Saturday, May 25, 2013


For the week beginning Sunday May 26, 2013

(Actions that please GOD in our worship)
1 Timothy 2

In the first century, the city of Ephesus was a well-known center for idol worship. It was even the home of the imposing temple of the idol god “Artemis” which was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. People often went to this magnificent structure in a misguided superstitious attempt to find life’s truths through rituals and sacrificial offerings to this popular false god.
Paul had left his young protégé, Timothy, in this idolatrous city to head up and minister to the newly founded Christian church, that was, understandably, struggling with Christian teaching, church manners, and various other aspects of lifestyles. These were, of course, the common issues that inevitably influence any society that is long permeated by an idolatrous atmosphere and climate.
Paul wrote this first “pastoral letter” to Timothy to provide him with various instructions and encouragement on how to deal with these issues. He wanted his young pastor to not become overwhelmed by his enormous task, and to live wholeheartedly with GOD’s bigger picture in mind, at all times.
The importance of right living is at the core of the message in this important letter, and it also stresses the importance of knowing the truth of the Gospel, and defending it against the false teachings that had infiltrated even the minds of some in the Christian church. Paul wanted those who were of the Body of CHRIST, to become good examples and ambassadors, careful to live what they believe, so that satan wouldn’t be able to use their own failings against them, and to hinder the growth and spread of Christianity.
In 1 Timothy 2, verse 1, the apostle Paul uses, no less than four, of the New Testament’s seven words that are used for “prayer”;

·         First we see the word “intercession”, translated from the original Greek word, “enteuxis” (ent-yook-sis), and it literally means “to enter into the presence of a king, in order to present a petition, on behalf of someone else”. This word lets us know that the way to GOD is always open, even when, and I dare say, especially when, we are petitioning for someone else.We oftentimes find it easy to pray for those whom we know and love, and especially those people whose life situations have a direct impact on our own lives. But what about those individuals whom we may know, but actually have very little contact with on a personal level? Sometimes, even though we may know that these individuals may be going through a crisis, we may not necessarily feel compelled to pray for, or with them, to our GOD, WHO is KING of all.
·         The second word Paul uses is the word “prayer” itself, which is translated from the Greek word “proseuche” (pros-yoo-khay), and it means “to bow down and petition in worship of GOD”. This petition is never used for any other purpose than to approach and request something of the Almighty GOD.
·         Next we see the word “supplication”, which is translated from the Greek rendering “deesis” (deh-ay-sis), which means “to request”. It, in itself, is not exclusively a religious word, because it can be addressed to either GOD, or man.
·         And finally, we see the term “giving of thanks”. It is a term that comes from the Greek rendering “eucharistia” (yoo-khar-is-tee-ah) and it means, quite literally, “thanks to GOD for all things”. This word is meant to teach us that, not only should we bring our requests, and the requests of others to GOD, but we should also pray “prayers of thanksgiving” to GOD for HIS benevolence in all things.

In Paul’s instructions to Timothy, he urges him to carry out his mission of keeping the Ephesian Church focused on “sound doctrine” by interceding in prayer for GOD’s mercy on all men. He urges him to pray for kings, and others who are in authority, so that they, as a people, might live in peace, GODliness, and dignity (1 Tim. 2:2).
It is a fact, that, even today, a hostile governmental leadership can severely curtail the rights of the Christian Church to meet, worship, study, and evangelize. We must always remember to pray for, and not take for granted, our right of expression in the Christian faith. This, Paul stresses, is good and pleasing to CHRIST JESUS, because HE wants everyone to be saved, and, to understand the truth of HIS Word (1 Tim. 2:3-4).
In verse 5, in his original Greek writing, Paul uses the word “mesites” (mes-ee-tace), for “mediator”, when describing the function of CHRIST JESUS. Here, he depicts JESUS as “one who intercedes between two or more parties in an attempt to restore, or make peace”. JESUS, was and is, the only ONE ever qualified to take the role of “mediator” between GOD and man. HE is the only ONE WHOM GOD could call on to usher in HIS new “life giving Covenant” to man. And HE is also the only ONE WHO can usher us into GOD the FATHER’s OWN glorious presence without fear, without guilt, and, without shame.
JESUS, the 100% man, gave HIS life on the cross at Golgotha to purchase our freedom from sin and death (permanent separation from GOD). HIS message that GOD gave to the world at the proper time, is the absolute truth that must be taught to all who wish to hear it, by those who are called to teach it (Vs. 6-7). And wherever a church is assembled in GOD’s name, men ought to always pray with holy hands (not sinful hands) lifted up to GOD, free from controversy and anger (v.8).
In verses 9-15, Paul shifts to the importance of right conduct among the women of the Christian Church, which is a hard lesson to take for the women living in this “post women’ liberation movement era”. In fact, most modern-day preachers and pastors are scared to teach this passage for fear of losing most of their “tithes and offerings”, or, having to deal with the wraths of their angry “worldly wives” afterwards.
In fact, I think I’ll just quote this particular passage directly from the NLT (plain English version) bible, starting at verse 9, and reading through verse 15. That way, all my readers can send their e-mail debates and disagreements to the Apostle Paul and, or to JESUS in prayer, instead of sending them to me:

“ (9) And I want all women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair, or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (10) For women who claim to be devoted to GOD should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. (11) Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. (12) I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. (13) For GOD made Adam first, and afterward, HE made Eve. (14) And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by satan, and sin was the result. (15) But women will be saved through childbearing and by continuing to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty”.
The warm embrace of the grace of GOD is infinitely limitless, and it wraps itself around the rich and the poor, the king and the commoner, the scholar and the ignorant, the young and the old, male and female, and even the so-called good and bad. No one is outside of the love of CHRIST, and no one is outside the purpose of GOD. GOD wishes for all men to be saved. JESUS’ three-year earthly ministry and vicarious sacrifice on the cross, stands alone, as the greatest example to us, as to how we should live, and sacrifice our own lives, for the salvation of others.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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