1 Timothy 2
In this chapter Paul treats,
I. Of prayer, with many reasons for it,
1 Timothy 2:1-8.
II. Of women's apparel,
1 Timothy 2:9,10.
III. Of their subjection, with the reasons of it,
1 Timothy 2:11-14.
IV. A promise given for their encouragement in child-bearing,
1 Timothy 2:15.
|Universal Prayer Recommended.
||A. D. 64.|
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may
lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due
7 Whereunto 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.
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy
hands, without wrath and doubting.
I. A charge given to Christians to pray for all men in general, and
particularly for all in authority. Timothy must take care that this be
done. Paul does not send him any prescribed form of prayer, as we have
reason to think he would if he had intended that ministers should be
tied to that way of praying; but, in general, that they should make
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks:
supplications for the averting of evil, prayers for the obtaining of
good, intercessions for others, and thanksgivings for mercies already
received. Paul thought it enough to give them general heads; they,
having the scripture to direct them in prayer and the Spirit of prayer
poured out upon them, needed not any further directions. Observe, The
design of the Christian religion is to promote prayer; and the
disciples of Christ must be praying people. Pray always with all
There must be prayers for ourselves in the first place; this is implied
here. We must also pray for all men, for the world of mankind in
general, for particular persons who need or desire our prayers. See how
far the Christian religion was from being a sect, when it taught men
this diffusive charity, to pray, not only for those of their own way,
but for all men. Pray for kings
(1 Timothy 2:2);
though the kings at this time were heathens, enemies to Christianity,
and persecutors of Christians, yet they must pray for them, because it
is for the public good that there should be civil government, and
proper persons entrusted with the administration of it, for whom
therefore we ought to pray, yea, though we ourselves suffer under them.
For kings, and all that are in authority, that is, inferior
magistrates: we must pray for them, and we must give thanks for them,
pray for their welfare and for the welfare of their kingdoms, and
therefore must not plot against them, that in the peace thereof we may
have peace, and give thanks for them and for the benefit we have under
their government, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all
godliness and honesty. Here see what we must desire for kings, that
God will so turn their hearts, and direct them and make use of them,
that we under them may lead a quiet and peaceable life. He does not
say, "that we may get preferments under them, grow rich, and be in
honour and power under them;" no, the summit of the ambition of a good
Christian is to lead a quiet and peaceable life, to get through the
world unmolested in a low private station. We should desire that we and
others may lead a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,
implying that we cannot expect to be kept quiet and peaceable unless we
keep in all godliness and honesty. Let us mind our duty, and then we
may expect to be taken under the protection both of God and the
government. In all godliness and honesty. Here we have our duty
as Christians summed up in two words: godliness, that is, the right
worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, a good conduct towards all
men. These two must go together; we are not truly honest if we are not
godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly if
we are not honest, for God hates robbery for burnt-offering. Here we
1. Christians are to be men much given to prayer: they ought to abound
herein, and should use themselves to prayers, supplications, &c.
2. In our prayers we are to have a generous concern for others as well
as for ourselves; we are to pray for all men, and to give thanks for
all men; and must not confine our prayers nor thanksgiving to our own
persons or families.
3. Prayer consists of various parts, of supplications, intercessions,
and thanksgivings; for we must pray for the mercies we want, as well as
be thankful for mercies already received; and we are to deprecate the
judgments which our own sins or the sins of others have deserved.
4. All men, yea, kings themselves, and those who are in authority, are
to be prayed for. They want our prayers, for they have many
difficulties to encounter, many snares to which their exalted stations
5. In praying for our governors, we take the most likely course to lead
a peaceable and quiet life. The Jews at Babylon were commanded to seek
the peace of the city whither the Lord had caused them to be carried
captives, and to pray to the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof they
should have peace,
6. If we would lead a peaceable and quiet life, we must live in all
godliness and honesty; we must do our duty to God and man. He that
will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from
evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; let him eschew evil, and
do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it,
1 Peter 3:10,11.
Now the reason he gives for this is because this is good in the
sight of God our Saviour; that is, the gospel of Christ requires
this. That which is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour we
should do, and should abound in.
