Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God for the leadership we have in the congregation. Give thanks that our elders and deacons are godly men. Give thanks that, by God's grace, they have a close and harmonious working relationship.
Confess the sin of not thanking God enough for the leadership he has provided, but rather taking them, and the work they do, too much for granted.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read 1 Timothy chapter 2:1-15
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Daniel Hempkin, Minister of Hebron RPCNA.
1 Timothy 2:1-7. Pray for All People.
As we noted yesterday, verses 1-4 are true because verses 5-6 are true. Because there is One God, not many gods; because He came to us in the Person of Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom; because there is only One God-Man who can be Mediator between God and mankind; therefore, Paul urges that prayers of all kinds (supplications etc.) be made for all people. Now, of course, we know (and Paul knew) that it is impossible for any one of us to pray for every human being by name. So, what does he mean that we should pray for "all people"? The Greek word translated as "all" does not necessarily mean "every last one". It can mean "all manner of" or "all kinds of". Indeed, the fact that Paul then writes in verse 2 of "kings and all who are in high positions", tells us he means that "all manner of people, no matter what their station in life, should be prayed-for". Particularly, Paul wants us to pray for those in high position in civil government so that they will leave Christians free to live godly lives and proclaim the Gospel openly. More pointedly, he wants us to pray for the salvation of all manner of people (including our leaders), for God desires to save all manner of people as they come to a knowledge of the Truth. In verse 7, Paul says he was appointed as a preacher and apostle for the proclamation of this message. Do you pray for those in authority over you in civil government? Do you pray that governments will secure peace and freedom for Christians to live godly lives and to proclaim the Gospel openly? Do you pray for the salvation of all manner of people? Do you pray because there is only One Mediator between God and Mankind?
1 Timothy 2:8. Holy Hands.
In the early verses of chapter 2, Paul says that Christians should pray for all manner of people, for there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. In verse eight, he says that, for this reason, men should pray wherever they are (in every place), lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. It is noteworthy that, whereas the word translated as "people", "men" and "man" in the earlier verses means "human being(s)", the word for "men" in verse eight specifically means "adult males" (and is juxtaposed with the word for "women" in verse 9). Thus, the instructions in verse 8 are specifically for men. (We'll deal with Paul's instructions to women tomorrow.) Wherever Christian men are, they are to pray. When they come together for prayer, they must do so "lifting holy hands". Paul does not mean that there is only one physical position in which one may pray. Rather, the emphasis is on the holiness of a man's hands. Psalm 24:4 says that only a man "who has clean hands and a pure heart" may enter God's presence for worship. Thanks be to God that all believers are cleansed in Christ, but Paul is emphasizing the importance of coming into God's presence for worship/prayer with a right attitude of heart. This involves being reconciled to our brethren ("without anger") and unreluctantly praying with them ("without quarreling"). It may be that the men of the Ephesian church (where Timothy was pastor) were particularly prone to divisive quarrels, and, so, Paul made sure to give Timothy these instructions.
1 Timothy 2:9-15. Women Who Profess Godliness.
Paul gives special instructions pertaining to "what is proper for women who profess godliness". First, they are to dress modestly, with a greater concern for adorning themselves with self-control and good works than with the trappings of earthly beauty. Secondly, they are to learn. Contrary to what many Jewish rabbis and pagan philosophers of the time were teaching, the New Testament teaches that women in Christ have equal standing to men in Christ. Consequently, they, like men, are to learn that they may be growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ and be loving God with heart, soul, strength and mind. This equal spiritual standing, however, does not cancel out roles within authority structures. Thus, third, women are to learn quietly with a submissive attitude, not presuming to teach in the Church or take a role of authority (like that of the overseer in the next passage) which God reserves for men. Paul cites two Biblical reasons that teaching and governing office is reserved for men in the church – the order of creation and the events of the Fall. Because the man was created before his wife to be the covenant head of the family, and she was created to be his helpmate, men take leadership roles in the church. When a woman takes this role to herself, as Eve did, she leaves herself open to being deceived. (This may be hard to understand, but just note what the fruit circumventing these instructions has borne – every denomination that has ordained women to teaching/ruling offices has spiraled into increasingly serious errors). Verse 15 is, likewise, hard to understand. Some interpret this to mean that a woman may be "saved" from a desire to take a male-only role by learning to be content with her role in the family. Others see Paul as referring to Eve retrospectively. Though Eve's usurpation of her husband's role led to the fall, she was saved through childbearing by the coming of her Seed (Genesis 3:15), Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:13-15. Adam Was Not Deceived.
Many have misunderstood Paul, thinking he is claiming that women are somehow inferior, because he says Eve was deceived but Adam was not. However, this is not at all the case. In fact, he lays the greater responsibility for the fall of mankind into sin at the feet of the first man. Eve was deceived, but Adam knew exactly what he was doing when he ate the forbidden fruit. In fact, as we read the account in Genesis 3, we find that Eve gave the fruit to her husband "who was with her" (Genesis 3:6). Not only did Adam know what he was doing when he chose to disobey God, he had likely observed the whole conversation between his wife and the Serpent. Thus, it is through Adam, the covenant head of the human family, that the entire human race fell into sin and misery, so Paul can say in Romans 5:12 that "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin". Praise be to God, there is another covenant Head for all who are adopted into God's family – Jesus Christ. Thus, in I Corinthians 15:21-23, Paul can write, "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. All who are united to Christ by faith have Him as their Covenant Head, and therefore, since He lived a perfectly righteous life and died a sinner's death in their place, they are counted as righteous for His sake.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 40B. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Memory Verse - Lay the Word of God up in your heart.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 11 – What are God’s works of providence?
Answer – God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preservation and control of all his creatures, and all their actions.
This is s taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for whatever is on your heart.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC