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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 4 - Verse 10

Verse 10. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach. In making this truth known, that all might be saved, or that salvation was offered to all. The labour was chiefly experienced in carrying this intelligence abroad among the Gentiles; the reproach arose chiefly from the Jews for doing it.

Because we trust in the living God. This does not mean, as our translation would seem to imply, that he laboured and suffered because he confided in God, or that this was the reason of his sufferings, but rather that this trust in the living God was his support in these labours and trials, "We labour and suffer reproach, for we have hope in God. Through him we look for salvation. We believe that he has made this known to men, and believing this, we labour earnestly to make it known, even though it be attended with reproaches." The sentiment is, that the belief that God has revealed a plan of salvation for all men, and invites all men to be saved, will make his friends willing to labour to make this known, though it be attended with reproaches.

Who is the Saviour of all men. This must be understood as denoting that he is the Saviour of all men in some sense which differs from what is immediately affirmed: "specially of those that believe." There is something pertaining to them in regard to salvation which does not pertain to "all men." It cannot mean that he brings all men to heaven, especially those who believe—for this would be nonsense. And if he brings all men actually to heaven, how can it be especially true that he does this in regard to those who believe? Does it mean that he saves others without believing. But this would be contrary to the uniform doctrine of the Scriptures. See Mr 16:16. When, therefore, it is said that he "is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe, "it must mean that there is a sense in which it is true that he may be called the Saviour of all men, while, at the same time, it is actually true that those only are saved who believe. This may be true in two respects.

(1.) As he is the Preserver of men, (Job 7:20,) for in this sense he may be said to save them from famine, and war, and peril—keeping them from day to day; comp. Ps 107:28;

(2.) as he has provided salvation for all men. He is thus their Saviour, and may be called the common Saviour of all; that is, he has confined the offer of salvation to no one class of men; he has not limited the atonement to one division of the human race; and he actually saves all who are willing to be saved by him.

Specially of those that believe. This is evidently designed to limit the previous remark. If it had been left there, it might have been inferred that he would actually save all men. But the apostle held no such doctrine, and he here teaches that salvation is actually limited to those who believe. This is the speciality or the peculiarity in the salvation of those who actually reach heaven, that they are believers. See Barnes "Mr 16:16".

All men, therefore, do not enter heaven, unless all men have faith. But is this so? What evidence is there that the great mass of mankind die believing on the Son of God?

{*} "therefore" "On this account"

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