11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Now Paul transitioned from the idea that God’s truth demands a godly life to the foundation of godly living. He shifted from duty to doctrine. Verses 11 to 15 show the source for godly conduct—God’s grace. Grace teaches the dynamics of Christian living.
The word “for” explains the basis that produces the standards of conduct in the church (2:1-10). The grace principle teaches believers how to live the Christian life.
the grace of God
God’s grace is what He is free to do for us because of the finished work of Christ. God can now freely do us favor without compromising His character. Grace means He does it all. God’s favor toward us comes from His matchless, undiluted capacity to give. The grace of God is not grace plus our sincerity or grace plus our works; it is grace plus nothing. As soon as we add the weight of an eyelash to grace, we emasculate it—we inject our works into the system.
that brings salvation
God’s salvation came characterized as grace. Grace brought us the principle of salvation. He brings it right to our doorstep.
has appeared [visible appearance]
“Appeared” shows God’s grace manifested as a historical reality. Grace became visible in a Person. The Lord Jesus personified grace in His coming. He was full of grace (Jn 1:14, 16-17). God made His grace appearance visibly embodied in Jesus. This was His first coming to earth.
2 Ti 1: 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Grace did not first come into actuality when Christ came. There is grace throughout the Old Testament. God showed His grace in many places in Israel. God was always gracious. But grace came into visible appearance when Jesus came the first time, in his time on earth.
to all men,
Grace appeared to all men universally. Grace makes salvation universally available to everyone. God’s grace came to both free men and to slaves. All have the opportunity to accept redemption in Christ.
1 Ti 2: 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Ti 2: 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
1 Ti 4: 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
The essential motive for Christian living comes from God’s grace.
The highest motive for Christian living is not what we do but what God did for us. We can never fully appreciate the Christian life until we come to grips with what God does rather than what we do. Grace pleases God. Only as we grasp God’s grace can we understand how to please God.
Grace enables believers to live the Christian life.
1 Co 15: 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
2 Co 1: 12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
2 Co 4: 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
2 Co 12: 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.