1st Timothy Chapter
Two Commentary by
Pastor Ron Beckham
Bible Study - 1 Timothy
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.