1 Timothy 2:1-7
2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,
2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.
2:3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
2:4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2:5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,
2:6 who gave himself a ransom for all–this was attested at the right time.
2:7 For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Paul is writing this letter to Timothy with a message to urgently pray for the lost souls that needed saving. The Church had become targeted with religious and false leaders who were preaching a perverted version of the Gospel. The message that was being preached was that the Gospel was only reserved for the elite, which was and is completely false.
This passage gives the church instructions on what to pray for and to remember the truth of the message of the Gospel. There are three lessons that this passage teaches.
Firstly Paul reminds them to pray for those who are in need of saving. There were many who had not yet come to accept the message of Christ and it was important that the church played a role in praying for them. The reason why Paul urges this role is because the lost have a great need for salvation, and believers should always be asking God to meet that need. The Gospel is meant to stir in us hearts of compassion and love towards others, one of the ways to show that is by praying for their salvation.
Secondly Paul emphasizes the point of praying for those who are in authority. The reason why this is also so important is because so many of these leaders are hostile to God. Paul urges the church to pray that these leaders have the opportunity to be exposed to the Gospel and repent of their sin. Their hearts affect the way our nations are being lead, therefore it is important that we pray for God to intervene and make His presence known to them.
The third point that Paul makes in this chapter is one that is incredibly profound. It is that Christ desires all people to be saved. What that essentially means is God does not want for us to sin, He does not delight sins consequences-which for some will be an eternal separation from Him. God desires for us to have a hatred for sin and what it can do to us. Paul then goes on to explain the ultimate sacrifice that Christ paid in order for us to be spared from sin’s eternal consequences.
Christ has already had victory over sin. Paul at the end of these verses reminds us that the Gospel is available to all. Pursue and accept what Christ has done for you, repent of your sin, and allow for Christ to enter into your life permanently.
Paul’s letter to his younger companion has a tinge self-defense; not defense from Timothy but from others who have doubted Paul’s authority and apostleship. For many who were familiar with the Jewish life and Paul’s previous life as a Jew, the thought that he was now an apostle to the gentiles was a stretch. Many were doubtful of Paul’s message as well; of Christ crucified. Yet he preserved through it all.
Like Paul many will doubt our gospel message. Many will doubt the calling on our lives. But God did not call us to please men but to do His will. He desires that His people complete the task given to them and declare the gospel to all who will hear. For God desires that all are saved and that none shall perish. Do not be hindered by the doubt and accusations of man.
[Featured image by artist Giovanni Paolo Pannini, “Apostle Paul Preaching on the Ruins“]