Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, May 7, 2021

1 Timothy 2:8-15 (L 10)

 

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                             Published: May 07, 2021

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).

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Welcome to HBS. 

Last week we left our study of 1 Timothy 2:1-7 at verse 2:4 answering the question did the Lord Jesus Christ die for “all men” or was that just for a lucky few, as some believe.  I reiterate it amazes me to hear someone say God chooses who He wants to save and the rest of mankind has no say in the matter.  If you read this passage of scripture just as it reads, without adding or taking away from it, Paul clearly said, “the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom for all” and not just some (1 Timothy 2:6).

As a side-note because this information is important, I suggest y’all re-read the previous lesson to refresh the mind and to ensure we’re all on the same page moving forward.

Please open your Bible and then meet me at 1 Timothy 2:5-7.

I visit CTN on occasion not because I’m a fan or a follower but to keep abreast of all the false teaching circulating in the churches today.  The subject of false teachers and false teaching is one of the most addressed themes in the N.T. and warnings about them are found in the four Gospels, and the epistles of Paul, Peter, and John.  This is so because false teachers and false teaching present a major danger to the Church.

This danger was evident in Ephesus where Timothy was the pastor, i.e., the man in charge just as Paul predicted (Acts 20:25-31).  Our Apostle Paul warns about false teachers and teachings several times in his first letter to Timothy.  For instance, in 1 Timothy 1:3, Paul urged Timothy to command false teachers to stop teaching false doctrines (paradosis, a.k.a. traditions), i.e., any doctrine that contradicts Pauline doctrine.  At this time there were certain Jewish men that were devoted to myths and endless genealogies and were abusing the Law (1:4, 7).  Then, in 1 Timothy 4:13, he warns of demonically inspired teachers that forbid marriage and the eating of certain foods as the Mosaic Law directs, thereby slamming shut, as it were, the door to the Believer’s liberty in Christ  (Deuteronomy 7:3; 1 Kings 11:2; Leviticus 11:4-8; Acts 10; Galatians 2:4, 4:1-7, 5:1).  Know this, every true Believer in this present dispensation, whether Jew or Gentile, stands in the infinite grace of God for He, “hath made us accepted in the beloved,” “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” far beyond the reach of any and all accusers and even the law itself; what’s more, Paul affirms that we are now, “complete in him,” (Ephesians 1:6, 2:6; Colossians 2:8-15).

False teachers are identified by their false teaching.  Thus, it should come as no surprise to learn false teachers and their teachings have presented a danger/threat to Believers in every dispensation and that includes this present age.  To that I add this ever-present danger is on the increase as the world-stage is being made ready for the arrival of the counterfeit Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Timothy 4:3). 

One Mediator Between God And Men

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  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” (1 Timothy 2:5-7).

The Apostle Paul soundly rebuked all the naysayers and dissenters or all those that “twist the Scriptures” in teaching the Lord Jesus Christ did not die for “all men” (2:1-4) and followed that up with the strong argument or counterclaim in verses 2:5-6:

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

These words are certainly clear, so clear that a child in the fourth grade can understand.  The Lord Jesus Christ died a death that was not His to die for “all men,” not just some, or all kinds of men, but “men;” i.e., mankind, the human race.     

Every human being born into this world enters as an enemy of God because of their sinful nature or “lost state.”  Therefore, in its present condition, mankind is not fit to stand in the presence of the holy God.  Thus, God presents the solution to this dilemma and that is a go-between, i.e., someone that can represent mankind in the presence of God.  Job of the O.T. came to this realization when he accepted this fact and the truth there was no one to help him overcome this spiritual shortfall, “Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, That might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33).

Praise and thanksgiving to “God our Savior” that the “daysman” or “mediator” has been provided, a go-between, who can act as an intermediary between lost mankind and God.  Paul informs us here that Mediator is none other than “the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1:1b). 

By the by, and while we’re here, permit me to point out the simple truth Paul’s declaration here refutes the claims of Rome as to the mediatorship of her priests and Mary as co-mediatrix with Christ – for, again, “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  One” means “one,” y’all and not many others…

Moving on, Christ Jesus became the Son of man so that the lost sons and daughters of men might become the adopted children of God (Romans 8:15-17; Ephesians 1:3-9, 3:20).  I say might because “free will” exists and people might not choose to believe and be saved.  Believe what?  The answer: Paul’s gospel most clearly revealed to mankind in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  This is the good news of God our Savior that saves all people today.

