Grace Preparing for glory
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13).
The opening "For" looks back to verse 10. In the immediate context the apostle had exhorted servants to walk amiably and faithfully, so that they "adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things". It is deeply important that we should be sound in doctrine, for error acts upon the soul the same as poison does upon the body. Yes, it is very necessary that we be sound in the Faith, for it is dishonoring to God and injurious to ourselves to believe the Devil’s lies, for that is what false doctrine is. Then let us not despise doctrinal preaching, for "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine" (2 Tim. 3:16).
But there is something else which is equally important as being sound in doctrine, namely, that we adorn it by our conduct. The sounder I am in doctrine, the more loudly I advertise my orthodox views, the more do I bring that doctrine into reproach if my life be worldly and my walk carnal. How earnestly we need to pray for Divine enablement that we may "adorn the doctrine in all things". We need the doctrine of Scripture written upon our hearts, moulding our character, regulating our ways, influencing our conduct. We "adorn" the doctrine when we "walk in newness of life", when we live each hour as those who must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. And we are to "adorn the doctrine in all things": in every sphere we occupy, every relation we sustain, every circle God’s providence brings us into.
The apostle now enforces what he had said in verse 10 by reminding us that "the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men". This is in blessed contrast from the law, which brings naught but "condemnation". But the grace of God bringeth salvation, and that in a twofold way: by what Christ has done for his people, and by what he works in them. "He shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21): save from the guilt and penalty of sin, and from the love or power of sin. This grace of God "hath appeared": it has broken forth like the light of the morning after a dark night. It has "appeared" both objectively and subjectively—in the gospel and in our hearts: "when it pleased God. . . to reveal his Son in me" (Gal. 1:16); "God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts" (2 Cor. 4:6).
The grace of God—his lovingkindness, his goodwill, his free favor—hath appeared "to all men". That expression is used in Scripture in two different senses: sometimes it means all without exception, as in "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". In other passages it signifies all without distinction, as it does here—to the bondmen, as well as the free, to the servant as the master, to the Gentiles as to the Jews; to all kinds and conditions of men. But how may I know that the grace of God which bringeth salvation has appeared to me? A vitally important question is that, one which none who really values the eternal interests of his or her soul will treat lightly or take for granted. There are many who profess to be "saved" but they give no evidence of it in their lives. Now here is the inspired answer.