|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:11-15 The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel, is for all ranks and conditions of men. It teaches to forsake sin; to have no more to do with it. An earthly, sensual conversation suits not a heavenly calling. It teaches to make conscience of that which is good. We must look to God in Christ, as the object of our hope and worship. A gospel conversation must be a godly conversation. See our duty in a very few words; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly, notwithstanding all snares, temptations, corrupt examples, ill usage, and what remains of sin in the believer's heart, with all their hinderances. It teaches to look for the glories of another world. At, and in, the glorious appearing of Christ, the blessed hope of Christians will be complete: To bring us to holiness and happiness was the end of Christ's death. Jesus Christ, that great God and our Saviour, who saves not only as God, much less as Man alone; but as God-man, two natures in one person. He loved us, and gave himself for us; and what can we do less than love and give up ourselves to him! Redemption from sin and sanctification of the nature go together, and make a peculiar people unto God, free from guilt and condemnation, and purified by the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is profitable. Here is what will furnish for all parts of duty, and the right discharge of them. Let us inquire whether our whole dependence is placed upon that grace which saves the lost, pardons the guilty, and sanctifies the unclean. And the further we are removed from boasting of fancied good works, or trusting in them, so that we glory in Christ alone, the more zealous shall we be to abound in real good works.
Verse 11. - Hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, for that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, A.V. and T.R. Bringing salvation to all men (σωτήριος). The R.T. omits the article ἡ before σωτήριος, which necessitates construing πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις with σωτήριος, "saving to all men" "bringing salvation to all men." With the article ἡ as in the T.R., it may be taken either way, but it is rather more natural to construe πᾶσιν ἀθρώποις with ἐπεφάνη, "hath appeared to all men." The meaning of the phrase, "hath appeared to all men," is the same as the saying in the song of Simeon, "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people" (Luke 2:30, 31; comp. Colossians 1:6). The gospel is not a hidden mystery, but is proclaimed to the whole world. Σωτήριος as an adjective is found only here in the New Testament, in Wisd. 1:14 and 3Macc. 7:18, and frequently in classical Greek.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation,.... By which is meant, not the free love and favour of God, which lies in his own heart; for though that is productive of salvation, and is the source and spring of it, and what brings it forth, and is far from encouraging licentiousness, but instructs in real piety, and constrains to obedience to the will of God; yet this does not appear, nor has it been, nor is it made manifest unto all men, but is peculiar to the Lord's own people; nor does it design the grace of God wrought in the hearts of believers; for though salvation is strictly connected with it, and it powerfully influences the lives and conversations of such, who are partakers of it; yet it has not appeared to, nor in all men; all men have not faith, nor hope, nor love, nor any other graces of the Spirit: but by the grace of God is intended the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of the grace of God; called so, because it is a declaration of the grace of God, and of salvation by it: and is the means, in the hand of the Spirit, of conveying grace to the heart, and implanting it in it; in which sense the phrase is used in Acts 20:24 and this is called the Gospel of salvation, the word of salvation, and salvation itself, and so may be said to bring it; it brings and publishes the good news of it; it shows unto men the way of salvation; it gives an account of the Saviour himself, that he is the great God, and so fit to be a Saviour; that he was appointed by God the Father to be his salvation; that he was sent, and came to work out salvation; and that he is become the author of it; and that he is the only Saviour, and an able, willing, and complete one: it gives an account of the salvation itself; that it is the salvation of the soul; that it is a great one, and includes both grace and glory; that it is everlasting, and all of free grace; and it points out the persons who are interested in it, and shall enjoy it, even all those that are chosen to it, and are redeemed, reconciled, and justified by the blood of Christ, and are brought to believe in him: and the Gospel not only brings the news of all this to the ear, in the external ministration of it; but it brings it to the heart, and is the power of God unto salvation, when it comes, not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost; or when it comes under the powerful influences and application of the Spirit of God. Some read this clause thus, "that bringeth salvation to all men"; to which agrees the Syriac version, which renders it, , "that quickeneth" or "saveth all"; and so the Arabic version: but then this cannot be understood of every individual person; for the Gospel has not brought salvation to everyone in any sense, not even in the external ministry of it; there have been multitudes who have never so much as heard the outward sound of salvation by Jesus Christ, and fewer still who have an application of it to their souls by the Spirit of God; to many to whom it has come, it has been an hidden Gospel, and the savour of death unto death: it follows indeed,
hath appeared to all men; which supposes it to have been hid, as it was, in the thoughts, purposes, and counsels of God; and in Jesus Christ, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid; and in the covenant of grace, of which the Gospel is a transcript; and in the types and shadows of the ceremonial law: it was in some measure hid from angels, who desire to look into it, and from the Old Testament saints, to whom it was not known as it is now, by the apostles and prophets; and it was entirely hid from the Gentiles, the times of whose ignorance God overlooked: and it suggests, that it now appeared or shone out more clearly, and more largely. The Gospel had been like a candle lighted up in one part of the world, only in Judea, but now it shone out like the sun in its meridian glory, and appeared to all men; not to every individual person; it has neither shined upon, nor in everyone: it did not in the apostle's time, when it appeared the most illustrious, and shone out the most extensively, as well as the most clearly; nor has it in ages since, nor does it in ours; there are multitudes who know nothing of it, and are neither under its form nor power: but this is to be understood of all sorts of men, of every nation, of every age and sex, of every state and condition, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, masters and servants; which sense well agrees with the context, Titus 2:2 and the words are a reason why the apostle would have duty urged on all sorts of persons, because the Gospel was now preached to all; and it had reached the hearts of all sorts of men; particularly the Gentiles may be intended from whom the Gospel was before hid, and who sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death; but now the great light shined upon them, and the Gospel was no more confined to one people only, but was preached to every creature under heaven, or to the whole creation; namely, to the Gentiles, pursuant to the commission in Mark 16:15.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. the grace of God—God's gratuitous favor in the scheme of redemption.
hath appeared—Greek, "hath been made to appear," or "shine forth" (Isa 9:2; Lu 1:79). "hath been manifested" (Tit 3:4), after having been long hidden in the loving counsels of God (Col 1:26; 2Ti 1:9, 10). The image is illustrated in Ac 27:20. The grace of God hath now been embodied in Jesus, the brightness of the Father's glory," manifested as the "Sun of righteousness," "the Word made flesh." The Gospel dispensation is hence termed "the day" (1Th 5:5, 8; there is a double "appearing," that of "grace" here, that of "glory," Tit 2:13; compare Ro 13:12). Connect it not as English Version, but, "The grace … that bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared," or "been manifested" (1Ti 2:4; 4:10). Hence God is called "our Saviour" (Tit 2:10). The very name Jesus means the same.
to all—of whom he enumerated the different classes (Tit 2:2-9): even to servants; to us Gentiles, once aliens from God. Hence arises our obligation to all men (Tit 3:2).
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