Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, by Witness Lee


After pointing out that we should pray on behalf of all men, Paul goes on to say that we should pray “on behalf of kings and all who are in high position, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.” A tranquil and quiet life is one that is peaceable, still, and without disturbance, not only outwardly in circumstances, but also inwardly in our heart and spirit, that we may have an enjoyable church life in godliness and gravity. Godliness is God-likeness; it is to be like God and to express Him. The Christian life should be a life which expresses God and bears God’s likeness in all things. Gravity is a qualification of human character which is worthy of utmost respect; it implies dignity and inspires and invites honor. Godliness is the expression of God; gravity is toward man. Our Christian life should express God toward man with an honorable character that invites man’s utmost respect.


Verse 3 says, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of our Savior God.” In this Epistle Paul emphasizes the Savior God. Hence, in this verse he speaks not of the God of grace, nor of the God of mercy, but of the Savior God, the God who saves us.


In verse 4 Paul says that God desires all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth. We should pray on behalf of all men because God our Savior desires all men to be saved and know the truth. Our prayer is required for the carrying out of God’s desire.

God desires all men not only to be saved, but also to have the full knowledge of the truth. Truth means reality, denoting all the real things revealed in God’s Word, which are mainly Christ as the embodiment of God and the church as the Body of Christ. Every saved person should have a full knowledge, a complete realization, of these things.

The object of the two Epistles to Timothy is to deal with the church’s decline. In the first Epistle the decline crept in subtly through differing teachings (1:3), and in the second, it developed openly and became worse through the heresies (2:16-18). To deal with such a decline the truth must be maintained. The first Epistle emphasizes that God desires all His saved ones to have the full knowledge of the truth and that the church is the pillar and base of the truth (3:15). The second Epistle stresses that the word of the truth should be rightly unfolded (2 Tim. 2:15), and that the deviated ones should return to the truth (2 Tim. 2:25).


In 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul continues, “For there is one God and one Mediator of God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.” In this verse Paul explicitly says that there is one God. Although God is Triune—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—He is still the one God, not three Gods, as mistakenly realized and believed by many Christians.

In this verse Paul also tells us that there is one Mediator of God and men. A mediator is a go-between. The one Mediator is the Man, Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus was God from eternity (John 1:1). In time He became a man through incarnation (John 1:14). While He was living on earth as a man, He was also God (1 Tim. 3:16). After resurrection He was still man as well as God (Acts 7:56; John 20:28). Hence, He is the only One qualified to be the Mediator, the go-between, of God and men.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)