Although the Son of man (the Lord Jesus Christ) was without fault (sin,) He died upon Calvary’s cross, was publicly disgraced as a wrongdoer, so that His payment for sin might be credited to the sinner’s account and we then might stand before God without so much as one sin to our account (Romans 5:17, 19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  

Verse 2:6b.

“… to be testified in due time.

What does this mean?  Paul’s saying the message or truth about the Lord Jesus Christ giving Himself up as “a ransom for all,” had not been proclaimed, i.e., “testified” in the previous dispensations or “time past.”  Furthermore, and contrary to what some people teach, the Apostle Peter and the other apostles did not even know that the Lord would suffer and then be put to death, even after He told them (See Luke 18:31-34).  There is no record of Jesus of Nazareth saying He would become “a ransom for all,” i.e., Jew and Gentile alike before Paul.  Therefore, this good news was not proclaimed on the day of Pentecost.  Check the written record for yourselves and you’ll find Peter’s remarks were directed to his kinsmen, i.e., his Jewish brethren, and I seriously doubt that there was even one Gentile in that crowd.  Let’s review his remarks starting at Acts 3:11:

And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.  And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this?

Now, drop on down to verse 3:19:

Repent ye (Jews) therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord…”

And now verses 3:25-26:

“… ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

This is certainly “Jewish ground” for the prophets, the priesthood, and the covenant promises belong solely to the nation of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13).  Knowing this, at this time, i.e., under the Dispensation of Law, the only way a gentile could find salvation was through the only nation the Lord God gave a “religion” and that was the nation of Israel (Malachi 4:4; Romans 9:1-5).  And that was done by taking hold of the “skirt” of a Jew (Zechariah 8:3), a figurative way of saying “become as a Jew,” meaning: the gentile voluntarily placed themselves under the Mosaic Law, which included the rite of circumcision, the dietary restrictions, keeping the sabbath day holy, etc. (Isiah 56:6-7; Mark 11:17).  But when the nation of Israel rejected even the resurrected and glorified Christ, and God put her, along with the unbelieving gentiles into the same unbelieving mix, as it were, He then raised up another apostle to proclaim the amazing truth that: “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:32).

A great many Scriptural problems would be solved and the seeming contradictions explained away, if people would carefully note the time element that is emphasized strongly in the Word of God.  For instance, in Romans 5:12 we learn that sin entered the human race by “the man” (Adam).  Then later “the law entered” (5:20).  But still later the Apostle Paul enters with this message: “But now, (speaks of a time element re: this side of the cross of Christ Jesus or this present dispensation of God; see Ephesians 2) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Romans 3:21).

Under the Law the Jews were required to make blood sacrifices for their wrongs in order to be accepted by YAHWEH, the LORD God, (See Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4), the males were required to be circumcised 8 days after their birth (Genesis 17), and still later, repentance and water baptism were required of the Jews (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38).  But not until the calling of the Apostle Paul do we learn of salvation by grace through faith alone, on the basis of Christ’s finished, all-sufficient work of redemption on Calvary.  This is why Paul refers in Galatians 3:23 to “the faith which should afterward be revealed. This is why he declares the Lord “gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” and adds: “whereunto I am ordained a preacher and an apostle” (2:6-7).

It is only as we recognize the time element in Scripture that we see the difference between “the kingdom of heaven” and “the Body of Christ,” between “the gospel of the kingdom” and “the gospel of the grace of God,” between the “dispensation of law” and “the dispensation of the grace of God.”

Once again I refer to the comparison of Romans 3:21 and 3:26 for it clearly shows how this time element is emphasized in Scripture.  After discussing the function of the Law in Verses 19 and 20, Paul declared: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…”  Then, in 3:26 he said it is God’s purpose: “To declare, I say, at this time His (Christ’s) righteousness; that He (God) might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”

What’s the flip-side of believing?  That would be unbelief, so let’s look at that issue.

The Sin of Unbelief

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s answer to “unbelief.”  The changed attitudes and boldness of the eleven apostles after they saw the Lord standing and eating in their presence in the upper room, the 500 witnesses who saw Him alive and well after His crucifixion, and the sudden and dramatic change in the life and mission of Saul of Tarsus who saw Him “last of all,” rank high among the “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection.  Cowards were made bold, doubters believed, the sorrowing were made glad, those suffering persecution became some of His most devoted followers.  The broken Roman seal on the empty tomb, the failure of the enemies of Christ to produce His dead body, and a hundred other facts add their testimony in confirmation of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has been “declared to be the Son of God with power… by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:7-11).

