His Messengers

1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

What is the message here? Is it that we need to be praying for all people? Yes! But, why? What are we supposed to be praying for them? What is the primary objective of our prayers for them to be?

The main purpose or objective of our prayers for all people, including those who are in positions of rule or authority over us, is for their salvation. It is not for world peace or for their comfort here on this earth. It is that they be at peace with God, and that they inwardly are at peace (not anxious), because of their relationship with God (with Jesus Christ). And, it is that they live godly lives, holy and pleasing to God, obeying the truth of God’s Word.

So many times our prayers can be so shallow, or so self-driven, or they are not for what is in the best interest of others. They can be selfish and fleshly, not really thinking about other people’s eternal destiny at all. And, it is possible that our prayers for others may have no regard whatsoever, too, for whether or not others are living godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, walking in obedience to his Word. And, that is very sad indeed!

So, when we pray for others, we need to make their salvation and their walks of faith with God our top priority, for all else will flow out of that. We may pray for a sick person to get well, but if that person is not walking in obedience to the Lord, and if that person has no inward peace, but is angry with God and with others, then are we praying for what that person really needs? What is most important here? That they get well physically, or that they are walking in the fear of the Lord and that they are at peace with God?

1 Timothy 2:5-7 ESV

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I think so many times we can get caught up in thinking the way the world thinks or to have our minds on things on this earth, instead of having our minds on things above. And, this can or will be reflected in our prayers to God, too. Thus, we will end up praying, not for what is best for others, but perhaps selfishly, thinking of what we desire, or thinking about their worldly comfort, instead of thinking about why we are all here on this earth in the first place, which is to give honor and glory to God by how we live.

I mean, our whole purpose in existing is that we might be in relationship with Almighty God, and that we might follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives. That is why Jesus Christ, God the Son, willingly left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, came to earth, and took on our humanity, then sacrificed his life for us on a cross. He did this in order to save us from our sinful condition, and to free us to now walk in his righteousness and holiness, so that we could be for the praise of his glory.

But, this is not God being selfish, either. For, he knows what is best for us, and it is not best for us to be chained to sinful addictions, either for the benefit of this life or for the life hereafter. He knows that sin destroys us, and it injures the lives of others who we sin against. He knows that when we are angry with him and with others that a bitter root develops inside our hearts and then we are not at peace, and such bitterness of spirit eats away at us until there is nothing left of us other than a shell.

And, this is why Jesus gave his life as a ransom for us, to buy us back for God, so that our lives would no longer be our own to continue down that path of sinful practices. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, because that is what we need. That is the most essential thing that we need, and it is the only path to true inner peace.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 ESV

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are his representatives to the world around us. We are his voice, his hands and his feet, for we are his body and the Light of Christ to the world. Thus, we should be Christ-like in all that we do and think and are – all in the strength and power of his Spirit living within those of us who are truly his by faith in him.

All of us, not just the women, should be walking in purity, and this includes how we act towards others and how we dress, too. But, because men are typically more visual oriented, though women can be, too, we women must make certain that we dress modestly, not drawing attention to those parts of our bodies which are known to draw men to lust after us, though certainly they are responsible for their own thoughts. But, we, too, are responsible to make certain we are not doing what might lead another to sin.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 ESV

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

This passage of scripture, and a few others like it, have been subject to many different interpretations. And, not everyone is going to agree on the intended meaning of these words. So, I am just praying here that the Lord will give me the understanding he wants me to have from this.

First of all, I will state that I believe God has made the men of the church the spiritual leaders, and that the women in the church are not to usurp that authority, nor should they try to take over that position of rule and authority within the gatherings of the church, especially not in a demanding fashion or in a manner that is causing destructive commotion.

I believe, too, that women should not be placed in a position of instructing men in an authoritative manner to where they have some kind of rule or authority that they can exercise over men, if men do not obey the Word.

Nonetheless, the word translated “quiet” here is more about “God-produced calm” (1). It is not implying that we, as women, are to remain speechless. It is that our speaking, within the gatherings of the church, needs to be in submission to those in leadership over us. And, it needs to be subject to God first and foremost, and in a place and time appropriate for women to speak and to share their testimonies for Jesus Christ.

For, God never intended to silence us women. He has gifted us equally with men, and he said that in the last days his sons and daughters would prophesy, which means to proclaim his truths. And, we, too, are to be the Light of the World and the Salt of the Earth, and to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. So, it is not that we have to shut up, but it is that we need to be in submission to those God places in authority over us, unless we are being asked to disobey God.

Also, if we follow the example of Jesus here, he honored women. He never treated women as though they were less important than men, and in fact, in one case, he honored a woman in front of the men, and he told the men that she had honored the Lord when they didn’t. And, the Lord used women several times as his spokespeople, and to speak to men, too, on his behalf.

And, I do believe that God will use women in place of men, at times, when there is a shortage of men, for whatever reason, in order to get his messages out to the people. For, he said that if we keep our voices silent that even the very rocks will cry out. He is all about getting his messages out to the people, and he will even use a donkey, if necessary, to do it.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

*copyright status is public domain

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 –

(1) https://biblehub.com/greek/2271.htm

 

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