In 1 Timothy, chapter one, Paul wrote to warn against those who are teaching false doctrine, who are swerving from pure hearts and good consciences and sincere faith, and who have wandered off to vain (empty, useless, and conceited) discussion, lacking in understanding of the truth.
He went on to talk about how the law is good if it is used lawfully, and how it is meant for those who are transgressors of the law, i.e. for the sexually immoral, the murderers, the disobedient, the ungodly, and liars, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the true gospel of Christ.
He then shared some of his own testimony, and then he went on to exclaim that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, including himself.
And, then he gave a charge to Timothy, which can certainly apply to all of us, and that is that we must fight the good fight of faith, holding on to our faith and a good conscience.
And, we must be careful to not swerve from pure hearts, good consciences, and sincere faith. And, we must be cautious that we not wander off to conversation that is empty and useless, lacking in understanding of the truth of the gospel, resulting from listening to liars and deceivers.
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.”
Ok, so I shared a summary of chapter one so that we can read chapter two in that context. Thus, our supplications, prayers and intercessions and thanksgivings for all people, and for people in positions of authority over us, must coincide with what was taught in chapter one.
Therefore, our prayers and intercessions must be in accord with sound doctrine, and must come from pure hearts, good consciences, and sincere faith. And, they must be founded in the truth of the gospel and not in vain conversation. As well, they must have as their goal the salvation of human lives for eternity, for this is why Jesus came, to save sinners, not to coddle them in their sins, and not to ignore their sins and their ungodly ways.
For, you see, we are not instructed here to pray just anything for the people of the world or for our leaders. So, if we are aware that people, in general, or those in authority over us are among the ungodly who are living wicked and immoral lives and/or who do not honor God, but who do what is evil in his sight, should we be praying that God will give them guidance and that he will direct their paths?
Think with me just for a moment on this. What if our governments are serving the beast (of Revelation), and thus they are serving Satan and his purposes? Should we pray God’s protection over them and that God will lead them in what to do, as though they are serving God and not the devil?
What should we pray for the ungodly, the wicked and the immoral of this world who serve themselves and the devil? We should be praying for them to come to the knowledge of the truth, that they would be humbled before God in confessing their sins, that they would turn away from their sins, and that they would turn to God to follow our Lord in godliness, and in obedience to his commands. We, thus, should be praying for their salvation from sin.
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.”
For, Jesus Christ (God the Son) is the only way to salvation from sin, to relationship with Almighty God, and to eternal life with God. Only through genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ can any of us find true hope, true peace, and true deliverance out of our sinful lifestyles, forgiveness of sin, eternal life with God, and the hope of heaven when we leave this earth.
For, Jesus Christ, although he was God, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on the form of man, suffered like we suffer, and was persecuted and put to death on a cross although he had done no wrong. But, in his death he took our place so that we could be delivered out of our bondage to sin and so that we could have new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
In his death and via his resurrection, he conquered sin, death, hell and Satan on our behalf. So, through faith in Jesus Christ we are no longer under the power and control of Satan or sin, we are no longer bound for hell, we are free from our bondage to sin, and we are empowered of the Spirit of God to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, and for his glory and praise.
His grace, which brings salvation from sin, though, is not just a free pass to heaven, and it isn’t just an escape from hell. His grace puts sin to death in our lives and it resurrects us to newness of life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. For, it instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Jesus died on that cross, in fact, in order to buy us back (redeem us) for God so that we would now be God’s possession and so we would now glorify God by our lives (our lifestyles). He died on that cross that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And, he died that painful death in order that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).
Jesus died and was resurrected from the dead in order to give us completely new lives in him which are surrendered to him as Lord, which are committed to him and to his service, and which walk in his ways and in his truth.
His goal is that we be in fellowship with him, daily listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, and that daily we are following him in where he leads us. And, this includes daily putting on the armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s evil schemes against us, for he is a liar and a deceiver.
Jesus, though, gave his life up for us that we might have pure hearts, good consciences and sincere faith in him, that we follow sound doctrine, and that we don’t swerve from purity of heart and devotion to him, and that we don’t wander off to following after the empty and vain teachings of men.
And, he set us free from our captivity to sin, so we should no longer be those who practice sexual immorality, gossip, hatred, and lying to cover it all up.
So, we need to be those who have forsaken sinful practices, who are walking in the ways of the Lord, who are living to please God, and who are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, and who are praying for others in order that they, too, may be delivered from their slavery to sin and that they might walk in the Spirit of God in true holiness and godliness. Amen!
All The Way My Savior Leads Me
Lyrics by Frances J Crosby, pub. 1875
Music by Robert Lowry, pub. 1875
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.
All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.
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