The resurrection of Christ, then, not only proves His divinity it assures us that His payment for sin is all-sufficient and complete, for “when He had by Himself purged our sins (He) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrew 1:3).  For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

Next in line is this, the resurrection of Christ gives us a living Savior and more than a few religions are unable to say this with verity.  Comparing the O.T.  priests with Christ, Scripture says, “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth (for)ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make (what?) intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:23-25; Galatians 3:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:5).

The resurrection of Christ Jesus is also the pledge of the Believer’s resurrection in glory. In I Peter 1:3 the Apostle Peter breaks out in a doxology saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

And the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, said what no other false idol of man could say, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Finally, the resurrection of Christ stands as a warning to this Christ hating world of judgment to come: “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation)” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31a).

This subject offers an opportunity to discuss “the unpardonable sin,” which is one of those seeming controversial subjects found in Scripture.  I personally know a few people who are struggling with this teaching, so I know they would welcome “the truth” of the matter.  But to do this requires more time than we presently have on hand.  Perhaps we can look at this next week.  For now, let’s turn our attention to verse 2:7:

“… 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 (i.e., truth).”

This “truth” confirms and shows us, in this letter to Timothy, that God the Father has now assumed toward this world (mankind, the human race) the role of Savior (See verses 1:1, 2:3-4, 4:10; and 2 Corinthians 5:14-21).  Therefore, with regard to all those folks who persistently refer to the “sovereign grace of God” yet fail to observe this aspect of His amazing grace, fail to see that with the calling of the Apostle Paul the door was opened wide to outcast Gentiles and outcast Jews alike, to come to Christ Jesus, and in faith alone, trust Him as their Savior.  The O.T. believers knew of the LORD’s sovereign grace for God’s grace is evident in every dispensation, but they were never told of His secret purpose, they knew nothing about “the revelation of the mystery,” that was finally revealed to and through Paul, the chief of sinners, now gloriously saved, concerning the “abundant grace,” the grace offered freely and indiscriminately to “all men,” of which he was “chief” (Romans 16:25-27; 1 Timothy 1:12-16). 

Considering all that we have learned, to deny God loves “all men” and that Christ Jesus died for “all” is not only to commit a grave theological error, but in like fashion denies the unique message and ministry committed to Paul for this present “dispensation” (Ephesians 3:1-9).

Why Paul?

This two-word question is the most important question in N.T. Bible study.  It is not an overstatement to say that without a correct answer to this question little can be realized of God’s purpose and plan for Believers in “the dispensation of the grace of God.”  His creation of the Church, the whole doctrine of God’s Church, the Body of Christ, rests in the balance of this question.  In terms of biblical revelation, it ranks in importance with God’s call of Abraham and the giving of the Mosaic Law to Moses and the Israelites. 

The vast majority of Christendom view Paul simply as an extension of the twelve.  Some have gone so far as to say that Peter and the other apostles were wrong to choose Matthias to replace Judas.  These folks say and believe they should have waited for Paul to fill that vacancy.  They view Paul as the legitimate 12th apostle.  The problem with this view is the biblical record does not support it.

When Paul was called of God to be His apostle to the Gentile nations (Acts 9), he was not sent to proclaim the fulfillment of prophecy.  Both his apostleship and his message were heavenly in their origin (Galatians 1:11-12), and there were no Scripture passages he could point to in confirmation of his proclamation of “the mystery.”  Thus, he often speaks under oath, as it were, calling God, or Christ, to witness, both as to his ministry to both Jew and Gentile and his distinctive message for “all men” (See Ephesians 3:1-9).

© Copyright 2011/GJ Heitzman’s Ministry/All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                      

 

                                                                                 

 

Friday, April 30, 2021

1 Timothy 1:19-20 - 2:1-7 (L 09)

 

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net 

Established November 2008                                             Published: April 30, 2021 

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).

*********************************************************************************************** 

Welcome Back to HBS.

You know it’s a good day, indeed, when you wake up and God our Savior’s grace and mercy abides, meaning, there’s still time to choose God (over this world) and His free offer of salvation, by grace, through faith (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Faith in what?  The answer: the Apostle Paul’s gospel.

