Devotional # 198. 7/17/16. 1 Timothy 2:3-5.
Intro. My wife and I just got back from a missions trip in Hungary (I had this Devotional set up to post last week but something went wrong – sorry). The trip was for us to lead a camp teaching English using Bible studies and real world conversation methods. It was in a small village called Nagydobos, and was a huge success! I’ll talk more about it in a future blog.
Today’s reading will help us understand the reason for our hope in God, tell us that there is only one way to be reconciled to God and contrast the evil of Satan with the truth and goodness of God.
vv. 3-4. Paul starts off with “for this is good and acceptable.” What is the “this” that he is referring to? Two things: 1. The four different types of prayers in verse 1, and 2. that Christians
“lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” in verse 2 (for more see Devotional # 197. But the main point of both of those things was the focus on others. Remember Paul said “all” people and also talked about “all authorities”?
With that context in mind it makes sense that the focus is on God desiring all people to be saved (v. 4). God is not mean, He is loving, but He is also just. In 2 Peter 3:9 we’re told God wishes that none would perish but that everyone would come to repentance. Notice it doesn’t say ‘that none would perish but that everyone would go to heaven’, instead that everyone would repent. Because if they repent then they can go to heaven. So if this really is “good and acceptable is the sight of God our Savior” why does anyone have to go to hell? We’ll get the #1 reason in verse 5 but before that let’s look at it rationally.
If there is a Being who is perfect and infinitely good then He cannot allow evil to go unanswered forever, otherwise He would not be infinitely good. When God created people He gave them a choice: play by the rules and live in harmony with Him, or break the rules and suffer the consequences. Remember the evil I just mentioned that God can’t allow forever? Well, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God they stood in opposition to God and that was evil (Genesis 3). The Bible says that each human being is held accountable for that same decision. Either they stand in opposition to God (which is “evil”) or they accept whatever solution He has given (which is “good”). Now let’s read verse 5…
v. 5. Verse 5 says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” This is very clear. There is only one way to be back in the presence of God. God has made a way that both His goodness and His justice are satisfied, but it requires us to be humble and acknowledge that we’ve sinned and that Jesus is the ONE and ONLY way. That is the one and only Truth. It is “the knowledge of the truth” from verse 4. And anyone who has heard or read or had it impressed on their heart by the Holy Spirit is accountable to make a decision. But if this is “the truth”, what does “the lie” look like?
Satan is continually lying to everyone. He portrays evil as truth and as fun and as better than the status quo. In John 8:44 we see that Satan is the “father of lies.” Eventually Satan will outwardly command demons of destruction (Revelation 9:1-11). But even then people will be so deceived they won’t turn from that false hope, that evil.
But God is consistently honest with everyone. He portrays real goodness as truth. He shows that although it may be harder, in reality the Christian life is a life of truth and love. Eventually God will outwardly live among Christians and shepherd and lead and wipe away every tear (Revelation 7:15-17). Christians will be justified in their faith of a Creator and Mediator that they couldn’t see but who gave them real hope and love.
Conclusion. Don’t be afraid to share this message. Don’t be confused when people bring up their reasons for not believing in God or when they chastise the Bible for being “narrow minded.” Remember they are currently believing the lie. All we can do is 1. Pray for them (verse 1), 2. Lead a peaceful life (verse 2) and love them enough to share God’s love (“desires all people to be saved”) and truth (“one Mediator…the Man Christ Jesus”) with them!