“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
The belief that “there is one God” must have seemed preposterous to the people of the ancient world, just as it does for many today. But while ancient and modern critics may reject the proposition that there is one God, they arrive at that conclusion from opposite directions.
You see, there is no shortage of those who seek to deny the existence of a Creator today. For many such individuals, the idea of “God” is an affront to rational thinking. However it was quite different in the days of the first century. In that era, people commonly worshipped a multitude of gods (see Acts 17:16-23 for an example).
In light of this, 1 Timothy 2:5 has important ramifications for everyone ranging from atheists (who deny the existence of God) to polytheists (who affirm the existence of many deities). For atheists, this passage establishes the existence of a Creator to whom we must give an account. For polytheists, it means that we do not have to seek the favor of untold numbers of divine beings who may or may not be in conflict with one another.
This has led one commentator to the following application…
“To the pagan Greeks with their pantheon of gods and goddesses, it was vital for Timothy to insist on worship of the one true God who created all things. This emphasis is urgently needed today as well. Furthermore, in contrast to all those ancient religions with their priests and priestesses—and modern ones as well—it was vital to stress that only one who was both God and man, the man Christ Jesus, could mediate between men and our Creator God. He is the only way to God (John 14:6), and our only true Advocate with the Father (I John 2:1,2).” (1)
Finally, 1 Timothy 2:5 makes an unequivocal statement: “there is… one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” This is also important for those who seek to approach God though the intercessory efforts of saints, ancestors, and/or others. For instance, many are familiar with the role of a mediator as someone who arbitrates and reconciles the differences between opponents. However, this passage tells us that Jesus’ intermediary role is exclusive and superior to that of any other purported mediator…
“Traditionally this word… is rendered ‘mediator,’ but this conveys a wrong impression in contemporary English. Jesus was not a mediator, for example, who worked for compromise between opposing parties. Instead he was the only one able to go between man and God to enable them to have a relationship, but entirely on God’s terms.” (2)
(1) Institute for Creation Research, New Defender’s Study Bible Notes 2 Thessalonians 3:16 https://www.icr.org/bible/1Tim/2/5/
(1) NET Bible notes on 1 Timothy 2:5 https://netbible.org/bible/1+Timothy+2