1 Timothy chp 2 vs 7 to 8 - Placed in the Plan of the Passion of an all Powerful God - J Stewart Gillespie 

Often seen how Gods dealings in our life affect Gods destiny for our life 

How our personal experience of God affects our expectations of God 

Maybe we have little of an expectation because we have little of an experience of God! 

Abraham and his faith – experienced in Gods giving of Isaac, from the deadness of Abrahams old age and the barrenness of Sarahs womb and his expectation was that of Gods power in raising him again form the dead (Heb 11) 
Jacob and his faith – 'the God who fed me all my life long unto this day' (Gen 48:15) – EXPERIENCE of God moves into his EXPECTATION of God: 'bless the lads' 
David and his faith – his EXPERIENCE of God; 1 Sam 17:37; 'The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear,' informs his EXPECTATION of God; 'He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine' 
Jonah and his faith – first he had to come to the EXPERIENCE of God in the deep dark depths of the ocean, that 'salvation is of the Lord,' before he could go on in EXPECTATION of the Lord 
So too with Paul – his EXPERIENCE of God and the great mercy of God to a sinner, informs his EXPECTATION of God (2:1ff) 

Our Prayers for All (2:1) 
God's Passion for all People – (2:3ff) 
God's Provision for all (2:6) 

Therefore Paul's broad expansive prayer is reasonable and rational 

Prayer (2:1) 

Paul's exhortation to mission / outreach begins with an exhortation to prayer; 'first of all' 

The priority of prayer 

Discourage the gospel preacher? Don't turn up for the prayer meeting! 

The path to salvation begins with prayer. 

Not with careful planning, new ideas, IT but with prayer. 

Hence in mission, the moral and spiritual life of Gods people is all important – it impacts on their prayerful effectiveness. 

Supplications – sense of our need 
prayer – sense of reverence 
intercessions – confidence and on behalf of others (cf. Rom 8:27; Heb 7:25) 
Giving of thanks 

The philosophy of the world is so antithetical to this – beginning not with a sense of our need but with a falsely placed sense of self confidence. 

“all” - some have noticed that this 'all' cannot mean every single individual without exception, ie every individual person in the world. 

That is fine! 

I really wouldn't wish to be at the prayer meeting that did pray for every man 'without exception' 

As you progress through the gospels you do see that at times 'all' dosn't always mean 'all' : 

Mark 1:37 'all men seek for thee' 
Luke 3:15 'all men mused in their hearts' 
John 3:26 'all men came to Him' 

All rarely is 'all' used in a restricted sense in the context of salvation. 

So some have correctly pointed out that the 'all' of 2:1 doesn't mean: 

all without exception 

It is then assumed that it must mean 

all without distinction – ie all kinds of men 

Of course showing that the phrase does not mean: 

all without exception 

doesn't prove that it does mean 

all without distinction 

and in fact in the examples above 'all' does not have the sense of 'all without distinction'! 

'all' has the sense of: 

all without discrimination 

It is an indiscriminate 'all' 

It is a generalisation 

In 1 Tim 2:1 'all' does not mean every single person in the whole world beginning at the letter A and working through to Z. 

The all in verse 1 is our mandate to pray for everyone and anyone, no one is past the grace of God, no one is beyond the reach of Divine Grace, Paul has proven this in his own experience of God's grace! 

This all is constrained only by: 

the scope of our prayers 
breadth of our experience 
depth of our heart 
width of our vision 
duration of our life 
number of our days 
variety of our encounters 

This is not 'all without exception' 

This is not 'all without distinction' 

This is 'all without discrimination' 

There ought to be nothing as indiscriminate as the prayers of the believer. 

This thought continues into verse 2 – the PEOPLE 


'Paul says that prayers should be offered for everyone, because God in offering the Gospel and Christ as mediator for everyone, demonstrates that He wants everyone to be saved' (John Calvin, commentary on 1 Timothy) 

 'kings and all that are in authority' 

Quite clearly not all of these individuals prayed for will be saved! 

Paul also prayed for such (Acts 26:29) 

We have a mandate to pray for those who will not ultimately come to faith! 

If we understand that the Word of God is inspired. 

That when Paul speaks God speaks. 

Is it possible that God would instruct us to do that which is not consistent with His good pleasure? 

