1 Timothy 2 vs 1 - 6
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
As Christians what is to mark our lives? Some might say Christian lives are to marked by perfect obedience, others may say it is be marked by radical living, giving up your wealth to the poor and living a wholly selfless live. While there may be some merit of truth in these ideas, they aren’t the description that Paul gives in 1 Timothy 2. Instead, he says the Christians are to lead “peaceful and quiet” lives. It is these types of lives that Christians are called to live for the glory of God. But how does on live this way? Paul says argues that we should be prayer for other people, even those in authority. It may not seem like a big ask to us for Paul to recommend this but to Paul’s audience it would have! He is asking them not just to care for their neighbours but also their local rulers, who often are wicked and mistreat them. Gods' way of salvation is open to everyone, even those we often find it hard to care for. This duty to pray for leaders and government is for us too, even when we find it hard to do so. Given the sorry state of the world around us, we are quick to complain when political leaders are failing at their jobs or promoting injustice. Certainly, we should raise our voices when we confront such problems; however, it is not enough for us merely to protest. We must also pray. God wants us to pray for our leaders, even the leaders for whom we have not voted, that they may rule in such a way that Christians are able to lead godly, quiet, and dignified lives.
Why does call us to such a radical way of living? Well 1 Timothy 2:3–4 explains that praying for our leaders is good because it is in keeping with the desire of “God our Saviour,” who wants “all people to be saved.” God is Lord of everyone, sinner and saint alike. He is rich in mercy and desires all to be saved. Now, this may raise the question of what “all people” actually means. Does that mean all people every will be saved? Obviously to that question the answer is no, since the Bible is very clear that there are many people who will reject Christ and be damned. So, what does “all people” here in actually mean? Reformed teachers have often said, the Greek word translated “all people” can mean all kinds of people; leaders, followers, rich, poor, Jew, Gentile, and so on. This interpretation makes good sense, as Paul lists a certain class of people, rulers, when he tells us to pray for “all people”. God’s desire for the salvation of all means there is no people, race, creed, class or no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation. God's grace can save anyone! Even from worst of sinners to the least!
We are to live radical lives because our motivation is radical! God’s grace has saved sinners such as ourselves and it can save anyone who repents. Therefore, we should live dignified and quiet lives that seek the salvation of all people. Let us pray daily that the Lord would give us a desire for everyone we know to be saved, even those people who can be considered our enemies. May we live lives that are quiet and dignified, praying for our leaders and ultimately the salvation of all people.