1 Timothy 2:1-4



A.in the first verse, we are told that prayers and thanksgivings should be made for all men

1.Paul declares that this is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved”

2.if salvation had been provided for only a part of the human race, then our prayer and thanksgivings should have been made only for a part

3.if no provision for salvation was made for some, then there would be no need for prayers to be offered up for them

4.this is not the state of any of the Adam’s children, because provision has been made for all

B.divine goodness is extended to all, and salvation is offered to all; therefore prayer and thanksgiving is to be offered up for all men

II.the divine goodness expressed in the text [Who will have all men to be saved]

A.the salvation spoken of is that of the soul

1.this involves the deliverance from deserved sufferings, and the bestowal of happiness in its place

2.the provision which is made for our comfort and happiness in this life, reveals a strange goodness in God

a)when we consider what man was when made by God, and what man has made himself, the divine goodwill displayed here is wonderful

b)it is strange that man was not destroyed and blotted out from among God's works

B.our first parents may have thought that God intended to destroy them for their disobedience, and expressed it by hiding themselves from His presence, after their fall – Genesis 3:8

1.if man had been destroyed, then the race would have been extinct

2.man was spared; allowed to continue and rear a family, from which an indefinite number of human kind have descended

3.though exiled from Eden, and doomed to labor and sorrow, he was still at the head of this lower creation

4.the ground was cursed for his sake, and fatiguing cultivation became necessary; but it still yielded the necessities of life, and many comforts as well; though not the sweets of its earlier state

C.these expressions of divine goodness are the wonder of angels, though often little noticed by men, the ungrateful objects of them

1.these are small, when compared with the provision made for our eternal salvation

2.God shows good will to mankind, in spite of our apostasy, and is desirous of our salvation

3.this is apparent from the spirit of our text, and the general language of Scripture

D.God’s willingness for all to saved is revealed by the sufficiency of the provision which is made for the salvation of sinners

1.the provision that was made is adequate for the salvation of the whole race

2.Christ, who is a divine person, made an infinite atonement

a)if the number of sinners were ten times greater than that of our whole race, there would be no need of another Savior, or for Christ to die again for our redemption

b)the reason all are not saved, is not a deficiency of merit in the Redeemer, or any shortcoming in His satisfaction of the demands of a Holy God

c)sinners are not restricted by Him, but by their own inward affection

E.God’s willingness to save all is revealed by the frequent declaration of scripture, that Christ died for all

1.He gave himself a ransom for all - 1 Timothy 2:6

2.He tasted death for every man - Hebrews 2:9

3.He died for all - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

F.God’s willingness for all to saved is revealed by the offers which are made indiscriminately to all

1.after His resurrection, Christ sent forth His apostles to achieve His gracious purposes

2.both His orders and promises were definite - Mark 16:15-16

a)if salvation was provided for only a part of mankind, and the Savior was unwilling for the rest to be saved, He would not have given charge to His ministers to offer salvation to all [to every creature]

b)nor would He have declared that whosoever fulfilled the specified conditions, should be saved

3.God our Savior cannot be charged with anything false or insincere

a)His words are truth, and His offers and proposals are genuine, reasonable and honest

b)the offer of salvation is made to all who hear the sound of the gospel; and they are invited and urged to accept them

G.God’s willingness to save all is revealed by the suitableness of the provision which is made for the salvation of sinners, to the circumstances of all

1.man needed an atonement, and he needed assistance, and both are provided for in Christ

2.man's weakness is that he is unable to conquer the spiritual enemies without, or his own corruptions within, by himself

a)through Christ, the needed aid is offered to us; we are invited to the throne of grace, and assured that we would not seek in vain, but would obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need

b)ask, and it shall be given; seek and ye shall find the Bible tells us - Matthew 7:7-8

c)though mankind has rebelled against God, He is more ready to hear our cries, than the most affectionate earthly parent is to show kindness to his child - Matthew 7:11