(Romans 16:25, 2:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) 

Please open your Bible at 1 Timothy 1:19-20 – 2:1-7.

Holding (what?) faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1:19-20).

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  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.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  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  (2:1-7).

When you read Paul’s epistles you’re going to find words such as, “fight,” “war,” “conflict,” “armor,” “weapons” and so forth, especially in his pastoral epistles.  This ought to give even the casual Bible reader cause for pause for it indicates the true Believer’s life (walk) and ministry (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) are more than just a social adventure; it is a “spiritual battle.”  And yet there are those who think the Christians’ life is meant to be a stroll through the proverbial rose garden, i.e., a pleasure to be enjoyed, no ripples on my pond, kind of thing.  These folks, plainly said, have been led into error by false teachers.  Thus, they fail to realize that wherever “the truth” of God’s Word is proclaimed you can be assured Satan stands ready to oppose those who communicate His good news and the gospel itself.  The record shows that these same Christians are also unaware or uncaring, whatever the case might be, of the fact that they are called to stand and defend the Word of God as “good soldiers of Christ,” so that it might be said of them they “war a good warfare,” and at the close of their life will be able to say with confidence, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) just as Paul (our example) assuredly stated at the close of his life.  

It should go without saying, then, Christians are not to wage warfare over personal matters, which is often the case based on my experience.  Instead of getting upset because of the way someone dressed for Sunday worship, or because someone near you is singing off-key, Paul said we’re to reserve our disapproval for all those who are not preaching the truth of God.  Where do I get this info?  We pick up on this Bible truth as Paul continues with these words, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; This is a warning from the apostle to pastor Timothy to do the very thing we’re talking about.

Why was the warning necessary?  Paul knew some men, in Ephesus, “concerning (the) faith have made (their ministry a) shipwreck (1:19).  In other words, these men were not

Holding (the) faith,” “the whole counsel of God;”(Acts 20:27) in high regard and Paul proceeded to name two of the heretics in verse 1:20: “Of whom, Hymenaeus and Alexander,” who had repudiated God’s message for this present dispensation and in so doing, “made shipwreck,” of God’s Word and their individual ministries.  This was no small thing for Paul goes on to say, “… I have delivered unto Satan, that they (the heretics) may learn not to blaspheme” (1:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5).  Here Paul’s not condemning their souls to hell, he had given them up to Satan, and now they would have to learn (the hard way) the truth of God is “not” to be derided or treated disrespectfully, i.e., “blasphemed.”    

Now let’s turn our attention (study) to 1 Timothy 2:1-7.

A Ransom For All

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  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.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  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.

Verse 2:1-2.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

This passage reminds me of an opening comment or ice-breaker a pastor made and it goes like this, “Did you hear the one about a woman who on New Year’s Eve bowed to pray saying, Lord, for the coming year, I pray for a fat bank account and a thin body… and please, whatever you do, don’t mix them up again as you did last year...” 

Whether or not that bit of humor was funny to you please know there’s nothing humorous about the modern Christian’s prayer life.  While these folks will likely offer up prayers to God when difficulties cross their path, the truth of the matter is they often forget to pray for others.  Of course, you wouldn’t think a pastor or a spiritual leader would forget to pray for others, but as I’ve been trying to show y’all they are human too.  Knowing this Paul wrote these words to Timothy, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men…”

When Paul only “exhorts Timothy to pray after “charging him to “teach no other doctrine” (1:3, 18), it’s easy to conclude from this that praying is not as important as teaching God’s Word.  But any “exhortation” from God to man is a serious matter.  After the Lord told the Jews that “the blood of all the prophets” would be “required of this generation” (Luke 11:50-51), Peter chose to “exhort” them with these words, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).  That certainly sounds serious to me, so when Paul “exhorted” Timothy to pray, we know that God considers his prayer life and every Believer’s prayer life to be a serious matter.

As we look back to the previous chapter to see why Paul would “exhort” Timothy to “pray,” we see that Paul had just “charged” him to “war a good warfare” (1:18).  Well, take the time to think this through.  What does every soldier do before going into battle?  The answer: he or she prays.  It really doesn’t matter if they are a Believer, for as the old saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

Yet, for some it is so easy to forget or ignore the fact that God has called them (and us) to “wrestle… against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).  After Paul went on in that scripture passage to describe the armor God gave us to conduct that “spiritual warfare” (verses 13-17), he exhorted the Ephesians to pray saying, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (6:18).  

