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1st Timothy


1st Timothy Chapter Two
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

Audio Bible Study - 1 Timothy 2:1-5

Verse 1. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,”

Prayer! There is so much talk about it and so little understanding about what it really is. Prayer is applied faith.  It is active belief in the Lord. It is an end to reliance on ourselves and an entrusting of our needs to God. It is asking Him instead of merely doing something ourselves. “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Many believe that God exists, but do you believe that He is interested enough to give you what is needed for your situation? Does He love you? Does He care? Is He able to bring you through? Paul, who wrote the words of these verses, had become a man who truly BELIEVED. He urged us to be “praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Prayer is more than our shortsighted approach to life. Notice in this verse in First Timothy that we pray “on behalf of all men,” which includes the specific people in mankind that God Himself has drawn us to pray for. John the Apostle observed, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). “Entreaties” here (“supplication” in the King James) is a wanting, the expression of a NEED in the original Greek language. “Prayers” are requests made to God. “Petitions,” or “intercessions” in the King James Version, are when we meet with God to have conversation with Him; approaching the King to ask Him for something. “Thanksgivings” in this verse are just what you would expect. We thank Him – “in everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) including the kindnesses done for people and in situations about which we have prayed.

Verse 2. “for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

We catch a glimpse in this verse that even though we may be praying for someone else, we will personally benefit from those prayers. When we pray for the leaders of our country, that they become merciful, enact good laws, and perform their offices in the will and the love of God; the answers to those prayers will rebound back to our benefit, enabling us to “lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” if you don’t care for your pastor, pray for him (or her, these days), that God will speak through them and minister to all the people that God has placed into their care.

You can negatively change someone through harsh words, whereas you can positively change them through prayer. Your harsh words will be known by others, whereas your prayers may never be known except to God. But note that even though other people will eventually forget us and not recall what we have done, God knows our names and everything about us. He is the One who gives lasting rewards to those who pray. So entreat Him for “all who are in authority.” Not only will you be more likely have a “tranquil” life right now, but He will also reward you – forever, for the good that you have done through believing prayer.

Verse 3. “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

Many people are confused about what they possibly can do that would please God. Others are frustrated and angry about it, but that attitude will be discussed in another place. For those who are merely confused about what God might want, this Second Chapter of First Timothy is an excellent place to discover what “is good and acceptable in the sight of God.” And notice that He is “God our Savior.”  Many young people are concerned about what they will be after they "grow up."  But we should really be thinking more about how things will be after we leave this earth.  We need to discover what is "good and acceptable" to the One who is "our Savior" and decides our fate - forever.

The phrase, “God our Savior,” is a reference to the work of Jesus Christ, who "gave Himself as a ransom for all,” as we will see in Verse 6. It’s important to note that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There is no work that we can do to fully please God the Father, except to trust in His Son. When we do, the verses here in this chapter begin to acquire personal meaning. After we have trusted in Him, we can offer “entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings,” as we saw in Verse 1, and discover that He not only hears us, but He answers prayer and we will be blessed.

Verse 4. “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

How many people does God love to the extent that He would receive them into heaven to be with Him forever? Does He love some and not love others? When Scripture says “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated” (Malachi 1:2-3, Romans 9:13), does it mean that some are born to salvation, but others are not? This verse in 1st Timothy answers that concern, which has worried of many people. God “desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  Almighty God has good intentions, a happy ending for your life and mine, which is really the beginning of a blessed eternity for you and me.

Peter, who also was called, "Simon," and at other times, "Cephas," walked with the Lord for three years and subsequently made this observation about God: He is “not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus said, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). And when this verse in Timothy speaks of “men” who are to be “saved,” He is really referring to “mankind.” God’s real desire is that all men, all women; everyone who has ever lived or will live, will “be saved.”  He wants to give you - everything; especially "the knowledge of the truth" - right now.

Verse 5. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

Deuteronomy 6:4 is the “Schema” of Israel, a word that essentially means “Hear.” That verse provides the good news that “The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” It’s interesting that in the Hebrew of that verse, “Lord” is “Yahweh” or “Jehovah,” “God” is “Elohim” and “one” is “echad.” “Elohim” is a plural word for “God,” revealing that even though He is indeed “One,” He is even more. “Echad” is a word that might be used for “one egg,” consisting of parts: a shell, a white and a yolk. If it had been “one” like many understand it to be, the word would have been “Yaheed,” an absolute one.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are "Echad"- "One."

