For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Titus 2:11 KJV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. Titus 2:11 NASB
Many sermons have been preached on the three “appearings” found in these verses. There is the appearing of the grace of God in history v 11); there is the appearing of Christ on the horizon (Titus 2:13); and the appearing of godliness in our lives at present (v12). The appearing of grace in the past should lead to godliness in the present and train our eyes to the glory of the future.
But this meditation is limited to the grace that has appeared. It is an interesting way to express the wondrous truth of the advent of the Lord Jesus. It is almost as though the salvation which has come from God has been brought down to us, and delivered to the door of our hearts by the grace of God.
The grace that is amazing has been revealed, has shined out, for all to see. It was not hidden or done in a corner. It has been displayed in all its brilliance.
One translation of this verse, permitted by its construction in the original language, is “the grace of God hath appeared to all men,salvation bringing.” That grace has been revealed to everyone. It is not the thought that everyone has seen it; rather, that it is so clear and unmistakable, that it is visible to all who look. No one can gaze at Calvary, understand the momentous event that occurred there, and not see the grace of God.
Another translation of the verse emphasizes, “The grace of God salvation bringing to all men hath appeared.” Here the stress is on the availability of salvation to all of humanity. No one has been excluded. Grace has embraced all of us, regardless of our guilt and depravity. There is sufficient in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for all.
Whichever understanding we accept, they all emphasize that grace has been the vehicle which has transported this salvation from the heart of God to meet the need of our souls. Grace, the unmerited favor of God has appeared. The heathen world knew nothing of grace. It slavishly served its idols and gods, with no assurance of acceptance and not a hint of love. A constant striving and frustration, a loveless labor and a hopeless hope marked them.
Although there were marks of grace linked with the law, the Jewish mind closed itself against any hint of mercy and steeled its heart to live by the letter of the law only. Grace was so foreign to them that when it appeared in the person of Christ, they labeled Him a lawbreaker, worthy of death.
Grace came to enlighten the blindness of the heathen world and to relieve the burden of the Jewish mind. Today we can enjoy the wonderful truth of grace as it has been revealed in the coming and in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at chapter 3:4 and notice the unique word for the “love of God.” It is philanthropic love. Why is this so significant in light of verse 3?
Notice in chapter 3:4-7 we have God’s kindness, love, mercy, and grace. Think how these all differ in some small measure.