II. As a reason why we should in our prayers concern ourselves for all
men, he shows God's love to mankind in general,
1 Timothy 2:4.
1. One reason why all men are to be prayed for is because there is one
God, and that God bears a good will to all mankind. There is one God
(1 Timothy 2:5),
and one only, there is no other, there can be no other, for there can
be but one infinite. This one God will have all men to be saved;
he desires not the death and destruction of any
but the welfare and salvation of all. Not that he has decreed the
salvation of all, for then all men would be saved; but he has a good
will to the salvation of all, and none perish but by their own fault,
He will have all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the
truth, to be saved in the way that he has appointed and not
otherwise. It concerns us to get the knowledge of the truth, because
that is the way to be saved; Christ is the way and the truth, and so
he is the life.
2. There is one Mediator, and that mediator gave himself a ransom for
all. As the mercy of God extends itself to all his works, so the
mediation of Christ extends itself thus far to all the children of men
that he paid a price sufficient for the salvation of all mankind; he
brought mankind to stand upon new terms with God, so that they are not
now under the law as a covenant of works, but as a rule of life. They
are under grace; not under the covenant of innocence, but under a new
covenant: He gave himself a ransom. Observe, The death of Christ
was a ransom, a counter-price. We deserved to have died. Christ died
for us, to save us from death and hell; he gave himself a ransom
voluntarily, a ransom for all; so that all mankind are put in a better
condition than that of devils. He died to work out a common salvation:
in order hereunto, he put himself into the office of Mediator between
God and man. A mediator supposes a controversy. Sin had made a quarrel
between us and God; Jesus Christ is a Mediator who undertakes to make
peace, to bring God and man together, in the nature of an umpire or
arbitrator, a days-man who lays his hand upon u both,
He is a ransom that was to be testified in due time; that is, in
the Old-Testament times, his sufferings and the glory that should
follow were spoken of as things to be revealed in the last times,
1 Peter 1:10,11.
And they are accordingly revealed, Paul himself having been ordained a
preacher and an apostle, to publish to the Gentiles the glad tidings of
redemption and salvation by Jesus Christ. This doctrine of Christ's
mediation Paul was entrusted to preach to every creature,
He was appointed to be a teacher of the Gentiles; besides his general
call to the apostleship, he was commissioned particularly to preach to
the Gentiles, in faith and truth, or faithfully and truly. Note,
(1.) It is good and acceptable in the sight of God and our Saviour that
we pray for kings and for all men, and also that we lead a peaceable
and quiet life; and this is a very good reason why we should do the one
as well as the other.
(2.) God has a good will to the salvation of all; so that it is not so
much the want of a will in God to save them as it is a want of will in
themselves to be saved in God's way. Here our blessed Lord charges the
fault: You will not come unto me that you may have life,
I would have gathered you, and you would not.
(3.) Those who are saved must come to the knowledge of the truth, for
this is God's appointed way to save sinners. Without knowledge the
heart cannot be good; if we do not know the truth, we cannot be ruled
(4.) It is observable that the unity of God is asserted, and joined
with the unity of the Mediator; and the church of Rome might as well
maintain a plurality of gods as a plurality of mediators.
(5.) He that is a Mediator in the New-Testament sense, gave himself a
ransom. Vain then is the pretence of the Romanists that there is but
one Mediator of satisfaction, but many of intercession; for, according
to Paul, Christ's giving himself a ransom was a necessary part of the
Mediator's office; and indeed this lays the foundation for his
(6.) Paul was ordained a minister, to declare this to the Gentiles,
that Christ is the one Mediator between God and men, who gave himself a
ransom for all. This is the substance of which all ministers are to
preach, to the end of the world; and Paul magnified his office, as he
was the apostle of the Gentiles,
(7.) Ministers must preach the truth, what they apprehend to be so, and
they must believe it themselves; they are, like our apostle, to preach
in faith and verity, and they must also be faithful and trusty.