Thus, the subject matter we are studying is of paramount importance, not only scripturally, but also dispensationally for it concerns the particular message which the risen and glorified Lord committed to our Apostle Paul, and to us, for the present dispensation of the grace of God, namely, prayer for those who are not yet saved.  Here I point out the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ “died for all” not just some, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:27).

Therefore, one of the Church’s most significant shortcomings is our failure to pray, in general, and especially for all those who remain outside of Christ, i.e., “the lost “ (See 2 Corinthians 4:1-6).  I’m not wagging the finger of shame at anyone please note that I’ve included myself in this for I too am human and my prayer life is not all that healthy.  A jolt of truth, like this, is just what it needs.  It should come as no surprise, then, to learn more than a few churched people object to this tenet saying, “God does not intend to save all, and since we do not know whom He has elected to be saved, it would be inappropriate of us to pray for the unsaved.”  Yet, if you check verse 2:1 one more time you’ll see Paul urged (exhorted) Timothy, the pastor in Ephesus, to offer prayer, in its various forms, for not just some but for “all men.” 

Interpretations of this exhortation aside, is it not a fact that most Christians fail to pray for the salvation of the lost, not because of their religious convictions, but through sheer indifference.  The simple truth, then, is that with most of those who refer to themselves as followers of Christ, i.e., Christians, the “principles” of heaven and hell, salvation and perdition, and the spiritual condition of other people all around them relative to the aforementioned truth, are simply not realized or keenly felt.    

My friends, Paul expresses the need for a healthy prayer life in his communications.  One of the things we’re to consistently pray for is the salvation of “the lost” with whom we share the good news of Christ crucified for the sins of “all men” (Romans 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Hebrews 10:10).  What’s more, we must pray for “all the saints” with whom we share “the revelation of the mystery,” if we expect to “war a good warfare” against the “wicked spirits” that are keeping them in darkness or leading them away from “the faith” with their “doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6).  Paul often notes that any doctrines which contradict his gospel are inherently evil (Galatians 1:8–9).  Saying that these are the teachings of "demons" is an effective way of declaring that their claims run contrary to the "sound doctrine" which Paul had received by revelation from the “Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.”

Clearly, since “God our Savior” cares for the unsaved, we’re to follow suit, as they say, by praying for the lost.  If you are praying to bring lost souls to Christ and then laboring to build them up in the faith, you might then be compared to Paul’s co-laborer in “the faith” Epaphras for he was “always laboring fervently… in prayers” that people might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).

Verses 2:2-4.

Prayer For Authorities

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  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.”

In times of revolution (change) and outright war history has shown that the cause of Christ suffers.  Why?  The minds of men and women are preoccupied and they have little time or inclination to listen to God’s saving message.  Thus the reason for praying for all those “in authority” no matter how wicked or godless they might be.  I remind the group that back in Paul’s day almost all of those in authority were pagans (Nero for one) and thus enemies of God and His unique revelation to Paul re: the gospel.  Thus the “exhortation” to pray “for all that are in authority” applies equally to us today. 

To be clear verse 2:1 does not specifically state that we are to pray for the salvation of lost rulers, but this is certainly implied, for the basic purpose of our prayers for them in authority is that we might live in a peaceful and quiet environment “in all godliness and honesty…” “…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.”

The civil authorities wield great power for good or for evil.  They are prone to temptation, just as we are, but they can also do much to promote general godliness.  Thus, if even one of them is genuinely saved, or even begins to realize why they ought to fear God, think how much good will have been accomplished.  But even should they remain anti-God, He can cause them, providentially, to favor such legislation or to take such executive action as will advance the cause of Christ for the Scriptures say,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

“…the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Proverbs 21:1).

The other thing verse 2:1 implies is the true Church of God is not an agitator.  She may stand her ground on moral and spiritual issues, and speak out against sin, but she does not demand her rights.  The true Church, then, understands she is in the world, but she is not of the world (John 15:19, John 17:14-16; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15).

Many of us, including yours truly, forget to pray for those in authority, as we have been “charged.”  But then there are those folks who complain and even rebel, whether passively or impassively, against the authorities and wouldn’t pray for them if they were paid to do so.  I ask can this attitude please God.  Not so much; for if we fail to include those in authority over us in our prayers, specifically asking that God would help them “come unto the knowledge of the truth, are we not partly to blame when ill-advised or unjust laws are enacted and enforced more often than not with the Church and the things of God in mind?  (See the intentional Christian- liberty restrictive Do No Harm Act H.R.1450 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Did The Lord Jesus Christ Die For All?