It is important for all of us to consider the words in this verse that include, “there is… one mediator… between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” In some of the religions around the world, it is taught that there have been many such mediators. Other religions teach that there are no mediators at all. It’s important for us to see that we ALL are sinners in need of the "Mediator... Christ Jesus." As it says in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In Genesis 28:12, a dream of Jacob is mentioned in which a “ladder” extended between earth and heaven. In John 1:51 we find that the ladder is the “Son of Man,” Christ Jesus.  We NEED a Mediator to become right with God and we have Him in the person of Jesus Christ.

Father, when it says You "desire all... to be saved," that includes - me!  Forgive my sins, dear God.  I repent before You.  There is so much I do not understand, but right now I simply I trust in You, in the Son.  Thank You for saving me.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Audio Bible Study - 1 Timothy 2:6-10

Verse 6. “who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”

Throughout history the whole human race has been like a child kidnapped from his or her parents. Back in the beginning of time, as reflected in Genesis Chapter Three, our original ancestors, Adam and Eve, fell into sin after being tempted by the enemy of mankind. All of us, everyone who has lived since that time; we were literally IN our original parents when they sinned. They were our representatives and when they fell, WE fell with them. As a people, we sold ourselves into sin. We became lost to the love that God intends for you and me. Another factor in a kidnapping is a “ransom” which is often required in order to buy back the one who has been taken away from his or her true home.  The enemy held us in his clutches and a sufficient ransom was required in order for us to become free.

And so it was that Jesus Christ “gave Himself as a ransom for all,” sacrificing Himself so that you and I might be freed from sin and shame. Jesus is the King of Glory, infinitely valuable, not only to us, but especially to God the Father, who sees the worth of His Son as far exceeding humanity’s terrible sins. The Lord paid the price for you and me. And notice that all this was done at just “the proper time.” If you are worried about all those who came into history before Christ, think again, for the blood of Christ was provision for them as well. If you think those who never heard of Him are doomed; don't worry because Christ died for them also. It’s your willingness to have faith that counts, not your full knowledge about what the Lord has done. Simply offer the faith of Abraham who lived in a time when no one had heard of Christ: “he believed in the Lord, and (God) accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

Verse 7. “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

You can read in Acts Chapter Nine and in other places that Paul the Apostle was “appointed (to be) a preacher” of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not choose the ministry as some kind of a vocation as historically many have done. He was an “Apostle,” which means “sent one,” alluding to the ambassador who would be sent by his king to a neighboring country. It’s important to note that many people were going to the cities that Paul had visited, claiming to be some kind of “apostle.” A lot of them had taken that title, but really were not what they said they were. That is why Paul felt that he must say, “I am telling the truth, I am not lying.” It’s always dangerous, by the way, to claim that you have some kind of godly title unless it is the Lord Himself who gives it to you.  Paul was indeed the Lord's "apostle," chosen by God for that office.

Jesus Himself had told Paul, “Arise and go” (Acts 9:6), which sums up the Lord’s relationship with this man. Paul had been a religious man all his life and previously was one of the leaders of the Jewish sect called the “Pharisees” (separated ones).  Before the Lord changed him, the man had persecuted the very Christians he now served as a “preacher.” Paul, whose other name was Saul, had been “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1), and it’s important to note that Jesus said to the man, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5). Paul was the last man in the world you would expect to become a “teacher of the Gentiles” for the Lord, but that’s what he now was. It makes you wonder who had been praying for him because faithful prayer really changes lives. Trust in the Lord – and keep on praying, even for your “enemies,” which some must have been doing at that time (Matthew 5:44).

Verse 8. “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

It doesn’t seem like prayer is completely understood or fully appreciated by any in humanity. It’s a relatively little-used, but powerful source for good in the world. In Paul’s time, men were measured by their strength, their ability to use weapons, their intelligence and not much else. If prayer was valued at all, it was low on the list of desirable qualities for them. Scripture presents a different kind of reality altogether which is from God’s perspective: prayer is vitally important for us all. God, through Paul, is telling us to “pray, lifting up holy hands.” And he tells us in another place to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

The other part of this verse should be a focus for all who trust in the Lord and consider themselves to be part of the church.  It seems obvious to serve our Lord "without wrath and dissension," but a look into history reveals that many terrible wars have been fought in the name of religion.  The very fact that so many different kinds of churches exist, reveals the "dissension" that is in our midst.  One group in the church feels it is necessary to split off, refusing to have fellowship with others who, they feel, are not like them.  "Wrath and dissension" are not God's will for the church.