Would He command us to sin? 

Quite clearly not. 

God therefore must have an interest in all, not only in the few! 

This is exactly what verse 3 says. 

God's Passion for All 

How is it possible to say that God 'wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' and yet all men are not saved? 

In the same way that it is possible to maintain that evil and wickedness and the ultimate end of that in eternal judgement (2 Peter 3:9; Ezek 33:11; Ps 5:4) is not caused by the determinative will of God and yet they exist; they are permitted by Him! 

It is the 'good pleasure' of God that 'all men' are saved 

The big bold broad prayer for salvation is consistent with: 

CHARACTER of God – His name, title, 'God our Saviour' 
COMPASSION of God – 'who will have all men to be saved' 

cf: Luke 13:34; Matt 23:37; Ezek 33:11 

God's Provision for All 

Consistent with this, there is provision for all (v6) 

Redemption is not restricted at the point of provision. 

The parable of the field (Matt 13:44) – He buys all to have the buried treasure. 

cf. 1 John 2:2; Heb 2:9; 2 Co 5:19 

If not such provision existed then God's good pleasure would be an empty thing . 

Love would never exist unconditionally. 

Having considered the above, perhaps one of the abiding questions is, having such a burden for 'all men to be saved' how do I translate that into practical Christian living? 

Where do we begin with realising such a big bold broad vision of Gods expansive grace? 

How do we go about it? 

Not by doing everything which could possibly be done! 

Rather to be the very best we can be where God has placed us! 

In the place He has placed me 

In the role He has given me 

To the people He has brought me to 

In the sphere in which I move 

Paul Personally (v7) 
Men Generally (v8) 
Women Particularly (v9-15) 

Prayer to practice: 

Paul Personally (v7) 

'ordained' : 5087 : tithemi : to set, place, put 

A daunting task, to take on the world! 

If you think that you have a daunting task consider the tract run that was given to Paul! 

In essence; the apostles have covered Jerusalem, would you mind dong the rest of the world! 

With this sense of 'ordained' Paul realises that he has been: 

'placed in the plan of the passion of a God all powerful' 

It was not that: 

David's sling was supremely powerful 
The stone was particularly accurate 
Jawbone of the ass was peculiarly fashioned 
Aaron's rod contained the secret of life 
Moses staff was magic 
Gideons trumpet could blow away the enemy 
Peter's nets did not possess the ability to attract fish 

They simply played the part given to them 

They had their part to play in the plan of the passion of a God all powerful. 

Gods plan 
Gods purpose 
Gods passion 
Gods provision 

Not so much that Paul was a missionary to his own vision 

Not so much that Paul was a missionary to the needs of a lost world 

Not so much that Paul had a burden to serve 

Rather Paul was ordained a preacher and an apostle in Gods mission 

He is an ambassador of Christ 

Paul is part of what God is doing 

'ordained' : 5087 : tithemi : to set, place, put 

So many of the tasks / so much of what we are given to do is tied up in this passion of God: 'who will have all men to be saved' : 

initial contacts 
bridge building 
personal testimony 
practical Christianity 
seed sowing 
tract and literature distribution 
preaching and teaching 

This is all consistent with the plan and purposes of God in Christ 

We are but the means which God has ordained to fulfilling His will 

Men Generally (v8) 

'I will that men pray' 

When men pray: 

A nation is born – Abraham (Gen 15) 
Judgment is lifted – Moses (Num 21:7) 
Battles are won – Joshua 10 
False Gods fail – Samson 
The Glory descends – Solomon (2 Chron 7:1) 
The fire of God falls (Elijah) 
The rain comes again (Elijah) 
Cities are rebuilt – Nehemiah 
The silence of lions speak (Daniel) when men pray 

When men pray God answers! 

Verse 8: 

who – men 
where – everywhere: in the belly of the whale, on the top of Carmel, in the pagan temple (Samson); in the field of battle (Joshua); at the grave of a friend (Lazarus) 
how – Holy hands 
what – no wrath 
why – faith 

Women Particularly (v9-15) 

If men make the gospel audible 

Women make the gospel visible! 


Verse 8- Men 

Verse 15 – Women 

Holy hands 


Without wrath 


Without doubting 


Note the qualities are the same