December 03, 2021 – Friday
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV – REVISTED
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
I am revisiting these two verses as I was disappointed with my treatment of them. I kept adding information as I came across it trying to tell the story of the two verses. I believe I failed. Today I am looking at four primary sources to look at these two verses in context. First – chapter 1 and all of chapter 2; second the youtube bible project on 1 Timothy; third Skip Heitzig’s The Bible From 30,000 Feet chapter on 1 Timothy; and fourth David Guzik’s Enduring Word on 1 Timothy chapters 1 and 2. Of course there will be some repetition, but hopefully that will be minimized.
Chapter one tells us Paul was in Ephesus with Timothy and others before he was called to Macedonia. Because he had to depart, he wanted Timothy to stay and directly confront the same false teachings he had been confronting. Much of this was the teaching of myths and genealogies rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith (v4). Paul also tells us those teaching the law did not know what they were talking about as the law is for all kinds of lawbreakers who practiced anything contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God (v10b-11).
Then Paul goes on to write about the grace he received that applies to others as well, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst(v15b). He concludes by charging Timothy once again to fight the battle well against false teachers.
Then we enter chapter two, but is it really a different and separate chapter. Recall when the Bible (OT and NT) were first written they were not broken into chapters and later verses. The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions (source).
With this in mind, we will continue into the next chapter as it really is, a continuation of the first chapter where the verses 1-6a read as, I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. Looking at it this way they seem to simply be an extension of what Paul had told Timothy he is to teach earlier to fight against false teachings.
Knowing this, what about being able to live peaceful and quiet lives? Guzik wrote the following, We should pray for a government and rulers that would simply leave us alone and let us live as Christians. Christians are to look for no special favors from the government. Our goal is a level playing field, unrestricted by state intervention. At the time Paul wrote this, Christianity was not yet an illegal religion in the Roman Empire and it was still considered a branch of Judaism. It was even more reasonable to believe that the Roman government might just leave Christians alone to live their faith. All true until Israel revolted against Rome. The Bible Project did not focus on this directly but said, Paul calls Timothy to hold regular church prayer gatherings to pray for those in authority and to pray for peace as peace creates the ideal setting to spread the message about Jesus. Heitzig does not address this at all but goes directly to the why, . This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
For those who wonder what we should be praying for if we are not being left alone when praying for those in authority, I do not have a clear-cut answer. I believe we should still pray for them and their salvation through Jesus Christ. I believe we should focus on Jesus and the Good News of His payment on the cross for our sins and the sins of all mankind. What are we to do when our message of the Gospel is treated as hate speech? More prayer and direction by and from the Holy Spirit instead of being led by the passions of the day or week, remembering always that God remains in charge and Jesus will indeed return one day.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and that we can turn to You in prayer whenever we are unsure on what we should or should not be doing, It is Your will we seek to live in and no other. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek