John Stott said, "the major advantage of teaching through entire books of the Bible is that it forces us to teach the passages that cowards choose to ignore." This week, as we continue teaching through 1 Timothy, we'll examine one of the most difficult and controversial issues when it comes to the Christian faith: can we really say there is one way to God, and if this is true, how should that affect our priorities as individuals and a church?
Here are some questions to think through to prepare for Sunday:
- 1 Timothy 2:3-6 makes a startling claim about the way people can and cannot be saved. Can churches today really believe that Jesus is the only way to God? Why or why not?
- If 2:3-6 is true, why do you think that the church is told to pray in vv. 1-2, especially for those who are political leaders?
- Paul communicates the "singular focus" of his life in 2:7 (The Message translation says, "This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth). If the claims made in 2:3-6 are true, how do you think that should affect our priorities and what we give our lives to?
1 Timothy 2:1-7
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.