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1 Timothy 2 - Only One Mediator

INTRODUCTION: Paul directs Christians to be in subjection to established authority, and to pray for them without regard to whether or not they are Christians. We are to lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. Paul presents to us the man Christ Jesus as the only mediator between God and man, and this unique mediator paid the ransom to reconcile to God those who believe in him.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the World English Bible.


1Timothy 2 "1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men: 2 for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth."

COMMENTS: When Paul wrote this letter the Jews had lost their sovereign kingdom several hundred years earlier, and the land that had been Israel was under the authority of the Roman Empire. The city of Ephesus had never been part of Israel, and it was very much under the influence of pagan gods. Israel still had the temple of the LORD, but Ephesus had a temple to Artemis (AKA Diana), and the majority of the people there worshipped her image. Despite this influence in the lives of many who would have civil authority, Paul strongly encouraged Timothy to make prayers of requests, intercession, and thanksgiving for all people. This was to include kings and other officials in authority to the end that the Christians might lead a "tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence." Paul presented this peaceful mode to be a good and acceptable lifestyle before God our Savior, because God desires all people to be saved and to gain full knowledge of the truth. Therefore Christians should be willing to pray for even those that they might otherwise consider to be undeserving of God's grace.


1Timothy 2 "5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times; 7 to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."

COMMENTS: Paul began this section by making a clear statement that there is only one God, and this had been firmly established in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6 "4 Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: 5 and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Isaiah 45 "22 Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other." Paul then declared that there is only one mediator between God and all people to bring needed reconciliation. A mediator is one who serves to reconcile differences between two other parties. The only acceptable intermediary between God and man is described by Paul as the man Christ Jesus, and he has that unique quality of being fully God and fully man. In Galatians Paul further explains that the role of Christ Jesus as mediator does not contradict the law.

Galatians 3 "18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise. 19 What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not between one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law. 22 But the Scriptures imprisoned all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." Jesus came in the form of man, born of woman, to satisfy the law by offering himself as a ransom for many. Mark 10 "45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Christ is then a mediator for all people, Jew and Gentile. Paul was appointed to be an apostle to the Gentiles to carry this message of faith and truth that is not reserved for Jews alone, or to be obtained through keeping the law.


1Timothy 2 "8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting. 9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10 but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don't permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn't deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety."

COMMENTS: Paul wrote this letter to Timothy who had the responsibility to teach and guide both men and women in the church at Ephesus during Paul's absence. Since Christ Jesus is the mediator for all people, there should be no anger or doubt in Christians that would prevent prayers for others that may seem in our own eyes to be unworthy of the ransom Christ has paid. Paul then directed that Women should first be modest in their appearance without undue attention to overly lavish apparel or personal grooming, but should make good works a higher priority. The apostle Peter made a similar statement about women in his first letter. "Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; 4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious." Paul also said the proper role for women in the church is to learn in quietness under the authority of men, and women should not teach men or have authority over them.

Paul made reference to the record in Genesis as the basis for his continued comments, beginning with the fact that Adam was first formed, then Eve. The following passage records the LORD speaking to Adam and Eve after they had both eaten the forbidden fruit. Genesis 3 "11 God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" 12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." 13 Yahweh God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."" After both had given their confession, the LORD told them the consequences. Genesis 3 "16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bear children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." 17 To Adam he said, "Because you have listened to your wife's voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.""

Paul's summary was that Eve was tempted by Satan, and her consequence was that she would have pain in bearing children and her husband would rule over her. The LORD had told Adam he would suffer his difficult consequences of labor and finally return to the earth from which he had been formed, "Because you have listened to your wife's voice." Even though the LORD had told Eve her pain would be multiplied in her role of bearing children, Paul encourages that the reward would still be available for continuing in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety. Again, a portion of Peter's first letter agrees with Paul's concepts for husbands and wives. "3:1 In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey the Word, they may be won by the behaviour of their wives without a word; 2 seeing your pure behaviour in fear. ... 7 You husbands, in the same way, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honour to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered. 8 Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, 9 not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing." Praise the Lord that though we are all sinners born into the sin of Adam and Eve, God has provided a way for us to inherit a blessing!


As I reflected on the area of prayers of intercession and thanksgiving especially for those in civil authority, I had to consider making my heart more like yours Lord, as you desire that all people come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. I ask that you forgive me for the times when I judge others by neglecting or refusing to pray for someone that you may have in your design to save through your grace and mercy as you did for me. Give me a heart of discernment to know how to resist attempts by those who want to undermine your work within the church, while living a peaceful life in the outside community, knowing that you may use my lifestyle to soften the hearts of unbelievers. I am thankful that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Though godly men can be used of you to spread the gospel message and to teach truth through your word, it is only through faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus that anyone can be reconciled to the only true God. The separation that started in the Garden of Eden and passed to all descendents of Adam and Eve without exception, required an eternal solution. Despite the consequences that followed that first sin throughout all generations, you Lord have made it possible through your grace for believers to have inner peace by living in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety. Amen.

Published 8 May 2013