1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
Susan: We will begin this passage with a few definitions of words that we sometimes assume we understand.
Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:
EXHORT', verb transitive egzhort'. [Latin exhortor; ex and hortor, to encourage, to embolden, to cheer, to advise. The primary sense seems to be to excite or to give strength, spirit or courage.]
1. To incite by words or advice; to animate or urge by arguments to a good deed or to any laudable conduct or course of action.
I exhort you to be of good cheer. Acts 27:22.
Young men also exhort to be sober minded.
EXHORT servants to be obedient to their masters. Titus 2:6.
2. To advise; to warn; to caution.
3. To incite or stimulate to exertion.
EXHORT, verb intransitive To deliver exhortation; to use words or arguments to incite to good deeds.
And with many other words did he testify and exhort Acts 2:40.
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
1162 – dĕēsis – from 1189 – a petition: prayer, request, supplication
1189 – dĕŏmai – to beg (as binding oneself) i.e. petition – beseech, pray (to), make request
4335 – prayer (worship); by impl. An oratory (chapel):—pray earnestly, prayer
1783 – ĕntuĕxix – from 1793: an interview, i.e. (spec.) supplication:—intercession, prayer.
1793 – ĕntugchanō – to chance upon, i.e (by impl.) confer with; by extens. To entreat (in favor or against):—deal with, make intercession.
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications1162, prayers4335, intercessions1783, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Susie: Paul encouraged Timothy to pray as well as to teach others to pray. The exhortation, the encouragement, the instruction he gave to Timothy applies to all believers, to all of the Messianic community, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Susan: Paul describes three attitudes of prayer that should all be done in the context of thanksgiving. We are to come humbly as beggars because we are incapable of earning God’s favor by our deeds. It is only by His mercy and grace that we can approach Him at all.
Susie: This is why many of us kneel or bow our heads when we pray, as a symbol of humility.
Susan: We are to be lost in adoring our First Love, the Lord Jesus, the One who sacrificed everything to redeem us.
Susie: Our prayers should include praise for who God is as well as for what He has done in the past and will do in the future.
Susan: Intercession is pouring your heart out to God on behalf of someone else’s challenges. But, also, thanking Him through the trials to victory.
Susie: The part of the Strong’s definition that jumped out at me was that intercession could be for or against. I may be interceding for God to move in a life or interceding against the enemy.
Susan: If we position ourselves in a framework of thanksgiving, we are trusting that the Lord hears and will answer His children. He may answer yes, no, or wait.
Susie: These prayers are to be made for all people (men means mankind). Lest we think we should pray only for believers, look at the next verse!
1 Timothy 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Susan: If things are going well for the leaders of your country, things will be better for you. Christ expects His followers to obey this mandate to pray for those in authority.
Susie: One may say it is difficult to pray for and on behalf of a leader who is not a Christian or perhaps even antagonistic to the faith. Paul was telling the Ephesians to pray for Emperor NERO! You know, the one who burned Christians alive as torches! What can we pray for a king or president who is not a believer?
Susan: We need to pray that he or she comes to know Jesus in a personal, undeniable, tangible way as Savior and Lord.
Susie: We can pray the Lord grants them wisdom in their position. This is not just for national leaders, but can encompass local leadership as well. Not only for politicians but for all in authority, including the leadership of our churches.
Susan: Pray for those who lead our cities, our nation, and our world. A quiet life refers to external circumstances, those controlled by others.
Susie: Peaceable refers to internal calmness. When we are praying for those in authority, it is with the understanding that God is in control which brings great inner peace.
Proverbs 21:1The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Susan: Godliness is hard work especially when He asks us to thank Him in and for things that do not make sense to our finite brains (i.e. phantom pain, school shootings, tragedies).
Susie: Godliness is first and foremost an attitude of the heart. Keeping our focus on Jesus, listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, and trusting that our Father works everything for our ultimate good and His glory.
Susan: Honesty is living out that holy attitude as a living beacon for the Lord and His kingdom purposes.
Susie: Honesty could be translated “moral earnestness” and is living out godliness among people. It is behaving like a believer in our earthly relationships.
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Susan: This righteous living is approved and endorsed by Jesus.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Susie: The only way to achieve godliness is to have God’s Holy Spirit controlling your life. It cannot be done in your own strength.
Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Susie: Our faith in the Lord, our trust in Jesus, brings the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Therefore, until we act by faith, we are not pleasing to God not matter how “good” society may think we are.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Susan: The Holy Spirit woos us into the commitment to Jesus and to walk in obedience thereafter.
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Susie: The King James Version may seem to say that everyone will ultimately be saved, but this is not the case.
1 Timothy 2:4 (ESV) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Notes from John MacArthur Study Bible:
The Gr. word for “desires” is not that which normally expresses God’s will of decree (His eternal purpose), but God’s will of desire. There is a distinction between God’s desire and His eternal saving purpose, which must transcend His desires.
Susie: The Father, in His love, wants the Gospel message presented to all people, in all places. However, not everyone will receive it, believe it, and trust in Jesus. What, exactly, is the truth they are to teach?
Susan: The truth of the Gospel is that Jesus is the One and Only Begotten Son who came to earth as a man, lived perfectly according to God’s laws, and died as the perfect Lamb of God to pay the ransom for our sins. His body was laid in a tomb for three days. Then God raised Him from the dead, and He appeared to over 500 people before ascending to the Father’s right hand to make intercession for all who believe.
Susie: The Holy Spirit gives us the faith to believe these truths and accept God’s free gift of salvation from sin. Once we have trusted the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ, we are assured we will live with Him forever.
1. Write a definition of exhort and example sentences in your own words.
2. What are the differences between supplication, prayer, and intercession?
3. Does one type of prayer seem easier to you than another? Why or why not?
4. Should we pray only for fellow believers? Why or why not?
5. Why should we pray for our president and other national leaders?
6. Who ultimately controls the president?
7. Does God promise that all people will be saved? Back up your response with Scripture.