I heard this read at the inauguration of President Trump and for the first time I really understood full context:
1 Timothy 2:1–7 — “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 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.”
There is often reference made to the first part about praying for kings and those in authority, but we usually end there and do not consider the rest of this passage in its context about this very subject.
God our Savior wills for all men to be saved, including kings and those in authority! He also wills that all will come to the knowledge of the truth. The particular truth we are talking about is the next sentence:
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…”
Let us take this to heart now, as many had to learn during the Roman Empire! Kings and those in authority are not God, nor are they “standing in the gap” between God and man! In ancient kingdoms, and frankly in the world we live in now to some extent, kings, Caesars, pharaohs, and others were practically considered gods.
But what the world seems to be looking for really is a governmental savior, but no true savior will ever come from man’s government. A deceiver will come someday to rescue the world from all its woes, or so he says. That is for certain. In fact, it is clear that the world is headed faster and faster that way.
Daniel 8:23–25 — “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
Now, however, even the rulers of man’s day are implored to be reconciled to God. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom for all, even those rulers; but let us be perfectly clear on this: we never elected or crowned a new god, nor a new mediator between God and man. Each election cycle we elect a new savior, and this person always fails to save. The salvation that we really need is salvation from our sins. The salvation provided by government or politics cannot provide this. There is one mediator between God and man, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS.
Rest assured, no matter who is running your body politick, whichever body that may be. Do not be surprised when the men (and women) of this world behave as though they are of this world. We do implore them though to be reconciled to God. The Word of God has been sent forth to the whole world that all the nations might hear (2 Timothy 4:17; Titus 2:12; Colossians 1:6), by the bona fide apostle of Jesus Christ. The Word is out there for you to hear, as it is for all. The question is “are you listening?”
There is one way for all men to be saved, and one way alone. That is by the grace of God through faith in the good news that our apostle preached, how that Christ died for our sins, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1–4). If we think it too narrow that God would allow only one way, remember that He is the offended party in relation to dealings with mankind, and He did not have to provide any way! The way for you is the way for all, and the way for all is the way for you. There are no excluded classes, and there are no classes of people that get to call the shots themselves.
Romans 3:23–26 — “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”