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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

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Verses 1-15



1. Prayer for all men and for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-7 )

2. The place for the man and the woman (1 Timothy 2:8-15 )

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Instructions are now given by the apostle. The first concerns prayer. “I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (literally, gravity). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” The God who is our Father is also the Saviour-God, who acts in the gospel of His grace with love and compassion towards all men. As such He manifests a gracious willingness to have all men come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. We must, therefore, knowing Him and the exceeding abundant grace towards us, act in love towards those who are without. God acts in grace and the household of faith must do likewise.

As the gospel of grace goeth forth to all men, and God wants all men to be saved, so are we to pray for all men. Especially are kings and all who are in authority to be mentioned in the prayers of intercession. This is the true grace-spirit; the Jewish law-spirit knew nothing of love towards all men. Gentiles and Gentile kings were looked upon as outside, and not considered to be the objects of divine love. The dispensation of the grace of God having come, salvation by grace is offered to the whole world. And how this exhortation has been neglected! How little true prayer for the salvation of all men is made! (1 Timothy 2:4 disposes completely of the unscriptural idea that God has predestined a part of the human race to be lost.) We must also remember that cruel Nero was on the throne of the Roman Empire when this exhortation was written.

The house of God is to be a house of prayer for all nations, and to exercise the priestly function of intercession. Well has it been said, “Nothing but the strong sense of the infinite blessing of the place that grace has given us could lead to, or keep up, such prayer.” But often we are apt to settle down in the enjoyment of grace, without reflecting on our responsibility towards those who are unreached by that grace, which is also at their disposal. Through preoccupation within, how often we forget those without! How needful today when thrones totter, when democracies arise, when all forms of government break down and the shadow of the coming lawless one lengthens, to be obedient to this divinely given instruction, so that even in these days of confusion God’s people may lead “a quiet and peaceable life”!

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, the testimony to be rendered in due time.” Judaism was the revelation and testimony of the one God. Christianity reveals also the true God, but brings forth the equally great truth that there is but one mediator, as there is but one God. And this one mediator is the Man Christ Jesus, who came into the world and who gave Himself a ransom for all.

“Precious truth! We are in weakness, we are guilty, we could not bring ourselves near to God. We needed a mediator, who, while maintaining the glory of God, should put us into such a position that He could present us to God in righteousness according to that glory. Christ gave Himself as a ransom. But He must be a man in order to suffer for men, and to represent men. And this He was. But this is not all. We are weak--here, where we are to receive the revelation of God; and weak, with regard to the use of our resources in God and our communion with Him--even when our guilt is blotted out. And, in our weakness to receive the revelation of God, Christ has revealed God, and all that He is in His own person, in all the circumstances written wherein man could have need either in body or in soul. He came down into the lowest depths in order that there should be none, even of the most wretched, who could not feel that God in His goodness was near him and was entirely accessible to him--come down to Him--His love finding its occasion in misery; and that there was no need to which He was not present, which He could not meet.

“He came down, took part in all the sorrows of humanity, and entered into all the circumstances in which the human heart could be, and was wounded, oppressed, and discouraged, bowing down under the evil. No tenderness, no power, no sympathy, no humanity, like His; no human heart that can so understand, so feel with us, whatever the burden may be that oppresses the heart of man. It is the Man, the Christ Jesus, who is our mediator; none so near, none who has come down so low, and entered with divine power into the need, and all the need, of man. The conscience is purified by His work, the heart relieved by that which He was, and which He is for ever.

“There is but One: to think of another would be to snatch from Him His glory, and from us our perfect consolation. His coming from on high, His divine nature, His death, His life as man in heaven, all point Him out as the one and only mediator” (Synopsis of the Bible).

“A ransom for all, the testimony to be rendered in due time.” This statement has been perverted by some, who handle the Word of God deceitfully, to mean that the whole human race will ultimately be saved including all the wicked dead. And more than that, some of these teachers have made the astonishing statement that the testimony of their unscriptural invention was to be reserved for a certain time, and that “due time” came when they preached their “larger hope” and universal salvation. He has given Himself a ransom for all, which means that provision is made by His propitiatory sacrifice for the salvation of the whole race, but faith is necessary for the appropriation of this salvation.

All who do not accept Christ by personal faith are not covered by His substitutionary sacrifice. If they die in their sins the great ransom cannot deliver them (Job 36:18 ). The due time, or, its own time, when that testimony of all this was to be rendered came when the work was finished on the cross. Ever since the one mediator between God and man gave Himself a ransom for all, the message of God’s love and grace has been preached. And Paul to whom the gospel of the glory of the blessed God was specially committed could therefore say, “Whereunto I was appointed a preacher (literally “herald”; also used in 2 Timothy 1:11 ; and of Noah in 2 Peter 2:5 ) and an apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

1 Timothy 2:8-15

“I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” This refers to praying in public. Audible prayer in the congregation is to be made by men, and not by women. This is apostolic teaching. (There are sects in existence today which claim to have returned to apostolic doctrines and practices, yet they ignore the apostolic commandment as to the place of women in the church. In fact in many of these sects women are the leaders.) The hands which are lifted up in public prayer must be holy hands (James 4:8 ). True piety and a separated walk are to characterize the man who lifts up his hands in public prayer. And it must be “without wrath,” angry feeling against a brother, and without disputing or “reasoning.” To harbor an ill feeling against another while praying or to introduce a dispute, a reasoning argument (as done quite often) makes prayer noneffective.

And now in regard to women he gives the charge that they “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” She is to give her testimony in this way and show that she is not following the world, but is above these things. Immodest dress, bordering on indecency, to gratify the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, is a noticeable thing among the women of the world.

The Christian woman must bear a testimony in an outward manner that she is separated from these things. Then he gives the charge about the teaching authority of women. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” This is and belongs to the wholesome, sound doctrine. Woman has her sphere of service, of laboring in the gospel and also teaching the truth, among her own sex and children. But the place of authority does not belong to her; she is not to usurp authority, nor to exercise it. This is the divine order, that the authority to teach is vested in the man. (See 1 Corinthians 11:1-34 ; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40 ). “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” This is creation’s order, which must be maintained on the ground of redemption.

And the fall teaches another lesson. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” The able expositor Bengel wrote on this: “More easily deceived, she more easily deceives.” When she leaves the place given her according to this apostolic charge, she is easily deceived, and then in turn easily deceives others. The second epistle speaks of “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.” Women rejecting sound doctrine, usurping authority, have become instruments of the enemy, by inventing Satanic doctrines and perverting the truth of God.

(Seventh Day Adventism had Mrs. White as prophetess; Theosophy-Mrs. Blavatsky and Annie Besant; Spiritism--the Fox sisters and the thousands of wicked and often immoral women-mediums; Christian Science--Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy and the thousands of women healers; the Irvingite movement--demon-possessed prophetess, who spoke in strange tongues; New Thoughtism has its women leaders, etc. How this bears out the divine truth stated here.)

1 Timothy 2:15 refers to Genesis 3:16 . She shall be preserved in child-bearing, delivered in the hour of trial and labor, if they continue in faith and love. and holiness with sobriety.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/1-timothy-2.html. 1913-1922.
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