Wednesday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Timothy 2:4-7

Why Live a Quiet Life?

Paul continues his thought from 2:1-3, namely, that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,” and then listing especially “kings and all who are in high positions.”  The context concerns Christian living in a pagan world—a world very much like our own.  And Paul’s concerns are chiefly: 1) that Christians live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness, working with their own hands, being good neighbors, respectable, dignified—in short, being the kind of people others admire; and too, 2) that by living such lives, others may come to the knowledge of the truth—that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

This is the context for the passage of 2:1-7; unfortunately, it often gets dragged into a theological debate concerning the doctrine of election in which Calvinists and Arminians take sides.  The issue is over verse four in which Paul writes that God “desires all people to be saved.”  A couple of lines down, Paul will say that Christ Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all.”  The question is whether “all” in these two verses means people from all nations and tongues or every man, woman, and child.  I am inclined to the former for two reasons: 1) Paul writes in Romans 5:18 our Lord’s “righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”  But we know from too many other places of Scripture that “all men” shall not be justified; and, 2) the former interpretation agrees with other passages of Scripture, for example, Ephesians 1:3-14 to name only one.  Such an interpretation seems to fit the context better in that Paul hastens to speak of Jesus Christ—the one mediator between God and man and thus the only way of salvation.

So this passage is not really about the doctrine of election at all, though some mangle it for that purpose.  1 Timothy 2:1-7 tells us this: There is a world out there that desperately needs Jesus who is the only way to salvation.  It is God’s earnest desire that people from every nation come to this saving knowledge about His Son.  For this reason, you, Christian, need to live such a life before men that is honorable and respectable such that people may see your good works and honor the God you serve.  Perhaps some will ask you about your God, some certainly will not, and some will persecute you for your faith.  This is not your concern.  Your concern is to live such that others cannot help but notice your manner of life.  And so we close with 1 Peter 1:9: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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