III. A direction how to pray,
1 Timothy 2:8.
1. Now, under the gospel, prayer is not to be confined to any one
particular house of prayer, but men must pray every where: no place is
amiss for prayer, no place more acceptable to God than another,
Pray every where. We must pray in our closets, pray in our
families, pray at our meals, pray when we are on journeys, and pray in
the solemn assemblies, whether more public or private.
2. It is the will of God that in prayer we should lift up holy hands:
Lifting up holy hands, or pure hands, pure from the pollution of
sin, washed in the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. I will
wash my hands, &c.,
3. We must pray in charity: Without wrath, or malice, or anger
at any person.
4. We must pray in faith without doubting
or, as some read it, without disputing, and then it falls under
the head of charity.
|Paul's Charge to Females.
||A. D. 64.|
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest
apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair,
or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority
over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was
in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they
continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
I. Here is a charge, that women who profess the Christian religion
should be modest, sober, silent, and submissive, as becomes their
1. They must be very modest in their apparel, not affecting gaudiness,
gaiety, or costliness (you may read the vanity of a person's mind in
the gaiety and gaudiness of his habit), because they have better
ornaments with which they should adorn themselves, with good
works. Note, Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the
sight of God, of great price. Those that profess godliness should, in
their dress, as well as other things, act as becomes their profession;
instead of laying out their money on fine clothes, they must lay it out
in works of piety and charity, which are properly called good works.
2. Women must learn the principles of their religion, learn Christ,
learn the scriptures; they must not think that their sex excuses them
from that learning which is necessary to salvation.
3. They must be silent, submissive, and subject, and not usurp
authority. The reason given is because Adam was first formed, then
Eve out of him, to denote her subordination to him and dependence
upon him; and that she was made for him, to be a help-meet for him. And
as she was last in the creation, which is one reason for her
subjection, so she was first in the transgression, and that is another
reason. Adam was not deceived, that is, not first; the serpent
did not immediately set upon him, but the woman was first in the
(2 Corinthians 11:3),
and it was part of the sentence, Thy desire shall be to thy husband,
and he shall rule over thee,
But it is a word of comfort
(1 Timothy 2:15)
that those who continue in sobriety shall be saved in
child-bearing, or with child-bearing--the Messiah, who was
born of a woman, should break the serpent's head
or the sentence which they are under for sin shall be no bar to their
acceptance with Christ, if they continue in faith, and charity, and
holiness, with sobriety.
II. Here observe,
1. The extensiveness of the rules of Christianity; they reach not only
to men, but to women, not only to their persons, but also to their
dress, which must be modest, like their sex; and to their outward
deportment and behaviour, it must be in silence, with all subjection.
2. Women are to profess godliness as well as men; for they are
baptized, and thereby stand engaged to exercise themselves to
godliness; and, to their honour be it spoken, many of them were eminent
professors of Christianity in the days of the apostles, as the book of
Acts will inform us.
3. Women being more in danger of exceeding in their apparel, it was
more necessary to caution them in this respect.
4. The best ornaments for professors of godliness are good works.
5. According to Paul, women must be learners, and are not allowed to
be public teachers in the church; for teaching is an office of
authority, and the woman must not usurp authority over the man, but is
to be in silence. But, notwithstanding this prohibition, good women may
and ought to teach their children at home the principles of religion.
Timothy from a child had known the holy scriptures; and who should
teach him but his mother and grandmother?
2 Timothy 3:15.
Aquila and his wife Priscilla expounded unto Apollos the way of God
more perfectly; but then they did it privately, for they took him
6. Here are two very good reasons given for the man's authority over
the woman, and her subjection to the man,
1 Timothy 2:13,14.
Adam was first formed, then Eve; she was created for the man, and not
the man for the woman
(1 Corinthians 11:9);
then she was deceived, and brought the man into the transgression.
7. Though the difficulties and dangers of childbearing are many and
great, as they are part of the punishment inflicted on the sex for
Eve's transgression, yet here is much for her support and
encouragement: Notwithstanding she shall be saved, &c. Though in
sorrow, yet she shall bring forth, and be a living mother of living
children; with this proviso, that they continue in faith, and charity,
and holiness, with sobriety: and women, under the circumstance of
child-bearing should by faith lay hold of this promise for their
support in the needful time.