3.the gospel is designed as a remedy for human weakness and human guile

a)in every way the gospel is adapted to the circumstances of the creatures, to whom it offers salvation

b)the gospel is a fair offer of pardon and peace, of life and happiness to all who hear its joyful sound

c)the gospel not only opens these blessings to our view, but brings them within our reach

H.the divine goodwill is also apparent from the forbearance exercised toward the ingrates, who neglect and slight the offered salvation

1.God does not quickly enter into judgment with them, but waits with much long suffering

2.God often repeats His calls and warnings

3.God urges sinners in various ways, and by various means, to turn and live

a)inwardly by the strivings of His Spirit, and warnings of conscience

b)outwardly by His word; His providence, and the voice of those whom He sends to warn the wicked

III.how this revelation concerning God’s goodness to mankind is abused

A.there is no gift of God which the depravity of man cannot abuse

B.the belief in divine mercy and kindness is often made the occasion of sin

1.those whose hearts are turned away from the Lord, when they hear the words of the curse, say in their hearts, “we shall have peace, though we walk in the imagination of our hearts”

2.when called to repentance, they banish fear and lull themselves into security, by the revelation of divine grace and mercy which they find in the scriptures

a)since there is mercy with the Lord and plenteous redemption and forgiveness; they think He is not be feared, and His terror should not make men afraid to sin

b)since God has no pleasure in the death of sinners, then there is no need to fear

c)they think that He will not enter into judgment, and will not destroy the work of His hands

3.in this manner the mercy of God is made to absorb the other divine attributes, and sinners are emboldened in their wickedness

4.by such considerations they make themselves vile without concern

a)some become so hardened and unfeeling, that the approach of death does not alarm them

b)by an habitual course of wickedness, their consciences are rendered callous, and they become insensible to both fear and shame

c)by such considerations they continue until death puts a period to their time of probation, and seals them up for eternity

5.was man grateful for the divine goodness that leads him to repentance; NO, and under the influence of his own depravity, it became the occasion of more ungodliness

C.there is a belief that the revelation of divine mercy is evidence that none can be lost

1.to strengthen their argument, they say, "to be influenced to obedience by fear is dishonorable and worldly; and God would not urge men to duty by so unworthy a principle”

2.was not the fear of punishment used as a guard to innocence, when man was upright in the garden - Genesis 2:17

a)if God used this means to motivate to duty, it must be a proper means

b)there is no dispute that it is used throughout all of Scripture

c)every teacher who God sent to teach the way of life, and persuade men to walk in it, used it

d)Jesus Himself was no exception - Matthew 10:28

3.is there no cause to fear God; does God frighten men with vain terrors; does He threaten evils which can never come

4.if this means was necessary before man fell, is it unnecessary since he has fallen

D.God’s desire is that all men would saved; can any thing contrary to His will take place

1.there is much that takes place in this world, that is not pleasing to God; which He does not will, or approve

2.God is holy; and sin is opposition to His nature, forbidden by His law, and declared to be that which He abhors

3.to know that He hates and forbid sin, and yet believe that He approves of it and is pleased with it, is absurdity and folly

4.God permits sin; but does not will nor approve it

5.much is permitted under His administration, which He does not call for, but rather forbids and abhors

E.God does work on man; but only as a free moral agent

1.divine influences coincide with human liberty

2.those who are willing and obedient find mercy

a)the Savior rejoices over such

b)their faith and love are rewarded with the rewards of grace

3.those who neglect so great salvation, are left to perish in their sins

F.the conditions of salvation are fixed: no change can be made in them

1.the impenitent heart treasures up wrath; he that believes not shall be damned

2.if we do not believe, God will abide faithful; He cannot deny Himself

3.the terms of acceptance with God are laid before us; acceptance depends on the choice we make

4.divine goodwill is great; but it will not secure salvation for those who despise the gospel

G.life and death are now set before us; we may be saved, or we may perish

1.the portion which will be ours, depends on our response to the grace that is offered us

2.today if you will hear God's voice, harden not your heart