Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 2:1-3:16

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Paul Describes Healthy Worship & Leadership in God's Household. - 1 Timothy 2:1-3:16

Having focused Timothy's attention on the problem of false teachers at Ephesus and the remedy of "healthy teaching" in accord with the gospel, Paul unpacks the implications of the gospel for corporate worship (2:1-15) and selecting leaders (3:1-13). These two practices are essential gestures for the church to express its character as God's household, and its civic role to bear witness to the truth (3:14-16).

Worshippers of Christ Should Pray for Leaders & Model a Wholesome Social Order. - 1 Timothy 2:1-15

Paul's first concern is the conduct of corporate worship and the cosmic order it signifies. At the time of Paul's writing, every public assembly in Ephesus (cf. Acts 19:32, 39 and 20:28)—gatherings in the theater, the temples, the games—represented the dominant belief in the cities of Asia Minor that the Roman Caesar was favored by that city's gods and goddesses (especially Artemis) to provide them blessings for life and protection from harm. This view was represented in the social order and practices of their assemblies, which included praise for Caesar alongside their deities as supreme, and public honor for civic and temple leaders who received benefaction from Caesar, and shared his gifts locally to their advantage. Paul insisted that, as an alternative public assembly, the church must signify the true cosmic order by praising and praying to the "one God" and the "one mediator between God and human beings, the man Jesus Christ" (2:5), and by honoring one another.

God's People Show-and-Tell the Gospel in Corporate Worship. - 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Prayers should be offered for, not to, kings and others who have positions of leadership in society, so the community can flourish. Not only leaders, but "all people" in the community should be prayed for with "intercessions and thanksgivings" (vv1-2). These practices of prayer are consistent with the central narrative that shapes the identity, worship and mission of Christ's public assembly the good news that the one, true God wants "all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (v4).

He desires all people to be saved- 1 Timothy 2:4

He desires all people to be saved. Consistent with prayers for "all people" (2:1), Paul's gospel summary defined the central narrative of Christian worship—Christ was crucified and raised for the salvation of all people groups. On the one hand, this core testimony stood against the false teachers' misreadings of the Law, which imposed culturally specific dietary practices on the church. On the other hand, Paul's gospel countered Caesar's arrogant claim that he had brought peace and salvation to the whole world.

There is one God - 1 Timothy 2:5

There is one God. In a city of many gods, and a wider culture populated with tribal deities for each group, Christian worship at Ephesus confessed, with God's covenant people across generations and cultural borders, that there is only one, true God (Deut 6:4; cf. Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:6; Gal 3:20; Eph 4:6). There is one mediator for God and man. Ancient rulers fancied themselves, "sons of god(s)" whose favor with the gods supposedly mediated material blessings to their people and protection from their enemies. Paul's confession, for use in corporate worship, identified only one man—the man Jesus Christ—as this mediator. Apart from Jewish worship, which continued to recognize an elaborate priestly system, instead of Jesus's priestly role and sacrifice, and apart from the imperial cult, which celebrated Caesar as Savior and Lord, Paul's confession drew clear lines around the uniqueness of Christian worship

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