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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy

 

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

This verse sets forth the goal of prayer—to reach the world with the gospel.

2:3

For this

“This” refers to praying for “all men” (1 Tim 2:1-2), not simply to pray for the elite.

is good

“Good” here is intrinsic good, not good in effect. Prayer, in itself, is a good practice and carries many benefits.

and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

Prayer is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” “Acceptable” is acceptable before; that is, in the presence of God. The kind of prayer in the first part of this chapter is pleasing to God. Prayer, in itself, pleases God.

2:4

who desires all men to be saved

It is God’s desire that everyone come to Christ for salvation. Christians should carry a sense of concern for the salvation of “all men.” Salvation is not for the elite but for everyone.

“All men” does not imply that all will be saved, or what we call universalism. God’s “desires” do not guarantee their salvation. There are too many imperatives to believe and argue against that. He will never coerce people coming to Christ. As free moral agents, people have the right to accept or reject salvation from God.

and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

“Knowledge of the truth” refers to someone who understands the gospel and biblical truth. The words “to come” indicate people can come to Christ of their own volition after God convicts them of their needs.

The “truth” refers to the gospel (Ga 2:5, 14). Christianity is far beyond the emotional; it requires “truth” to be believed.

PRINCIPLE:

God makes salvation available to all.

APPLICATION:

Everyone is within God’s range of salvation. He does not limit His salvation by His willingness but by the negative volition of those who reject the gospel. Yet Prayer is essential in God’s program to reach the lost.

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