Prayer for those in Authority (1 Timothy 2:1-8) (Part 5)

1.8 Christ the Ransom

1Timothy 2:6-7 “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Five truths about Christ‘s Redemptive Price can be gleaned from 1Timothy 2:6:

First, Christ’s Ransom is a Gift. The verb “gave” (ho dous) looks back to the Death of Christ on the Cross. God the Father gave His Son out of Love (John 3:16), and so does the Son. His death was His (Christ’s) Free-Will.

Second, Christ gave “Himself” (heauton). He is both the Giver and the Gift. At the Cross, Christ was both the Priest and the Sacrifice. In the construction of the Church, Christ as the Builder laid Himself as the Foundation Stone. He (Christ) “loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

Third, Christ is the “Ransom” (antilutron). The Doctrine of Biblical Redemption draws much of its language from term used in the Ancient Slave Markets. Sinners thus are Slaves to their Sin (John 8:34):

  • Christ bought (agorazó) Sinners and paid the Purchase Price with His (Christ’s) Blood for the Sinful Humanity – Ephesians 1:7 “In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Colossians 1:14; 1Corinthians 6:20; 2Peter 2:1; Revelation 5:9).
  • Christ also bought us out of (exagorazó) their spiritual bondage (Galatians 3:13; 4:5).
  • Redemption – We have been Redeemed from both the Law and the Curse. He (Christ) then set us free (lutroó; Titus 2:14; 1Peter 1:18).
  • Ransom – The term “Ransom” is a compound word, built upon this concept (lutron) and the preposition “in the place of” (anti). Although this is the only verse where the noun occurs in the New Testament, the combination does appear elsewhere. Christ declares that He came to give His Life “a ransom for man” (lutron anti pollón; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

Fourth, Christ is the Substitute “for all” (huper pantón). The two Greek prepositions (anti and huper) show that Christ died on behalf of all and in the place of all. The universal scope of the statement is supported by the term “all,” which is used throughout this passage to refer to all people (1Timothy 2:1,4,6). There is a difference, however, between the provision of Universal Redemption and the Individual appropriation of it by faith.

Fifth, Christ’s Death fulfilled the Prophetic Purpose of Redemption – “To be testified in due time.” In the Garden of Eden, God announced that the Seed of the Woman would bruise the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15). The Line of the Promised Redeemer thus extended from Adam to Abraham to David to Christ (Luke 3:23-38). In the Fullness of Time, God then “sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). 

1.9 Paul’s Authority

1Timothy 2:7(KJV) “For this I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” As a final proof that the Church must Pray for all men and for those in Authority, Paul appeals to his own appointment by God (1Timothy 1:1) to be a “herald” (NIV) and an Apostle whose distinctive Commission made him a Teacher of the Gentiles (Acts 22:21; Ephesians 3:1ff).  Between God’s Will and the Faith of men stands the necessary witness of a Christian. Paul knew this truth, and thus burdened with an Evangelistic concern, he “strive to preach the Gospel not where Christ was Named” (Romans 15:20). God had ordained both the means and end of the Gospel. In this verse, Paul described his Ministry in 3 Ways:

1.9.1 As a Preacher

As a “Preacher” (kérux), Paul preached God’s Word (2Timothy 4:2). He understands the logic of Evangelism: “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they had not heard? And how shall they hear without a Preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:13-15).

Wuest states, “The Imperial Herald would enter a town on behalf of the Emperor and make a public proclamation of the message which his Sovereign ordered him to give, doing so with such formality, gravity, and authority as must be needed.” Throughout his three Missionary journeys, Apostle Paul did just that.

1.9.2 As an Apostle

Paul knew that he was called to be an Apostle (apostolos), one who had seen the Resurrected Christ and who had been Commissioned by Him (Jesus) to Preach and Lay the Foundation of the Church Age (1Corinthians 9:1-2; Ephesians 2:20).  

Timothy also knows that Paul was an Apostle. Thus, the emphatic affirmation was expressed for the benefit of the Ephesians Church and the Adversaries (“I speak the truth in Christ and lie not”). Constrained by the Holy Spirit, He (Christ) often had to appeal to God for His Confirmation of the Apostolic Witness (Romans 9:1; 2Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:20).

