Thursday, September 29, 2022

2022.09.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Timothy 2:3–7

Read 1 Timothy 2:3–7

Questions from the Scripture text: What two things does 1 Timothy 2:3 say about this praying for all men? In whose sight is it good and acceptable? Who is God to us? Whom does He desire to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4)? How does this salvation happen? How many other gods are there (1 Timothy 2:5)? How many other saviors? What role, between God and men, did God Himself have take in order to save us? What did He have to become? Who is the Man that He became? What did He do as a man (1 Timothy 2:6)? What is done about this ransom, when? Who was appointed to do it (1 Timothy 2:7)? By what action? In what role/office? What other truth does he proclaim as an apostle of Christ? Whom, especially, is he sent to teach? In what two “subjects” is he their teacher?

What are we participating in when we pray? 1 Timothy 2:3–7 looks forward to the second serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that when we pray, we join a work in which God Himself has become Mediator and ransom for men, and appointed preachers teach us what to believe in and believe.

Our praying for all men (1 Timothy 2:1) and aiming at a godly life (1 Timothy 2:2) is a blessed endeavor for several reasons.

It pleases God1 Timothy 2:3. It is good and acceptable in the sight of God. For the believer, that’s all the rationale and incentive that we need for doing something.

It participates in the saving work of God1 Timothy 2:3-6a. Now, we must not get the idea that there is any saving merit or power in our praying. The participation of prayer is a privilege from God, not a help to Him. God is our Savior (1 Timothy 2:3b). He alone is God (1 Timothy 2:4), for which He had to become Mediator. 

The astonishing thing is what was necessary for Him to be Mediator. First, He had to bridge the gap between God and men. This must obviously be done from God’s side; man could not bridge that gap. So, God became a Man: the Man Christ Jesus. Second, a ransom as big as the glory of God had to be paid. So not only did Jesus have to become a man, He Himself had to be offered up as a ransom. 

And the God Who has become this and done this to save us… He welcomes us into His working by calling us and commanding us to prayer?! What an unfathomable privilege this praying is!

It is the particular ministry calling of all Christians1 Timothy 2:6-7. God had a planned time for the incarnation. God had a planned time for the paying of the ransom. And God had a planned time for the testifying of the Mediator and His ransom (end of 1 Timothy 2:6). The preaching through which the gospel is applied is something whose every detail is planned and appointed by God. Christ appointed Paul to be a preacher (1 Timothy 2:7). 

Today, men like Timothy are appointed preachers by Christ in the office of elder, but Paul was appointed preacher in the office of apostle. In fact, as he says in 1 Timothy 2:7, even his words about his appointment are truth that are spoken in Christ. Part of the preaching of the gospel is the preaching that it is Christ Himself Who superintends gospel proclamation. Specifically, Paul has been assigned to the Gentiles as their teacher of things pertaining to faith and truth.

We see what an encouragement this is to organize and order the church the way that we read it in this letter. These aren’t suggestions; they’re commands. And they are commands that carry the honor and dignity of privileged participation in the saving plan of God. If in the role of an “ordinary” believer, we are called to participate by prayer, then we should do it with all the relish with which Paul fulfilled his calling as apostle and Timothy and others were expected to fulfill their calling as elders.

What roles do you have in the church? In your home? What are some spiritual tasks that you are called to in this role? What effort should you put forth in this role? With what emotions/affections?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for being our Savior. Thank You for being the Mediator that You alone could be. Thank You for reconciling us through Your incarnation and Your sacrifice on the cross. Forgive us because our appreciation for Christ and His cross is weak. Thank You for giving us the privilege of participating in Your saving plan, even by our prayers for all men. Forgive us for not taking this privilege seriously or carrying it out with diligence and joy. Grow us, we pray, by the grace of our Mediator, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH520 “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

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