Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for May 2

By Rony Kozman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Samford University

START WITH PRAYER

1 Timothy 2:1–8

In these times of deep political polarization, as followers of Jesus we need to remember that our ultimate and unwavering allegiance is not to any political party, but to God’s kingdom and the gospel of Jesus, the risen King.

If we are first and foremost devoted to the gospel and to the salvation of many, then we will pray for our rulers, that they may establish the ideal conditions for the spread of the gospel of God’s kingdom.

In 1 Timothy, Paul addresses and charges Timothy for his pastoral
office. Paul gives instructions to Timothy (1:18) and he charges Timothy to “guard what has been entrusted to you” (6:20). What is the very first thing about which Paul instructs Timothy? Prayer (2:1).

We are to pray for all people. (1–2)

Paul tells Timothy to pray for all people, but he focuses on people in government office. We are to pray “for kings and all who are in high positions.”

We are to pray for government officers. We are to ask God to give them discernment as they govern — to make wise laws and to execute justice. Wise governance is needed so believers may live in peace and with dignity. We pray God gives wisdom to our local, state and federal officials. We pray for their wisdom so the Church may live in peace. The result of wise governance is the stability of the
nation. And the stability of the nation means peace for the Church. This is the ideal condition for many to be saved and to know the truth.

We are to align our prayers with God’s desire for all people to be saved. (3–6)

Paul prays for government officials so that there would be peace for the Church. And Paul desires peace for the Church so that all would be saved and know the truth of the gospel.

Paul wants as many people as possible to know that “there is one God” and that Jesus Christ is the One who rescued humanity.

We are to pray for ourselves and others in sharing the gospel. (7–8)

Paul desires the gospel to spread throughout the world. Paul himself was appointed by God to spread the gospel to the Gentiles.

Paul was appointed as a “teacher of the Gentiles.” He preached the gospel to the nations. The gospel he preached is that Christ died to rescue humanity and to restore us to God (vv. 5–6).

Because Paul was most concerned about the spread of the gospel, about the success of his mission, he prayed that kings would rule wisely to secure peace — he prayed for the conditions most favorable for the spread of the gospel among the
nations.

As those who trust in Jesus the Messiah, our unwavering allegiance is to the risen King and God’s kingdom. As we spread the gospel and announce the good news of Jesus’ victorious reign, as we seek to make Christ known among the nations and to see many enter God’s kingdom, let us remember to pray.

Let us eschew the unnecessary political divisions that can divide the body of Christ along the line of political parties, and may all Christians pray together for the wisdom of all governors and rulers for the sake of the peace of the Church and for the prosperity and advance of the gospel of Jesus, the resurrected King of Israel to whom all nations and rulers will bow.

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