1Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
The ‘whereunto’ refers back to verses 5 and 6 concerning the mediation of Christ (the peace made through Calvary), and the ransom Christ paid for all. The issue of Calvary seems to have always been playing on the big screen of Paul’s mind. Paul seemed to never get over all that Christ had done for him. To the Corinthians, he said he didn’t want to know anything of them save Christ crucified. The hard reality is that if Christ hadn’t accomplished what He did, there would be no eternal life; there would be no peace; there would be no means of living with God forever. Paul wrote to the Philippians and said to live IS Christ. Religion desires that we live FOR Christ, whereby we set up this canyon of space in our minds as we view our lives as trying to catch up to where Christ is. Grace, on the other hand, shows us that there is no space between the believer in Christ for the believer is immersed in Christ Himself. It isn’t about living FOR Christ, but living IN Christ.
It is unto this that Paul was ordained a preacher and an apostle. The word ordained simply means to ‘set into position’ or ‘to place’. Paul is no doubting thinking back to what happened to him in Acts 9, when God told Ananias that Paul was a “chosen vessel” unto Him. Paul writes in Romans 11 that he magnified the function he was given, which was apostle of the Gentiles. In Galatians 2, Paul says that the very same Lord that wrought apostleship effectually in Peter is who wrought it effectually in Paul.
Paul was given a special task that was not given to Peter. Peter recounts his experience in Acts 10 by saying that God made a choice to have Gentiles believe by his (Peter’s) mouth (Acts 15), but this seems to be generally limited to what happened in Acts 10 because in Galatians 2, we find that Peter had an express audience he was working with – the Circumcision. Paul, on the other hand, had an express audience he worked with, and that was the Uncircumcision, or the Gentiles.
Now, we should be careful to take note that the declaration of Paul’s purpose was to bear God’s name before the Gentiles, Kings, and the children of Israel. There are some who desire to reserve Paul to Gentiles only, at all times and that simply is not the case. Paul spent a lot of time with Jewish believers and is often going “to the Jew first.” But, the fact that Paul was tasked with a Gentile ministry would set him apart from the other apostles. Now, you might protest that in the so-called “Great Commission”, Israel was told to go to all the world, and you would be correct. But, the message that was given to Paul to give to the world was still a matter of revelation at the time of Matthew 28 – it was still a mystery. The very fact that God would join both Jew and Gentile believers in union in His Son was not on anyone’s radar but God’s.
This mediation of Christ, whereby not only did He make peace, but also broke down the middle wall of partition that was between Jew and Gentile, having abolished the division between those two by His cross. And, Paul says that it is by this message that He was set into place and was given his function to testify of the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul says that he speaks truth in Christ and lies not. From his past, Paul certainly had an uphill battle to convince folks of the authenticity of his apostleship and message. But he assures Timothy that his teaching of the Gentiles is in faith (by the word of God) and verity (truth).
1Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Paul, knowing he functions to ministry to every man, can naturally and rightfully express his desire that men every pray and life up holy hands. When Paul writes “every where”, he certainly would conclude that regardless of the location, these things can happen. However, what does Paul mean by lifting up holy hands? The issue of the hands had an interesting role for Israel regarding prayer. Timothy, being part Jew, would have resonated with this perhaps more than it would with a Gentile.
1Kings 8:22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:
1Kings 8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:
Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
Psalm 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Is Paul saying that he desires folks to wander about with their hands elevated constantly? No, I don’t believe that’s what he had in mind. Knowing the cleansing aspect of what the Jewish folks would have done when in the mode of ceremonial prayer, Paul uses that language (that Timothy would understand) to describe further a theme that he began chapter 2 with.
1Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Timothy 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Paul’s desire is that believers everywhere bathe their prayers in the same mindset as what the holy hands symbolize – their very cleansing and innocence in Christ. Note too that Paul draws distinction between holy hands and hands of wrath and doubting. Living a peaceful life in all godliness would demonstrate a mindset of prayer that is not in subjection to wrath and doubting. Wrath is simply personal anger that can fester from frustration, bitterness, and ultimately pride. Doubting carries the idea of personal hestitation, or mental deliberation that is never settled. By not being grounded, we doubt. When we become frustrated with our doubt, we get angry. But, Paul wants Timothy (and us) to be grounded in doctrine of Christ so that it fully encapsulates not only our prayers, but our lives as well. In other words, prayers void of wrath and doubting are holy prayers (holy being ‘set apart’) and it is by holy prayers that we can further establish our lives as peaceable and godly.
But, eventhough this can be seen as universally true for all believers, Paul is setting up something specific regarding men and women in particular. In Verse 8, Paul’s use of “men” actually refers to men/husbands and not mankind in general. Leadership of the man is best expressed by his anchor in the doctrine of Christ. He further leads by allowing that anchor to hold his vessel steady despite the circumstances. Paul writes of those who are carried about by every wind of doctrine and these folks have no anchor, but are simply a ship lost at sea. When the man/husband is anchored in Christ, despite the winds, he can remain steady and confident (without doubting) and be content in whatsoever state he finds himself. This leadership is typified by the concept of headship in the marriage.
In the next few verses, we’ll look at how headship was established by God and what its purpose is.