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 Sarah's 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
Paul's exhortation to mission / outreach begins with an exhortation to prayer; 'first of all'
The paradox of prayer – in prayer we acknowledge our responsibility to pray and yet we also acknowledge Gods sovereignty in matters of salvation in His Power and ability in answering such a prayer and saving men and women!
'I exhort therefore...' - a reference back to 1:15 -
If God can save Paul, He can save anyone!
A Big Bold Broad prayer for all men.
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
Does the missing feature of prayer 'faith' lie between 'intercessions' and 'giving of thanks'?
Thanks giving immediately in praying?
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' doesn'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'
Rarely is 'all' used in a restricted sense in the context of salvation however.
At times 'all' does indeed refer to all without exception (Rom 5:12: 'all have sinned'; 'God now commendeth all men every where to repent,' Acts 17:30)
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)
Surely if Christ gave Himself as a ransom for all then all are saved?
How can the work of Christ be frustrated?
Yet surely we recognise that the presence and continuance of sin in the world is not caused by God, it is not the product of His determinative will!
God does not 'will' men to sin and rebel and yet they sin and rebel!
There is evidence of a provision in Christ even for those who do not ultimately believe:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
There would appear to be both:
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.
Temporal and finite ideas and terms cannot really be applied to the eternal, we cannot really think in terms of so much suffering for so many sins!
We cannot quantify the sufferings of the infinite.
We can no more define and restrict the sufferings of Christ in finite terms than we can do in temporal terms!
You can no more say, this much sufferings for this number of sins than you can say this much suffering for that period of time!
If there was no universal provision then:
The offer of salvation is insincere: 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved' is not actually entirely sincere.
The invitation of Christ is misleading: 'come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy burdened...'
The basis of condemnation is unjust: 'they that believe not are condemned already for they have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.'
The concern of Christ for Jerusalem is false: 'How oft would I have gathered thy children to me as a hen doth gather her brood under her wing but ye would not.'
The prayer from the cross is insincere: 'Father forgive them, they know not what they do.'