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Bible Commentaries

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

1 Timothy 2

 

 

Verses 1-7

Praying for all Men

To be able to hold firm to the faith and teach it in the face of the opposition mentioned in the first chapter, Paul went on to urge Timothy to do certain things. A supplication is an entreaty to God to provide for a particular need. Prayers include petitions, expressions of thanks and adoration, according to Coffman. Spain says intercessions are an opportunity for the Christian to have an intimate talk with the King. Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude. These various forms of prayer were to be offered up for all men. This may be difficult to receive, but it suggests we even need to approach God with a thankful attitude about our enemies and those who may persecute us (1 Timothy 2:1).

Few governments have ever treated Christians more cruelly than that of Rome, yet Paul said to pray for kings. God gave governments power so that anarchy would not prevail (Romans 13:1-7). Christians are also to pray for those in lower offices of government. If government functions well, we can live in peace and exercise godly and honest living. Both the prayers and the resulting peaceable life are in accord with the Lord"s will. If we are living true lives of godliness, we will be taking the gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20). When we seize the extra opportunities afforded us during times of peace, more men get a chance to obey the gospel and fulfill God"s ultimate desire for all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:2-4).

Lipscomb notes the people of Paul"s day who believed in many gods also believed there were different gods for each nation. Thus, they could not pray to their god for the people of another nation. In Christ, we come to realize there is but one God over all men. So, we pray for all men to one God. A mediator is one who stands between two parties who are at odds with one another. In this case, man"s sin made him an enemy of God. Jesus came to the earth as a man so he could serve as mediator between God and man. We cannot go to God by any other since only Jesus has paid the price for sin and made it possible for man to approach the Father (1 John 2:1-2).

Jesus willingly gave himself as an offering for the sins of man (Matthew 20:28; John 10:17-18). The word "ransom" suggests Jesus gave himself in the place of man. Remember, sin brings death as natural payment (Romans 6:23). Jesus came at precisely the time God had planned for him to come (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 1:10). Everything was in readiness for his coming. Because God is the God of all men and he will have all men to be saved, we should pray for all men (2:1, 4-5). The church’s love for souls originates out of that same background. Too, God"s desire to see all saved caused him to send Paul forth to proclaim the good news and give instructions that would cause the Gentiles to fully understand the truth (1 Timothy 2:5-7).


Verses 8-15

Instructions for Men and Women Concerning Worship

The words "I desire" suggest a strong desire that directs the actions of others. The word used for "men" here indicates the male of the species in direct contrast to women. It should also be noted that elders, deacons and preachers are not specifically designated as prayer leaders but all men. "Everywhere" seems to indicate public places. Remember, in John 4:21-24, Jesus indicated worship would not take place in one location but wherever it was in spirit and truth. Paul says one who lifts up his voice in prayer to God, particularly in public assembly, should have his hands dedicated to God"s service. Also, prayers are to be offered without violent feelings or a spirit that is ready to dispute with others over matters already settled by the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 2:8).

Just as the men should be prepared for worship, so should the women prepare themselves. A woman can make herself attractive by wearing clothing that befits a woman dedicated to her Lord (compare 1 Peter 3:3-4). She should wear clothes which show respect for God and those around her, which is the idea behind the word “propriety.” “Moderation” suggests simplicity with self-restraint. Her clothing and hairstyle should not be filled with worldly trappings that call attention to one"s wealth. Instead, her godly actions should stand out to all who meet her. Her desire to be like God will shine through in the good works she does to his glory (1 Timothy 2:9-10; Matthew 5:13-16).

The apostle’s directions about “silence” are better understood in the A. S. V., which has Paul saying a woman should learn in “quietness." She is not forbidden to use her voice at all, but must avoid boisterous conduct that would lead to confusion in worship and prevent those assembled from being edified. Certainly, she can join in the singing and even participate in the classes, as long as she subjects herself because of God"s order of authority. Titus 2:3-5 makes it clear Paul is not opposing all teaching by women. Instead, we must note it is teaching men which would require her to exercise authority, or be the master over men, which is forbidden. Since Paul began in verse 8 with directions relating especially to prayer in public places, we assume these directions also are particularly for worship (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

Paul went on to give a scriptural reasons for the instructions regarding women and worship. First, God"s order of creation was man first and woman second (1 Corinthians 11:9). Second, is the sin committed in the Garden of Eden. Both Adam and Eve sinned, but Paul tells us the woman was deceived (Genesis 3:1-7). Paul is not suggesting the woman"s sin was worse than the man"s but the fact that she was deceived suggests she could be more easily led astray (1 Timothy 2:13-14).

The reference to woman being saved in childbearing is seen by Roberts to mean, "that childbearing is taken as the typical function of woman"s place as wife, mother, and keeper of the home. That woman will be saved, not by seeking man"s place but by keeping her own place in God"s scheme, which may well be summed up by "childbearing."" This is only true if she continues to exhibit self-control, obedient faith toward God, love for God and her fellow man and generally remains set apart to God"s service (1 Timothy 2:15).

 


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Bibliography Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:4". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/1-timothy-2.html. 2014.

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