Friday, September 3, 2010

1 Timothy 2

I remember praying for everybody in the whole world to be saved. I remember my father tearfully adding an Amen after my prayer and nodding with approval. I did not pray that all men be saved ever since.

Theologically speaking, it is ridiculous to thin that all men will be saved. Even that all men could possibly lay aside their pride and trust on the Lord Jesus. But God certainly wills that all men be saved. He is not only willing, but he is able to stretch out his grace to cover them.

Here in the second chapter of Paul's letter to Timothy, Paul stresses the importance of prayer to the life of a Christian leader--it is essential! Paul tells Timothy to pray for everyone, that they may lead Godly lives. One cannot truly lead a Godly life until their sin problem has been dealt with. God wants to be the one to deal with this issue.

Now here we have these two concepts -- God's provision for salvation and man's desire for independence--creating palpable tension one with another. What could it possibly mean? Are we to conclude that God's will is not strong enough to accomplish it's goals? Are we to conclude that man will be forced to accept grace despite his attempts to avoid it? I say no to both accounts. Remember that Timothy was an instructional letter written to a leader. Prayer fosters an attitude in the one who utters the prayer. By praying for all men's salvation, you cultivate a heart of compassion--the heart of an evangelist. Once a church leaders realizes that he truly desires for all men to be saved, he then realizes God's heart, and becomes transformed more into His image.

It is in this vein that we approach the last portion of the chapter. Paul switches gears (but not direction) with the word "likewise," and turns to women. He asks the women to watch how they dress and approach the assembly meetings. Again, Godliness is the point of his instruction. Note that Paul simply asks the women to take their place in the role God had laid out for them from the beginning. Therefore women truly experience Godliness when in the role God prepared for them, and the same rings true for men.

Recently, a little girl was asked to bless the food. She had been wanting to do it for a long time, so in the privacy of the home she was asked to say grace. Everyone thought it was going to be a short, simple prayer for the food, and then we could get to eating. She proceeded to bless the food, bless each person sitting at the table by name and prayed that everyone in the whole world would be saved. As she prayed, I must admit that I began to get antsy, wondering when she would end. But I remembered my Child-like prayer for everyone in the world. I contrasted that with my cold theological sophistication.

My eyes were not dry by the final amen.
That final Amen was mine.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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