By Paul M. Zehr
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This practice of prayer differs from the Gentile practice. Prayers in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 are raised for the emperor, not to the emperor, as in the imperial cult, which divinized the emperors. The four kinds of prayers given in verse 1 exclude idol worship, which some Ephesians were expressing in the imperial religion. Paul offers two reasons for these Christian prayers. First, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. Paul hopes that through their prayers, the Ephesian Christians will not be under suspicion of disloyalty to the governing authorities and can practice Christian living without disturbance.
This commentary prefers an integration of the theological themes of godliness and the economy of God with God our Savior. Household behavior will be viewed in the context of the larger purpose of God’s work of saving the world. In contrast to these teachers, Timothy is commanded to teach with a goal of love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith (1:5). Paul makes love a goal and calls attention to its highest value when compared with faith and hope (1 Cor 12:31; 13:13).
Anabaptists called for committing the whole person to Christ. Repentance for them was genuine only when it included amendment of life. Discipleship belongs integrally to the work of salvation. Good deeds do not bring about salvation; they are an extension of the gracious work of God in the life of the believer. Grace works within new Christian believers, releasing them from the condemnation of sins through forgiveness, transforming them into new persons in Jesus Christ and enabling them to walk in a new life of Christian discipleship through the work of the Holy Spirit.