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Federation Rocks – New South Wales – Hawkesbury Sandstone
There is much in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to Timothy that is relevant to all who are involved in Christian ministry today.
Reflections for the first nine weeks of 2019 have been prepared to assist those who are entering or already engaged in a process of discerning what is the will of God for their future ministry. The nature of that future ministry is not limited to what Paul described in these Epistles.
My intention is to provide a resource for all who love Jesus and seek to serve him. It is not restricted to those who hope to enter into holy orders.
First Epistle of Paul to Timothy 2: 1-7 (NIV)
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I am telling the truth, I am not lying – and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
Surely here is the reason for Christian ministry: to please “God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (verse 4). Firmly believing that God desires that all should be saved enables us to see all people through the eyes of the loving Father. Any one who may appear to us objectionable, past redeeming, under the influence of the evil one, is nevertheless created by God “in his own image” (Genesis 1: 27) and is therefore somebody he desires should be saved.
Verse 1 urges prayer: “petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving”. Verse 5 directs our attention to the one through whom we pray, the “one mediator between God and (hu)mankind, the man Jesus Christ”. Jesus Christ is not only the one mediator, he is the one Saviour “who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (verse 6). “All people” reinforces that God wants all who have been ransomed by Jesus Christ to accept the salvation he won for them.
One of the primary motives for our Christian ministry must be our conviction that Jesus Christ died for all and that the Father wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of that truth.