Verse 9. “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,”

Paul lived in a time and place not unlike today, when women no longer dressed and acted “modestly and discreetly.” One of his concerns was the widespread prostitution that was rampant in many of the cities of the Roman Empire in which he lived. Such women did not “adorn themselves with proper clothing” and it was important then, as it is now, that Christian women and men first and foremost “adorn themselves” with the Holy Spirit of God. He (the Holy Spirit) is beautiful, and those who are filled with Him have a deeper beauty than anything this world can offer. The Apostle Peter said, “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4).

Does that mean we are supposed to dress in an old-fashioned, out-of-touch manner so that we seem peculiar to the culture around us? Absolutely not! We accomplish nothing by dressing in a strange, old-fashioned manner. It’s true that women should indeed be modest in appearance, but the men among us should be modest as well. As the Apostle Peter said, we are to “be holy in all (our) conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). Notice that Peter’s words in the commentary on the previous verse pointed out the value of “imperishable” beauty. We’ve all noticed that, not unlike an old car, our bodies begin to wear out. Efforts like exercise, a proper diet and plastic surgery will slow the process, but the aging process just keeps happening to us all. We need something deeper in life than “braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” We need the Lord.

Verse 10. “but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”

The process that allows “good works” to truly become part of our thoughts, actions and lives, includes 1) Repenting before God, 2) Trusting in the Lord, 3) Receiving His Holy Spirit, and 4) Prayerfully reading the Word of God. Those steps were already known by Paul to be part of the life of the younger man, Timothy, so the words did not need to be repeated here. When we take those four steps, our words and deeds will change for the good. Our motives will become pure and "good works" will enter our lives, as we are healed inside from sin and the Holy Spirit takes over our lives. Note by the way, that the emphasis in this section of Scripture is the opposite of the world’s view. The previous verse and this one teach that true beauty is not in outward appearance.

Two good examples of the kind of woman expressed by these verses are seen in Proverbs 31:10-31, and also in the person of the woman, “Dorcas,” also known by the name, “Tabitha,” in Acts 9:36 and its context. She was the woman who was raised back to life through the prayer of the Apostle Peter, but even more important is the way her life was lived. Through the power of God, she was “full of good works and charitable deeds.” Note that men also should be “modest,” as we saw in Verse 9, and full of “good works” as in this verse, if we are “making a claim to godliness.” And it is not merely something outward, for this “godliness” is to come from the presence of God inside us.

Lord, we come to You, in surrender, in repentance and in love.  Receive us, Lord, and fill us with Your Holy Spirit.  Give us a love for Your Word and let us have lives filled with holiness and prayer.  We praise Your Holy Name.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Audio Bible Study - 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Verse 11. “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.”

In the commentary on Verse 10, it was suggested that these Scriptures should not only be read, studied, prayed about and implemented by women, but by men also. Most people speak first and think later, but this verse suggests that the world would be a better place if we all learn to make less noise by talking less. In the Kairos Prison ministry we love and have participated in, the slogan is: “Listen, listen, love, love.” There is power in truly LISTENING to others, and to do so is to catch a glimpse, an aspect of what LOVE is supposed to be all about.

Quietly” in this verse is actually “silence.” In the modern world, we tend to fill any silence with as many words as possible, but instead we are to learn to LISTEN to one another and LISTEN to the Lord. Note that, in writing this letter to Timothy, the writer Paul is responding to what he had seen and heard from and about the churches of that time. In Acts 22:2, Paul’s listeners, who were all men, “kept all the more silent” while listening to the message, which carries the same idea as this verse in First Timothy. Wives, LISTEN to your husbands, but if the husband is to love his wife, he must LISTEN also.

Verse 12. “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.”

The phrase “exercise authority” meant a continual action of acting independently, exercising mastery over another, being autocratic in personality and/or being a dominating person. None of that kind of thinking or behavior is from the Holy Spirit of God, but it was a needed question in the Early Church and Paul was led to answer it. Jesus said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him (or her) be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). You “Husbands (are to) love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25), which implies that God intends you to NOT be some kind of autocrat in your marriage. You are intended to instead be a servant-leader of the family. But the role is impossible if the two of you are constantly bickering about who is in charge.

