11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Let’s look at this text carefully over several posts.
First, notice that God’s grace is a salvation-offering grace (v. 11). People do not come into the world already saved (universalism is one form of this false teaching). Salvation must be offered to them — and received by them (the entire gospel of John emphasizes personal faith in Jesus). God’s grace appeared, in the Person of His Son, to offer salvation to all people.
Some don’t want that salvation. Some deny that salvation is needed. Some think they can earn their own salvation. As Pastor Timothy Keller has so eloquently put it:
“When you try to add to God’s salvation, you subtract. If you try to merit God’s salvation, you haven’t believed in God at all; you are trusting yourself, even if you try to do only a little bit.”
But as we will see in our next post on this topic, God’s grace offers far more than mere salvation. (to be continued).