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 (Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus)
Lesson 14 Prayer and Public Worship (1Tim 2:1-15)
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Lesson 14

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Prayer for all men (2:1-7)

Proper conduct of men and women (2:8-15)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Supplications, prayers, intercessions, giving of thanks, all, godliness and reverence, good and acceptable, God our Savior, saved, one God and one Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus, ransom, testified, men, lifting up holy hands, women, modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, godliness, good works, silence, submission.

II.    Segment Analysis

1. Chapter 1 speaks of the ministry of the gospel and the charge to Timothy to defend the truth of the gospel. Thus, the word “therefore” in verse 1 indicates that the mission entrusted to Paul and Timothy is the reason for the exhortations of chapter 2. In other words, the mission of spreading and defending the gospel demands that the men and women in the church fulfill their responsibilities and carry themselves with proper conduct.

2a. Make supplications, prayers and intercessions for all men, particularly for kings and those who are in authority (1-2).

2b. The purpose of praying for kings and those who are in authority is to allow us to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (2). Only if there is peace and stability in a country can we enjoy freedom of worship and opportunity to evangelize. On the contrary, if a country is plunged into civil unrest or war, the environment will not be conducive for worship. Evangelism under such circumstances will also be hampered since there may be chaos and people may be more concerned about survival rather than the gospel.

2c. Paul reminded the Roman believers that they had to be subject to the governing authorities, recognizing that authorities were put in place by the appointment of God. Hence, resisting the authorities would be tantamount to resisting God. In a more practical aspect, Paul exhorted the believers to render taxes, customs, fear and honor to whoever these were due (Rom 13:1-7).

In today’s context, these teachings remind us as Christians to fulfill our duties as good citizens. Christians must not evade taxes or show disrespect to governing authorities (eg, the government, the law, the courts). We have to remember that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world (Jn 18: 36). Hence there is no contradiction between remaining faithful to God and His Kingdom and at the same time fulfilling our duties as citizens in our country. Even Christ Himself taught that we ought to pay taxes when he said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22: 21).

However, if conflict with our faith arises from unreasonable laws enacted by governments such as during the time of Daniel, when they were forced to worship the golden image and forbidden to pray, then we will have to stick by our faith. We can follow the examples left by Daniel and his friends, as well as Jesus and His disciples. That is, they simply continued to do the right thing (Daniel’s three friends did not worship the golden image; Daniel continued to pray three times a day as was his custom; Jesus and His disciples continued preaching and practicing their faith under persecution). However, they did not stage a revolt against their government but simply chose to suffer the consequence of standing firm in their faith (Daniel’s friends were thrown into the furnace; Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den; Jesus was crucified; His disciples were imprisoned and killed).

3. God desires all men to be saved and, in order to fulfill this desire, God Himself came into the world as man, Jesus Christ, to be a ransom for all and the Mediator between man and God (3-6). Such grace and love is also illustrated in Romans 5:5-8, which describes how Christ demonstrated His love for us in dying for us even while we were still sinners.

4. He is both God and man, making Him the perfect Mediator.

5a. Just as God desires all men to be saved and Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom for all, believers ought to pray for all men that they might be saved.

5b. God desires all men to be saved, and Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (6). This divine mandate to testify to the salvation of Jesus Christ has been entrusted to Paul. For this very reason, Paul has been appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

6. Whether in prayer or in preaching, we must broaden our vision to include all humanity. God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all. God’s concern is for all of humanity. Therefore, we need to have the heart of God and be concerned for the world at large. Our prayers and ministry should not be restricted to only those in the local church, but must encompass the whole human race.

7. The top priority of the church’s mission is reaching out to the world through prayer and preaching. This is what God desires, and this is what He has entrusted us to do. All aspects of our work must support this primary goal.

8. Paul desires that the men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without wrath and doubting (8). This means that men must pay attention to leading a holy life and also take the lead in building up a prayerful life, thereby building up a prayerful family and prayerful church. Such prayers are also to be offered with faith. This is very similar to how ancient saints such as Noah and Abraham led their families in the worship of God when they built altars and offered sacrifices to God.

9. Women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works (9-10). Many women in the world constantly pursue the latest fashion so as to attract attention. This verse reminds believers not to be caught up with the fashion craze or pay excessive attention to outward appearance. We ought to choose attire that are proper for believers and befit godliness. Flashy hairstyle, jewelry, or clothing that distracts attention or is meant to display wealth would not be appropriate. Likewise, 1Pet 3:3-4 reminds Christian women to not let their adornment be merely outward but rather, let it be of the hidden person of the heart, the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

10a. Women ought to learn in silence with all submission and not teach or have authority over a man (2:11-12).

10b. This teaching is applicable in the church with respect to husbands and wives (1Pet 3:1-7; Eph 5:22-33). Women need to honor the role of their husbands. It would be inappropriate for a woman to command or reprimand the men. Instead, she should be silent (1Cor 14:34-35). However, this does not mean that women may not teach children and other women, lead Bible studies, or share personal testimonies. But in the congregation of all the believers, a woman’s role should be supportive rather than authoritative (cf. 1Cor 11:3-15).

10c. There are movements today that advocate women’s rights and the teaching of the Bible about women may be misunderstood as despising or belittling women. However, this teaching, by no means, suggests that women are any less important. Rather, it emphasizes that there are different roles which different parties ought to play and as long as each plays his/her role well, then he/she is worthy of honor. For example, a man can never excel over his wife as a mother and likewise his wife cannot outshine him as a father. God is not a God of confusion and hence such clarity of roles is good to ensure orderliness in the family and church.

11. The pronoun “she” is used because the previous verses speak of Eve. But “she” is not restricted to Eve alone. It applies to women in general, whom Eve represents.

There are two main views on the meaning of “saved in childbearing.” The first understands “childbearing” as the birth of the promised Child, Jesus Christ, who is the only hope of salvation for Eve as well as all mankind (cf. Gen 3:13-16). The second interpretation is that believing women will be saved from the condemnation brought by Eve’s sin and kept from the deceptive influences of society if they accept their God-given role of motherhood (“childbearing”) while continuing in faith, love, holiness, and self-control.

12. The exhortations to believing men and women are based on the larger divine purpose—God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Since the primary mission of the church is reaching out to all men through the gospel, men and women in church must pray everywhere and live a life worthy of the gospel. Through their godliness and good deeds, believers can lift up the name of God and lead others to the knowledge of God.

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