For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
All Commentaries on 1 Timothy 2:2 Go To 1 Timothy 2
If in order to put an end to public wars, and tumults, and battles, the Priest is exhorted to offer prayers for kings and governors, much more ought private individuals to do it. For there are three very grievous kinds of war. The one is public, when our soldiers are attacked by foreign armies: The second is, when even in time of peace, we are at war with one another: The third is, when the individual is at war with himself, which is the worst of all. For foreign war will not be able to hurt us greatly. What, I pray, though it slaughters and cuts us off? It injures not the soul. Neither will the second have power to harm us against our will; for though others be at war with us, we may be peaceable ourselves. For so says the Prophet, For my love they are my adversaries, but I give myself unto prayer Psalm 109:4; and again, I was at peace with them that hate peace; and, I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. Psalm 120:6-7, Septuagint But from the third, we cannot escape without danger. For when the body is at variance with the soul, and raises up evil desires, and arms against it sensual pleasures, or the bad passions of anger, and envy; we cannot attain the promised blessings, till this war is brought to an end; whoever does not still this tumult, must fall pierced by wounds that will bring that death that is in hell. We have daily need therefore of care and great anxiety, that this war may not be stirred up within us, or that, if stirred up, it may not last, but be quelled and laid asleep. For what advantage is it, that the world enjoys profound peace, if you are at war with yourself? This then is the peace we should keep. If we have it, nothing from without will be able to harm us. And to this end the public peace contributes no little: whence it is said, That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. But if any one is disturbed when there is quiet, he is a miserable creature. Do you see that He speaks of this peace which I call the third kind? Therefore when he has said, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, he does not stop there, but adds in all godliness and honesty. But we cannot live in godliness and honesty, unless that peace be established. For when curious reasonings disturb our faith, what peace is there? Or when spirits of uncleanness, what peace is there?
For that we may not suppose that he speaks of that sort of life which all men live, when he says, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, he adds, in all godliness and honesty, since a quiet and peaceable life may be led by heathens, and profligates, and voluptuous and wanton persons may be found living such a life. That this cannot be meant, is plain, from what he adds, in all godliness and honesty. Such a life is exposed to snares, and conflicts, and the soul is daily wounded by the tumults of its own thoughts. But what sort of life he really means is plain from the sequel, and plain too, in that he speaks not simply of godliness, but adds, of all godliness. For in saying this he seems to insist on a godliness not only of doctrine, but such as is supported by life, for in both surely must godliness be required. For of what advantage is it to be godly as to doctrine, but ungodly in life? And that it is very possible to be ungodly in life, hear this same blessed Apostle saying elsewhere, They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him. Titus 1:16 And again, He has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8 And, If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater 1 Corinthians 5:11, such a man honors not God. And, He that hates his brother, knows not God. 1 John 2:9 Such are the various ways of ungodliness. Therefore he says, All godliness and good order. For not only is the fornicator not honest, but the covetous man may be called disorderly and intemperate. For avarice is a lust no less than the bodily appetites, which he who does not chastise, is called dissolute. For men are called dissolute from not restraining their desires, so that the passionate, the envious, the covetous, the deceitful, and every one that lives in sin, may be called dissolute, disorderly, and licentious.