Prayer for those in Authority (1 Timothy 2:1-8) (Part 4)

1.6 The Goals of the Prayer Ministry

1Timothy 2:4 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” The first goal is the “saving purpose” for mankind. Apostle Paul says that “God our Saviour……will have all men to be saved.” Prayer for the “Lost-Souls” is based on Christ’s Redemptive Work. The mention of the Divine Title “Saviour” causes Paul to introduce a relative clause that began with the pronoun “Who” (hos). This feature forms the transition from the First Section (1Timothy 2:1-3) of this passage to the next (1Timothy2:4-7). The Second Half of the Passage reveals a genuine concern for the “lost-souls” by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through Paul.

God’s Will be both simple and complex. He works “all things after the counsel (boulên) of His Own will” (thelêmatos – Ephesians 1:11). All things, including Creation, Redemption, and Judgement, are encompassed by the Divine Decree. For purpose of understanding, however, God’s Will can be classified in three ways:

  • His Decretive Will – Expresses God’s Unconditional Purpose, it gives Him pleasure and it is always carried out because it is dependent only upon Him for its fulfilment (Isaiah 14:24,27).
  • His Perceptive Will – States His Conditional Purpose. The performance of His Moral Will is dependent upon the obedience of man for its fulfilment. The Ten Commandments and the desire to save reveal God’s Moral, Perceptive Will. Man willed to do what God has Willed. Unfortunately, both Believers and Unbelievers have willed not to obey God.
  • His Permissive Will – Allows sin and evil to occur. God is not morally responsible for the sinful actions of men and the consequences of those acts. Such rebellion gives God no pleasure (Psalms 81:12; Acts 14:16; Romans 1:24).

God’s Will in 1Timothy 2:4 points to His Moral, Perceptive Will. The verb Will (thelei) indicates a “desire springing out of the emotions or inclinations, rather than out of deliberation (boulomai).” It reveals God’s intense concern for the Salvation of the Lost Souls. God’s Perceptive, Redemptive will has 2 Purposes:

1.6.1 Salvation

1Timothy 2:4a “All men to be saved,” the verb literally reads, “who wills all men to be saved” Paul writes that God’s Will is to save all man, but also man must will to experience Salvation. God does not impose His Redemptive Plan upon Unwilling Persons. To obey the appeal to believe, man must actively exercise his will (Acts 16:31). The group “all men” includes the entire World of Lost Humanity (1Timothy 2:1). Christians can pray for all men to be saved because Divine Provision has been made for all to experience Salvation (John 3:16; 12:32; 1John 2:2).

1.6.2 Truth

1Timothy 2:4b “All men come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God works in and through man’s will to gain the assent of man’s will without violating its moral accountability.

  • The goal is the “knowledge of the truth.” The noun “knowledge” (epignósin) denotes a thorough understanding. It is used not the simple word for knowledge but the compound form which seems to mean growing knowledge or perception. William’s rendering: “to come to an increasing knowledge of the truth.” (Charles B. Williams, “The New Testament, A Private Translation in the Language of the People,” Moody Press, 1949).
  • Unbelievers do not become Believers through ignorance. They must have basic knowledge of God’s Redemptive Facts. These facts are contained in the “truth” (elétheia), which is outlined in the 1Timothy 2:5-7:
  • The Oneness of God, the necessity of the Divine-Human Mediator, the Death, Burial and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the appropriation of Salvation by Faith. The word “truth” occurs 14 times in the Pastoral Epistles (1Timothy 3:15; 4:3; 6:5; 2Timothy 2:15,18; 3:8; 4:4; Titus 1:14).

Redemptive Truth centres in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He declared: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Knowledge of such truth sets men free from their bondage of sin (John 8:32; 2Thessalonians 2:13-14). The possession of Eternal Life is synonymous with knowing God and Christ through the Redemptive Experience (John 17:3). Paul was willing to repudiate his proud, self-righteous life for “the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).

Thus, prayer is part of God’s Plan for reaching the Lost World. Christians have the responsibility of Praying for the Lost Souls (Romans 10:1) and making ourselves available to share the Gospel with others.

1.7 Christ the Mediator

1Timothy 2:5“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.” The conjunction “for” (gar) introduces the explanation of Redemptive Truth. The emphasis also switches from the Father to the Son. Christ, as the Mediator, the attention is on the Son’s Person, whereas as the Ransom, the focus is on Christ’s Work, as the Mediator – Three Concepts are enumerated:

First, there is only “One God” with three Persons in the Godhead (Father, Son {Jesus} and the Holy Spirit – God alone has the Sovereign Prerogative to determine the Proper Access into His (God’s) Presence (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

Second, Christ, is the “One Mediator between God and men.” A Mediator is an Umpire. Wuest observes that a Mediator is “One who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or to form a compact or ratify a covenant.”  The necessity of the Mediator can be seen in the gulf between the Holy God and the Sinful Humanity. When God created Adam and Eve, there were Fellowship; however, in their (Adam’s & Eve’s) disobedience, they fled from God’s Presence (Genesis 3:7-8). Man, not God, needs Reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 2Cor.5:19). 

Third, the One Mediator is the “Man Christ Jesus.” The absence of the definite article “the” before the noun “Man” stresses that Christ is the Perfect God-Man. Christ has the same human nature as all others (Hebrews 2:14,16), except Christ is without Sin (2Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1Peter 2:22; 1John 3:5) – Christ, the God-Man is very Man of very man. Men needed the God-Man, Christ Jesus to represent us. The phrase affirms that the Mediator had to be both Divine and Human in order to represent the interests of the two Parties. Then only person who could bring both man and God together He (Christ) had to be both God-Man.

In his concern Job confessed: “For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgement. Neither is there any daysman (mediator) between us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32-33). The word “Daysman” connotes a “Mediator” and is so translated in the Septuagint by the same word Paul uses in 1Timothy 2:5. Job longs for Someone who understands both God and man and who will draw them together. Ultimately this is what our Lord Jesus Christ does. But Job desires some man in his own time who has “eyes of flesh” and who can sympathise with his human weakness. This longing increases as the Book of Job progresses (Job 9:32-33; 10:4-5, 8-10; 13:21-22; 16:21; 23:3).  Job’s desire of “Daysman” was Christ who placed His hands on both God and man. Christ thus becomes the Mediator (mesités) of the New Covenant ratified by His Shed Blood (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…

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