I have been fascinated for years by the response of the woman named Kathryn Kuhlman, when the Lord called her to ministry. She responded, “But Lord, I am a woman.” The Lord answered her with essentially these words: “I have called two men to this ministry and both of them turned Me down. Will you turn Me down, also?” Paul’s advice to “remain quiet” is very good. Even though I am a pastor, I try to remain quiet when attending a Bible study taught by someone else. Always remember, though, that we are not under some kind of New Testament Law, but we are to respond to the Holy Spirit as He leads us in individual situations.  There are times to "remain quiet," but there are also times to speak, as the Lord leads each one.

Verse 13. “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”

Our attitudes about life and toward other people begin to change when we start to believe the Creation Account in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. Each one of us is not merely a chance occurrence within random events that began billions of years ago and will continue for unthinkable eons into the future. There was literally a first man named Adam, created by Almighty God, not that long ago in the past, who was fashioned from “the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7 & context). And there was a specific woman, Eve, who was created out of the man (Genesis 2:22). That “dust” which was the origin of us all, was made out of nothing, not so many millennia in the past (Genesis 1:1 & forward).

As we read the Creation Account, it is clear that Adam truly loved his wife, even to the point of his own death. And that’s the point of the mention of Adam and Eve in these verses. Paul, the writer of these words, had caught a glimpse of what the family is supposed to be all about – wives and husbands are intended, in this cold world, to be a place of safety and love for one another. The husband is to be, in marriage, like the president of a small corporation and the wife is NOT the janitor; she is the Executive Vice President. They are to be a team, united and faithful to each other, filled with the love of God in Christ Jesus. The husband is to be first, but just barely, for she is gifted, too. They are to LISTEN to one another.

Verse 14. “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

In the study of Scripture, it’s incredible and wonderful to suddenly find an even deeper understanding of something in God’s Word that we thought we understood previously. We all know the Scripture that, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Whether we believe it or not is up to each individual who reads those words. Most know something about Adam and Eve, though whether you believe they were real people or not is up to you. And you likely know something about the “fruit” they were tempted to eat, as reflected in Genesis Chapter 3, which likely was not an apple or a pomegranate, as some have felt.

What is not directly seen in the Genesis account in Chapter 3, is the differing states of mind of two of the participants as they struggled with the temptation to partake of something the Lord God told them to leave alone. The third player in all this was the “serpent,” a word that actually translates as “shining one,” and it may have been some kind of dinosaur-type of creature, indwelt by the enemy of mankind. Here in this verse we find something important: Yes, the woman, Eve, was indeed deceived into eating by the “shining one,” but here’s the surprise: the man, Adam, was not. She held the fruit out to him, the juice of it still on her lips and handed it to him. He knew in precisely that moment that Eve was going to die, for God had already promised it would happen. He likely did not know what “death” was, but if God said death would occur, they would die. Not wanting to lose the woman he ate of the fruit, demonstrating that he loved her more than he loved the will of God.

Verse 15. “But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

Children are an amazing gift. They are produced out of what is supposed to be an act of love, and those children come right out of a woman’s body! Amazing. C. S. Lewis, the Oxford Don who lived in an age when people taught their children that babies were brought by the “stork” or were found under “cabbage leaves,” said: “If you told a child where babies really come from, they would not believe you,” for the process involved is truly strange and wonderful.

The opportunity for great love between the mother and the child is enormous. This is a strong, life-long bond that is not easily broken. The father has the opportunity to be a part of it as well, but he is often away from the home and the bond is usually somewhat lessened for him. Sadly, in our “modern” world, the expected love between a mother and a child in an increasing number of cases has lessened. The child is often viewed as “tissue” that happens to become a human being, and this “tissue” has the tendency to interfere with the mother’s career goals.

But even in today’s age, the bearing of children has the capacity to produce an instant inexplicable love, especially when the mother has true “faith” in the Lord and expresses God's “love” toward that child. “Sanctity” refers to the holy life that is normal for the mother who has the “self-restraint” to trust in the Lord and love her little ones.

Father, thank You for the gift of marriage, the gift of children.  Give us honest, holy love for one another, in the power of God.  Let us find the true faith that enables us to express Your love for those You have shared with us.  We praise Your Holy Name.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
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