Tim 1:3). Yet, Eve's emotional constitution contributed to her increased vulnerability to the voice of error.
       Eve usurped the authority of Adam, when she acted without regard to the man that God had put over her, for her own protection.
       Even so, the teaching role of women is of extreme importance to the church. Women are called to teach the children and other women (Titus 2:3-5). In teaching the children, they are preparing the next generation of leaders (eg., Timothy, 2Tim 1:5; 3:14,15; King Solomon, Prov 31:1-9). There are also circumstances, in which a woman, who has a sound understanding of God's Word, may be instrumental in preparing an adult man for the Lord's service (eg., Priscilla's participation in the instruction of Apollos, Acts 18:26). This is frequently the situation in third world missions, where an unmarried woman missionary may be tasked with developing local church leaders. Yet, even there, her work will be conducted with consultation and under the authority of the mission leadership, who may be physically distant.
       Women, who have a quiet and submissive spirit, engender the harmonious relationships within the church, which allow God's Spirit to bless our prayers. Eph 4:30-32; Rom 8:26,27
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing,
if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Scholars debate the meaning of this verse.
Some say this is a promise that women characterized by faith, love and holiness will be preserved through the dangers of childbirth. However, many godly women have died in labor (eg., Rachel, Gen 35:16-19).
     Others note that the Greek text literally reads "she shall be saved in the childbearing..." The definite article suggests a specific childbirth, not childbearing in general. We will follow this view in the discussion below.
C. Without doubting... (cp. v.8)
This verse (v.15) concludes the discussion of Adam and Eve (v.13-15). One of the consequences of the Fall was the pain of childbirth (Gen 3:16a). Yet, God promised that through a woman's travail, He would send a Savior, to deliver mankind from the grip of sin and death. That Savior, who would destroy Satan, would be "the seed of the woman" (Gen 3:15). Thus, the very first messianic prophecy foretells His virgin birth (though few would understand until He came).
     The names that Adam and Eve gave to their sons indicate that they believed God's promise, and were anticipating the birth of the Savior. -- Cain {meaning 'possession,' "I have gotten me a man from the LORD."} -- Abel {meaning 'breath,' (The promise of life.)} -- Seth {meaning 'compensation,' "God hath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel whom Cain slew."} (Gen 4:1,2,25). They believed, but the Savior did not come during their life time.
     Long centuries, filled with suffering and death, would pass, before the 'seed of the woman' was born to the virgin Mary. Yet, sorrows pierced Mary's soul, and humanity is still torn with pain. The prophets foretell that God's people will suffer ever intensifying birthpangs, until Christ returns (eg., Isa 26:17-19). In the midst of suffering, it is easy to doubt God's Word concerning His anointed King and His coming Kingdom.
     Therefore, women, like men, are to pray 'without doubting' (v.8). They are to 'continue {or, abide} in faith,' claiming and clinging to the promises of God's Word. Without such faith, there is no reason to pray (Heb 11:6).
...if they continue in faith, charity {GK=agape, love}, and holiness with sobriety {ie., propriety}.
The last line of this chapter reviews Paul's instructions about prayer (but in reverse order), to assure those who persist in prayer, that God hears and answers:
     C. without doubting - continuing in faith
     B. without wrath {malice} - continuing in love
     A. lifting holy hands - continuing in holiness with sobriety {ie., propriety}.
Such prayer ought to be the priority of every local church.

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