Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 2:1-7

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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

Who gave himself as a ransom for all - 1 Timothy 2:6

who gave himself as a ransom for all. Paul's confession attests the historical event of Christ's crucifixion and its atoning significance for the sins of all people groups. His wording is consistent with the apostolic witness to Jesus' own testimony that he laid down his life intentionally as a sacrifice for sins (cf. Matt 20:28; Mk 10:45; Lk 22:20; Jn 1:29; 10:17-18; 1 Cor 15:1-4; Tit 2:14; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 2:24; 1 Jn 2:2). Christian worship is exclusive about the identity of its object, not its subjects. Only Christ's death and resurrection is effective for salvation. Therefore, he is worthy of worship. The salvation he secured is not limited to one gender, one ethnic group or any other subsection of humanity. Therefore, it is effective for all who come to worship Christ, by making this confession with Paul.

A herald and an apostle - 1 Timothy 2:7

a herald and an apostle . . . and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Paul echoed his earlier testimony about his personal experience of God's grace (see 1:12-17 and related notes), which resulted in Christ's commission to send Paul as his representative to show-and-tell this good news to all nations. As an apostle, Paul was 'sent' under Christ's authority to represent the interests of his kingdom (see note 1:1). As a herald, he was authorized to communicate an official message from the king. As a teacher, Paul cultivated relationships and learning communities by personal example (see note 1:16) to enact the values and policies of Christ's kingdom (cf. 2 Tim 1:11). This repeated emphasis, along with Paul's unusual avowal—'I am telling the truth'—strongly indicates that false teachers in the Ephesian church questioned Paul's apostolic credentials and disputed his teaching of the true faith (cf. Acts 20:17-35; 1 Tim 4:1-5).

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