1.9.3 As a Teacher

Paul Catechised after he Evangelised (Matthew 28:18-20). The process of Discipleship involves constant instruction. The object of Paul’s Teaching was to the Gentiles (ethnón) although Paul ministered in Synagogues to numerous Jewish Audiences, his main effort was with the Gentile World (Acts 13:46-48; Luke 14:27). He started that he was “the Minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:16). Other Apostles recognised Paul’s Unique Ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-9).

The sphere of Paul’s Teaching was “in faith and verity” (en pistei kai alétheia). He wanted people both to believe and to understand what he (Paul) proclaimed. The word “verity” is actually translated as “truth” (1Timothy 2:4). It is the “belief of the truth” that saves the Sinner (2Thessalonians 2:13). Faith is the means, and truth is the content. The Legalists, unfortunately, were proclaiming a Religion of Works.

1.10 The Attitude in Prayer

1Timothy 2:8 (KJV) “I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

At all Time – The verb, Pray (prosuchesthai) stresses constant Prayer. D Edmond Hiebert argument “The men only are to lead in public prayer.” That strict interpretation is difficult to maintain dogmatically. All Christians, including women, must grow in the spiritual life. Women as well as men need to “Pray without ceasing” (1Thessalonians 5:17).  

In all Places – The Adverbial Phrase “everywhere” literally reads “in every place” (en panti topói). The general view of the meaning to include both Public Prayer and Private Prayer in all Geographical Locations (1Corinthians 1:2; 1Thessalonians 1:8). Three Essentials of Effective Prayer:

1.10.1 Holy Hands

It is not enough to Pray; it must be done in the right way. Prayer must issue from the humble heart of the Christian in Fellowship with God and with one another. The phrase “lifting up holy hands” could indicate a physical posture or an inner attitude. Prayer Postures could be: 

  • Outstretched Arms – David and Solomon (1Kings.8:22; Psalm 28:2; Psalm 63:4; Psalm 134:2).
  • On our Knees – Daniel was on his knees facing toward Jerusalem (Daniel 6:10).
  • Sitting – David sat before the LORD (2Samuel 7:18).
  • Bowing – Eliezer bowed his head in Worship (Genesis 24:26).
  • Fall on our face – Abraham fell on his face on the ground (Genesis 17:3).
  • Eyes Downcast – The Repentant Publican stood with his eyes downcast (Luke 18:13).
  • Lifted eyes – Our Lord Jesus Christ lifted His eyes toward Heaven in His Intercession (John 17:1).

The use of the figure “lifting up holy hands” is dramatic and instructive. This is the only place in the New Testament where this figure is employed of Prayer. Prayer Postures should not be ritualistic but rather spontaneous manifestation of our Prayerful Attitude.

The adjective “holy” (hosious) denotes a spiritual quality and hands (cherias) are “symbolic of daily life.”  Holy hands could also indicate an unpolluted spiritual life. David equates his righteousness with the cleanness of his hands – 2Samuel 22:21 “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me.” 

David later asked this rhetorical question: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3-4).  Only Christians whose lives manifest practical righteousness and holiness should be allowed to lead in Public Prayers. Christians living openly in sin have no place to lead in public prayers, as David confirms “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). 

The “without wrath and doubting” partly explains what is involved in having “holy hands.” The words show that a Christian must be right in his relationships both to man and to God.

1.10.2 Without Wrath

The term “wrath” (orgés), focuses on emotional anger vented on men, both Christians and non-Christians. It is the second essential, and it requires that we be on good terms with one another Even though the petitioner has been wronged by others, he must put off that natural sinful response of anger before he goes into the presence of God (Colossians 3:8). Jesus warns that such inner fury must be replaced by the spirit of reconciliation (Matthew 5:21-26). A Christian must be “slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20):

  • Jerry Taylor remarks: “Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer.”
  • Bernard: “In our prayers we leave our differences behind us.”

1.10.3 Without Doubting

The term “doubting” = “disputing” (dialogismou), is the opposite of inner confidence. Instead of having faith, a Christian doubt when he has sceptical criticism of God’s control over his life. He carries on a mental dialogue about the outcome of his prayer. It is possible that the disputation may extend to argument with fellow Christians about the programs within the local church. In that sense, doubting disrupts the spiritual unity and the effectiveness of the Body of Christ. Paul cautioned, “Do all things without murmuring and disputing” (Philippians 2:14; same word as “doubting”).  Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches the same truth in Mark 11:24-26. If we spent more time preparing to pray and getting our hearts right before God, our prayers would be more effective.

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