Thursday, September 25, 2014

03 - 1 Timothy 2:1-8 - Lessons for Leaders

Lesson 03                                        “Prayer in the Church”                           1 Timothy 2:1-8
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read 1 Timothy 1:12- 2:15 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read 1 Timothy 1:1-8 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use. 
The first word in this passage in the nkjv is “therefore.” ("then" in many translations)  Take a few minutes to review 1:12-20 and think about what “the therefore (or then) is there for.”  
1.     WS: (2:1) What do the words Paul uses for prayer mean? (supplications (deēsis), prayers (proseuchē), intercessions (enteuxis), and giving of thanks (eucharistia))  Why do you think Paul uses these four different words for prayer?
2.     ID: (2:2-4) Who are we to pray for?  What should we pray for them?  Why are we to pray for kings and those in authority?
3.     WS/CR: (2:5-6) What is a mediator (mesitēs)?  Why was Christ perfect to be our mediator? (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24)
4.     WS: (2:6) What does the imagery of the word ransom (antilytron) teach us about ourselves, our Savior, and our salvation?
5.     CR: (2:8) Was the admonition to lift hands (Psalm 28:2; 63:4; 119:48; 134:2; Lamentations 2:19) a prescription for a physical posture of prayer?  What attitude does lifted hands indicate?
6.     WS: (2:8) How are wrath (orgē) and doubting (dialogismos) inconsistent with “holy (hosios) hands” lifted in prayer and praying?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.     Does the expression “first of all” describe prayer in your life and church?  How do we know when prayer is a priority?  Who is the equivalent of “king and all in authority” today?  Take time to pray for some of our key leaders by name.
2.     Do we share God’s burden for all men or do we tend to favor those who are more like us?  Who is hard for you to desire to be saved?  Take some time to pray for your heart and for them.
3.     What are things that keep us from lifting holy hands in prayer (in figurative and literal senses)?
4.     CSBI: How does our view of the authority of Scripture affect how we look at a church creed or statement of faith?  or listen to a sermon by a favorite preacher? (Acts 17:11)
Going Beyond:  Memorize 2:1-2 or 2:5-6 and meditate (meletaō) on them this week.
2. What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?
   The Bible     God    God the Father    The Son      The Holy Spirit      Man     Salvation     The Church  
  Angels & Satan     Future Things
We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
We deny that church creeds, councils or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
Article II of the Chicago Statement reinforces Article I and goes into more detail concerning the matters involved with it. Article II has in view the classical Protestant principle of sola scriptura which speaks of the unique authority of the Bible with respect to binding the consciences of men. The affirmation of Article II speaks of the Scriptures as “the supreme written norm.” Discussion concerning the word “supreme” was lengthy; alternate words were suggested and subsequently eliminated from the text. Words like “ultimate” and “only” were discarded in favor of “supreme.”  The question at this point dealt with the fact that other written documents are important to the life of the church. For example, church creeds and confessions form the basis of subscription and unity of faith in many different Christian denominations and communities. Such creeds and confessions have a kind of normative authority within a given Christian body and have the effect of binding consciences within that particular context. However, it is a classic tenet of Protestants to recognize that all such creeds and confessions are fallible and cannot fully and finally bind the conscience of an individual believer. Only the Word of God has the kind of authority that can bind the conscience of men forever. So, though the articles acknowledge that there are other written norms recognized by different bodies of Christians, insofar as they are true, those written norms are derived from and are subordinate to the supreme written norm which is the Holy Scripture.
In the denial it is clearly spelled out that no church creed, council or declaration has authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible. Again, any idea of an equal authority level of tradition or church officers is repudiated by this statement. The whole question of a Christian’s obedience to authority structures apart from the Scripture was a matter of great discussion with regard to this article. For example, the Bible itself exhorts us to obey magistrates. We are certainly willing to subject ourselves to our own church confessions and to the authority structure of our ecclesiastical bodies.  But the thrust of this article is to indicate that whatever lesser authorities there are, they never carry with them the authority of God Himself.  There is a sense in which all authority in this world is derived and dependent upon the authority of God. God and God alone has intrinsic authority. That intrinsic authority is the authority given to the Bible since it is God’s Word. Various Christian bodies have defined the extent of civil authority and ecclesiastical authority in different ways. For example, in Reformed churches the authority of the church is viewed as ministerial and declarative rather than ultimate and intrinsic.  God and God alone has the absolute right to bind the consciences of men. Our consciences are justly bound to lesser authorities only when and if they are in conformity to the Word of God.

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