B. Focus on the One Mediator for prayer (2:5-7):
While living in the midst of numerous idolatrous religions, Timothy needed to be reassured that there is “one God and one mediator between God and men.” The emphasis in the text is on the word “one” in reference to our Mediator. It is as Peter many years before stated, “There is salvation in no other [than Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (At 4:12). In all matters of prayer and salvation, Jesus alone stands between God and man.
Outside Christ Jesus there is no medium through which we can approach the one God. No religion will take one to his or her desired end of eternal life. The notion that one can make his own choice of religion in order to transition into eternal life is strictly denied by the proposition of this context.
In the context of prayer, we are reassured that in our prayers for those in government we are addressing the King of kings. He is the King of all those kings on earth for whom we pray (1 Tm 6:15). He is the Lord of all lords. Our supplications to God through the mediatorship the King of kings and Lord of lords is that He reign over His realm so that we can evangelize peacefully throughout His realm of reign.
The ascended and reigning King Jesus is “the mediator of the new covenant.” He is the mediator between those who have obeyed the gospel and God (Hb 9:15). Jesus qualified Himself to be our mediator because He ransomed Himself. Since He is the only mediator between God and man, then we cannot expect a quiet and peaceful social environment without approaching God through Him. With great sacrifice the Son of God qualified Himself for this heavenly ministry.
“He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and being made in the likeness of men … He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Ph 2:7-8).
All this occurred “in its proper time,” for “when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son” into the world (Gl 4:4). This was the good news that needed to be announced to the world (Mk 16:15). So Paul relates to us his own commissioning as one who was chosen to preach the gospel of the incarnational Son of God into the flesh of man in order to offer Himself for man.
It was not that Paul was entitled with the name “preacher.” Preaching was the ministry of heralding the message of the gospel to the world. When a disciple proclaims the gospel of Jesus, then he or she is heralding the gospel to the lost. It must be noted that preaching is not a job, but a ministry of announcing the gospel to unbelievers. Only those who are in the bondage of institutional religion hire and fire professional preachers. But because Christians know the gospel, they are all proclaimers of the gospel. They cannot be fired from their mission to preach the gospel to the world.
The New Testament is void of giving titles to those who assume the responsibility to carry out the mandate of Mark 16:15. The Greek word karusso (preacher) is the function of announcing (heralding) news to those who have not heard (Rm 10:14). The Greek word euangelizo is also translated “preacher.” This word refers to one who announces good news. It is not a word that is used to entitle one as a “preacher” who stands before the believers. There were no “pulpit preachers” in the early church. The preachers were all standing before unbelievers, not believers. There is no professionalism in the word “preacher.”
Those who would assign themselves to be professionals in the ministry of “preaching” have no proof text in the Scriptures to entitle themselves as such. In a second letter, Paul simply charged Timothy to “Preach the word” (2 Tm 4:2). It was not a charge to be a preacher. The charge was that he assume his responsibility as a disciple of Jesus to herald the gospel. In the same context, he added that Timothy “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tm 4:5). The emphasis of the charge was on what to do, not on what he was to be.
The same is true in reference to the word “apostle” that Paul used in reference to the function of one who is sent forth to herald the gospel. He himself was “appointed a preacher and an apostle.” He was not designated to function as such for the sake of the church, but for the sake of the unbelievers (See 2 Tm 1:11).
The Greek word “apostle” (apostolos) means “one who is sent.” In the early part of His ministry, Jesus “called His disciples. And from them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles” (Lk 6:13). The word “named” in this context would better be translated “designated.” Jesus did not entitled the twelve with the name “apostle.” They were not “apostle” Matthew, “apostle” John, or “apostle” Peter. They were as Paul often identified himself, “Called to be an apostle” (Rm 1:1).
Paul, as well as all the apostles who were specifically designated by Jesus to function as His special Christ-sent messengers, did the work of one being sent forth to preach the gospel. They were Christ-sent apostles. Therefore, those who would be apostles must be gone from home. They must be gone into all the world. Someone who stays at home cannot assume the ministry of one who must be sent into all the world. Self-entitlement does not make one either a preacher or an apostle. Epaphroditus was a church-sent apostle who had been sent out by the church in Philippi (Ph 2:25). However, he was such only when he was away from his home on a mission to Rome on behalf of Paul (Ph 4:18). But when he returned home to Philippi, he was no longer an apostle.
When one stands before the believers, he or she is “a teacher.” In the case of Paul, he was designated “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” When one stands before unbelievers, he is a preacher and an evangelists. Those who are designated to be shepherds of the flock of believers are teachers (1 Tm 3:2). When Timothy stood before the believers, Paul mandated, “These things command and teach” (1 Tm 4:11). In the second letter to Timothy Paul gave instructions concerning the responsibility of Timothy in reference to teaching the believers: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tm 2:2).
Timothy was to “give heed to … teaching” the word of God to the brethren (1 Tm 4:13). And in reference to the responsibilities of the shepherds, “Let the elders who direct well be counted worthy of double honor [salary], especially to those who labor in preaching [the gospel to the unbelievers], and teaching [the word of God to the believers]” (1 Tm 5:17). In this first letter to Timothy, Paul enjoined on Timothy, “These things teach and exhort” (1 Tm 6:2; see 1 Tm 6:18). The mandate was to reinforce Timothy’s responsibility to continue to teach the word of God to the believers. And in reference to any opposition that Timothy might incur, Paul wrote, “If anyone teaches otherwise [to the church], … he is proud, knowing nothing” (1 Tm 6:4).