by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1 Lincolnton, NC July 11, 2004
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men;
2 for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
There are no variations between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26.
I. The "objective" is to be able to pursue a "life" of godliness and gravity.
A. What is a "life" of godliness?
1. Peter uses the term "godliness" in Acts 3:12 (there translated "holiness") in his question of those who were 'greatly wondering' because of the miraculous healing of a lame man. He asked about two issues that he apparently felt were critical to their attitude: they were looking at Peter as if they considered that he had exceptional "power" of his own; or, if not that, they considered that he had an exceptional "inside track with God" by reason of his "godliness" [it was, and still is, germane to the vast majority of people that those who accomplish marvelous things do so because they are so "godly" that God favors them with the ability to use His power as if it was their own]. Interestingly, Peter flatly denies both theories. He, who shortly before had denied the Lord with curses, had no illusions about either his "power", or his "godliness". But, the important fact is this: "godliness" is seen to be a characteristic that puts one into a character-similarity with God at the love/faith level.
a. Peter also uses the term in 2 Peter 1:3 to describe the kind of "life" that the "knowledge" of God and Christ produces. His claim is that there are great and valuable promises that, when believed, result in "godliness"...not of our own making, but "godliness" nonetheless.
b. He goes on in 2 Peter 1:6-7 to outline how that "godliness" is one of the "stair-steps" of character development that begins with "faith", moves to "virtue", then to "basic knowledge" (gnosis), then to "temperance", then to "patience", then to "godliness" as a prelude to "brotherly kindness" and "love".
c. Then, in 2 Peter 3:11, he lays the foundation for developing "godliness" in the reality of the dissolution of the present heavens and earth, so that we may conclude that the fundamental problem with the "ungodly" is that they are firmly fixated upon the on-going history of this heaven/earth reality and have pretty much dismissed the anticipation of a new heaven/earth reality as "pie in the sky" nonsense.
2. Paul, on the other hand, is the only other New Testament writer to use the term and he only uses it in the pastoral epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus).
a. In 1 Timothy 2:2 (our present text), he makes it one of the objectives of prayer.
b. In 1 Timothy 3:16 he ties the term to a vast mystery that has to do with the manifestation of God in the flesh.
c. In 1 Timothy 4:7 he exhorts Timothy to make it the objective of "vigorous effort" as he rejects "fables".
d. In the next verse he claims that "godliness" is profitable for both life in time and the coming life in the next world.
e. In 1 Timothy 6:3 he makes "kata eusebeian" the standard by which all "wholesome doctrine" is measured.
f. In 1 Timothy 6:5 Paul says that the wicked "suppose that gain is godliness" -- i.e. "godliness" is the way to make a profit.
g. Then in the next verse he declares that "godliness with contentment" actually is a great profit...but, of course, not in the way the corrupt think of it.
h. In 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul includes "godliness" in a group of six major areas of "pursuit" (righteousness, faith, love, patience, and meekness being the other five).
i. 2 Timothy 3:5 finds Paul mentioning those who have a "form" of godliness without power.
j. Paul's last reference is Titus 1:1 where he again affirms that the Truth is "kata eusebeian".
B. What is a life of "gravity"?
1. The word is used only three times in the New Testament, only by Paul, and only in the pastorals. It means "that which summons deep respect".
2. The implication is that there are all manner of behaviors that tear down a person's ability to have a profound respect for another.
C. Paul says we are seeking a "quiet and peaceable life".
1. The only time the word translated "quiet" is used in the New Testament is this text. Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon says that it is from a verb that means "to voice no objection to a verdict" ... i.e. to be "undisturbed by the outward circumstances".
2. The word "peaceable" is only used twice. Liddell-Scott says a good deal about the word's use. The bottom line seems to be "to create no stir", or "to only be lightly touched by a thing".
3. The two words have overlapping fields of meaning (they work as synonyms) and combine to give the impression of a heart/mind situation that does not generate "objections".
II. The "methodology" is a four-fold prayer strategy: supplication; prayer; intercession; thanksgiving.
III. The focus of concern is upon those who have some influence over our ability to "live".
IV. The implications are two: first, that God will actually bring those who have influence over us to the point of making decisions favorable to us; and, second, that God will actually bring us to submission to the circumstances in our lives that He is not going to change. Prayer affects everyone involved: the one praying; the One listening; and the ones prayed about.