If you read 1 Timothy 2:1-7 in its entirety, and just as it reads, it’s a wonder how anyone could come to any other conclusion than that God desires the salvation of all and that the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself up as “a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6), because that’s what it says.  This particular proposition proves all the more correct as we consider that the word rendered “will” in 2:4 doesn’t  refer to God’s determinate purpose, but to His desire.  We find the same thought expressed, albeit negatively, in 2 Peter 3:9, where we are told that God is “not willing that any perish,” and in Ezekiel 33:11 the LORD God affirms this truth: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11)

But the verses we’re studying, and many others that fall into the same category, in truth, raise all sorts of questions and attempts are sometimes made to interpret and/or “twist” the plainest scripture passages to mean what they “do not say” (2 Peter 3:16).  If you’ve participated in this Bible study for a length of time, then you already know that I’m a stickler for “the truth” of God’s Word and stand ready to defend it using my open Bible and that’s because I’ve been misled and outright lied to by many church officials over the years, so “been there; done that.”  In fact, it’s the very reason HBS exists for “the truth” lives here!  Case in point, the Universalist faith would argue, “If it is God’s “desire” that all should be saved, can He not accomplish this?”  The answer: God can most certainly do whatever He wishes, but He’s not going to do anything that violates His Holy standards.  It’s true He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” but as the righteous Judge He must do what is “right” all the time; that’s His nature.     

For all those out there who believe and preach “limited atonement,” on the other hand, interpret this scripture passage in a different way that, to this Bible guide, surely seems like an attempt to explain what God clearly said away.  These folks contend that the term “all men,” (2:4), refers only to “the elect of God,” or those lucky few, as it were, that God chose to save.  But how can this be true in light of what Paul wrote in verses 2:1-2? 

But there’s more for those who believe in “limited atonement,” argue that “all men” in 2:4 and the “all” in 2:6 really mean “all without distinction.”  Please know this claim is also incorrect.  Neither the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary nor the Oxford University Dictionary show this definition.  There is an obsolete word “alkin,” that was used many years ago, which is an obvious contraction of “all kinds,” but the word “all” in and of itself cannot and does not mean “all kinds.”  It refers to “all kinds” only when qualified by words such as kind or manner.  If God meant to say in verse 2:4 and 2:6 that He desires the salvation of “all kinds” of men, and that Christ died for “all kinds” of men, could He not have said this?  Is God the author of confusion and misunderstanding or is He the epitome of “the truth?”  

Before I let this subject go permit me to point out to y’all, if the words “all” and “all men” in 1 Timothy 2:1-7 really mean “all kinds” of men, would not God have said we should “give thanks… for all kinds of men?  Furthermore, if verse 2:1 instructs us to pray for “all kinds” of men, would not this have been followed with words such as, “for kings and slaves, for sinners and saints, for the educated and the illiterate, for the rich and the poor” etc.?  We note, however, that Paul did not say this.  He said, “Pray for kings, and for all that are in authority; Obviously, then, this passage cannot refer to “all men without distinction,” or “all kinds” of men.  I have already explained above why God singles out this one category and that’s because “God our Savior” would have the gospel for this dispensation go out in peace since He desires, or “will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

To all those who hold that God does not love all and that Christ did not die for all, I strongly suggest you read this Bible passage again, prayerfully, and accept what it says in faith.  As for us Believers, this passage of scripture is one of those on the basis of which we offer salvation to everyone, and warn Christ-rejectors: God has offered you salvation by grace through faith in what He has done and said, and has assured you your salvation is His “will.”  Therefore, if you reject Christ and choose to remain unsaved it is your fault, and God must justly condemn you for your sin of unbelief, i.e., your lack of faith:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

We didn’t look at all the material I intended to study in this lesson largely because I chose to follow a different route, often referred to as a rabbit trail, in describing some of the heresies derived from 1 Timothy 2:1-4.  This information is valuable so I brought it to your attention so that your “knowledge” would be complete or at least refreshed:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” (Colossians 1:9-11; Proverbs 18:2, 15).

We’ll pick up this lesson from where we left off when next we meet.  Stay safe and in the Word of God and make sure you share His “good news” for this dispensation with someone who needs to hear it.   

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