To this I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
All Commentaries on 1 Timothy 2:7 Go To 1 Timothy 2
Since therefore Christ suffered for the Gentiles, and I was separated to be a teacher of the Gentiles, why do you refuse to pray for them? He fully shows his own credibility, by saying that he was ordained Acts 13:2, that is, separated, for this purpose, the other Apostles being backward in teaching the Gentiles; he adds, in faith and verity, to show that in that faith there was no deceit. Here is observable the extension of grace. For the Jews had no prayers for the Gentiles; but now grace is extended to them: and when he says that he was separated to be a Teacher of the Gentiles, he intimates that grace was now shed over every part of the world.
He gave himself a ransom, he says, how then was He delivered up by the Father? Because it was of His goodness. And what means ransom? God was about to punish them, but He forbore to do it. They were about to perish, but in their stead He gave His own Son, and sent us as heralds to proclaim the Cross. These things are sufficient to attract all, and to demonstrate the love of Christ. Moral. So truly, so inexpressibly great are the benefits which God has bestowed upon us. He sacrificed Himself for His enemies, who hated and rejected Him. What no one would do for friends, for brethren, for children, that the Lord has done for His servants; a Lord not Himself such an one as His servants, but God for men; for men not deserving. For had they been deserving, had they done His pleasure, it would have been less wonderful; but that He died for such ungrateful, such obstinate creatures, this it is which strikes every mind with amazement. For what men would not do for their fellow-men, that has God done for us! Yet after such a display of love towards us, we hold back, and are not in earnest in our love of Christ. He has sacrificed Himself for us; for Him we make no sacrifice. We neglect Him when He wants necessary food; sick and naked we visit Him not. What do we not deserve, what wrath, what punishment, what hell? Were there no other inducement, it should be sufficient to prevail with every one that He condescended to make human sufferings His own, to say I hunger, I thirst.
O the tyranny of wealth! Or rather the wickedness of those who are its willing slaves! For it has no great power of itself, but through our weakness and servility: it is we that are mean and groveling, that are carnal and without understanding. For what power has money? It is mute and insensible. If the devil, that wicked spirit, that crafty confounder of all things, has no power, what power has money? When you look upon silver, fancy it is tin! Cannot you? Then hold it for what it really is; for earth it is. But if you cannot reason thus, consider that we too shall perish, that many of those who have possessed it have gained scarce any advantage by it, that thousands who gloried in it are now dust and ashes. That they are suffering extreme punishment, and far more beggarly than they that fed from glass and earthenware; that those who once reclined on ivory couches, are poorer now than those who are lying on the dunghill. But it delights the eyes! How many other things delight them more! The flowers, the pure sky, the firmament, the bright sun, are far more grateful to the eye. For it has much of rust, whence some have asserted that it was black, which appears from the images that turn black. But there is no blackness in the sun, the heaven, the stars. Much greater delight is there in these brilliants than in its color. It is not therefore its brilliancy that makes it please, but covetousness and iniquity; these, and not money, give the pleasure. Cast these from your soul, and what appeared so precious will seem to you more worthless than clay. Those who are in a fever long for mud when they see it, as if it were spring water; but those in sound health seldom wish even for water. Cast off this morbid longing, and you will see things as they are. And to prove that I do not speak falsely, know, that I can point out many who have done so. Quench this flame, and you will see that these things are of less worth than flowers.
Is gold good? Yes, it is good for almsgiving, for the relief of the poor; it is good, not for unprofitable use, to be hoarded up or buried in the earth, to be worn on the hands or the feet or the head. It was discovered for this end, that with it we should loose the captives, not form it into a chain for the image of God. Use your gold for this, to loose him that is bound, not to chain her that is free. Tell me, why do you value above all things what is of so little worth? Is it the less a chain, because it is of gold? Does the material make any difference? whether it be gold or iron, it is still a chain; nay the gold is the heavier. What then makes it light, but vainglory, and the pleasure of being seen to wear a chain, of which you ought rather to be ashamed? To make this evident, fasten it, and place the wearer in a wilderness or where there is no one to see, and the chain will at once be felt heavy, and thought burdensome.
Beloved, let us fear, lest we be doomed to hear those terrible words, Bind him hand and foot. Matthew 22:13 And why, O woman, do you now do so to yourself? No prisoner has both his hands and his feet bound. Why do you bind your head too? For you are not content with hands and feet, but bindest your head and your neck with many chains. I pass over the care that comes of these things, the fear, the alarm, the strife occasioned by them with your husband if ever he wants them, the death it is to people when they lose any of them. Can you call this a pleasure? To gratify the eyes of others, do you subject yourself to chains, and cares, and perils, and uneasiness, and daily quarrels? This is deserving of every censure and condemnation. Nay, I entreat you, let us not do thus, let us burst every bond of iniquity Acts 8:23; let us break our bread to the hungry, and let us do all other things, which may ensure to us confidence before God, that we may obtain the blessings promised through Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom, etc.