“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
The apostle Paul has salvation in view with this statement, evidenced by the verses that follow. The study notes in my Bible connect his emphasis here with his earlier words in 1 Timothy 1:5, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
He is seeking to maintain Timothy’s focus on love. Love that pours out from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Love that is holy and seeks the good and salvation of all. Love that drives fervent prayers for all people, including all in high positions of power, that they would come to faith in Christ Jesus, “who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).
Pure love reflects the heart of our God. As His love has been poured into our hearts through His Spirit (Romans 5:5), that love should flow through us as we abide in Him. Drawing ever nearer, abiding in His Word, resting in His love for us, endeavoring not to hinder or grieve His Spirit who works to transform us into Christ’s image.
When His love defines not only our outward interactions but our inner perspective of others, our lives demonstrate this change. To lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. Not carried away by rash words spoken in frustration, anger, or cynicism, but seasoned with grace, compassion, and hope, seeking to build up all those who hear. Seeking to build up even those who cannot hear as we lift them up to our God in intercession.
There could be a tendency to view this description as weakness. Because a “peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified” is often contrary to what the world around us defines as strength. But oh, let us not be deceived. Remarkable strength was displayed when Jesus stood silently before those who falsely accused Him. Those who spat on Him, slapped Him, scourged Him, and shouted, “Crucify!” He was not cowering in shame or shrinking back in weakness or fear. No, He stood firm, His face set like a flint, holding fast because of powerful, pure love. Crying out in the midst of it all, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
While we might not experience that level of persecution, that level of love should be displayed in us. Desiring always the salvation of all and actively seeking God’s intercession to save as we, His ambassadors and witnesses, speak the truth of the gospel of Christ with love and humble confidence. Conducting ourselves in a manner that glorifies our holy God and shows love, respect, and honor to these whom God loves, these for whom Christ died.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:3-8
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3