BUT WHEN THE KINDNESS:
he chrestotes hote
de: (Titus 2:11; Ro 5:20,21; Eph 2:4-10)
When the kindness of God -
Spurgeon says that...
“The philanthropy of God” would be
a good translation, or rather, a sort of borrowing from the Greek
itself. “After we had seen the philanthropy of God,”
Note that verses Titus 2:4-7 take the form of a single sentence in
Expositor's Bible Commentary
This beautiful summary of the whole gospel mentions the manifestation
(Titus 3:4), the basis (Titus 3:5a), the means (Titus 3:5, 6), and the
results (Titus 3:7) of our salvation.
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
Zondervan Publishing or
And I would add that then in (Titus 3:8)
Paul specifies the fruit ("good deeds") that indicates the
genuineness of the root of salvation!
John MacArthur puts this great
section of Scripture in proper perspective writing that
In this short passage Paul sweeps
across the glorious truths of salvation, every facet of which is
sovereignly initiated and empowered by God alone. There are doctrines
here that could be (Ed note: and should be!) studied and pondered for
months without mining all their truth. (MacArthur.
Titus: Moody Press)
"ROADBLOCKS" TO ETERNAL
SEPARATION FROM GOD!
But when interrupts
and begins the contrast with the dismal
picture of man’s depravity in the preceding section. How thankful we can be for these
that signal God’s marvelous intervention to save man from destroying
himself (cf "but when" in NAS in Lk 21:28, Jn 16:13, 1Cor
15:54, Gal 4:4, Heb 9:11-note)!
Paul frequently uses
the conjunction "but" by itself to introduce a striking
contrast between we once were
in Adam and what we now are in
the striking contrast in the following passages - make a list - then
take some time to praise God if you have been redeemed from
darkness and transferred into His marvelous light!
Ro 6:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; 1Cor 6:9, 10, 11; Eph 2:1-13; 5:7-12;
Col 1:21, 22; 3:7, 8, 9, 10).
Someone has called these
conjunctions "God’s roadblocks on man’s way to hell"! And so with
this contrast Paul turns the focus from who we were in Adam to who we
now are in Christ, furnishing us a powerful motive (and a powerful
source - cp Ro 8:13-note,
Gal 5:16-note) for Christian living.
The KJV Bible Commentary
"But for the grace of God we would
all still be in the same wretched condition as the unbeliever in the
world, therefore, beware how you speak against even them!" (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
Bible Knowledge Commentary
remarks that Paul's
contrast is startling. In verse 3 man
is the actor, but in Titus 3:4, 5, 6, 7 man is merely the recipient and
God becomes the actor. What man could in no wise do for himself, God
initiated for him." (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).
Note the definite article (he)
before "kindness" indicating this isn't just any kindness but is the specific kindness which comes
from the Savior Himself!
= useful, profitable in turn from
chraomai = to
furnish what is needed in turn from chráo = lend, furnish as a
loan) is a gracious attitude, and thus describes the quality of being helpful and beneficial.
is God's beneficial provision that meets the need of sinful man. Kindness reflects the tender concern of God,
providing for helpless, hapless man what he never could have provided
for himself. This is the "starting point" for our salvation.
Expositors calls it God's "pitying kindness that prompts Him
to bestow forgiveness and blessings".
Chrestotes -10 times in NAS
- Ro 2:4; 3:12; 11:22; 2Co 6:6; Gal 5:22; Eph 2:7; Col 3:12; Titus 3:4 Translated
- kindness 9x and good 1x.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible
Dictionary says that...
is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring the
sinner back to God. (see
Ro2:4 below) (Youngblood,
R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Kindness is an attribute of God and a quality desirable but
not consistently found in men as discussed below.
Jesus taught that we
"love (our) enemies, and do good and lend, expecting
nothing in return and (our) reward will be great, and (we)
will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind
chrestos) to ungrateful and evil men." (Lk 6:35)
John MacArthur writes that
"connotes genuine goodness and generosity of heart. Our salvation from
sin and lostness and death issued wholly from God’s kindness, His
loving, benevolent, and entirely gracious concern to draw us to Himself
and redeem us from sin forever."
Chrestotes - 15x in
- Esther 8:12; Ps 14:1, 3; 21:3; 25:7; 31:19; 37:3; 65:10; 68:10; 85:12;
104:28; 106:5; 119:65, 66, 68; 145:7.
Here is an example from the prayer of David in which he asks God to
"not remember the
sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to Thy lovingkindness
(see word study on
remember Thou me, for Thy goodness’ (chrestotes -
kindness) sake, O Lord. Good (adjective
kind) and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the
way." (Ps 25:7, 8)
In other words David bases his appeal on God's
attribute of kindness for he recognizes that it is God's kindness that leads sinners to repentance ("instructs
sinners in the way.")
describes chrestotes as a
"beautiful word, as it is the expression of a beautiful grace...one
pervading and penetrating the whole nature, mellowing there all which
would have been harsh and austere (Ed note: this latter applicable only
to men but not to God for He is never harsh or austere)...a goodness
which has no edge, no sharpness in it..." (Trench,
R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)
Kindness reflects benevolence in action,
kindliness which disposes one to do good but not a goodness
qualitatively but a goodness in action and expressed in deed.
Kindness is that temper or disposition which delights in
contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully
in gratifying their wishes and which supplies their wants or alleviates
their distresses. Kindness is not just a sweet disposition
but is a serving trait.
Jesus used the adjectival form (chrestos)
in His famous invitation to "all who are weary and heavy laden"
to come to Him, take His yoke and learn from Him, for His
easy (chrestos) and (His) load is light." (Mt 11:28, 29, 30)
Jesus' yoke is pleasant,
beneficial, useful, and causes no discomfort.
Paul asks the
"do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness (chrestotes) and forbearance and patience, not knowing
that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Ro 2:4-note)
God's kindness does not excuse men of their sin but
convicts them of sin and leads them to repentance. In the next chapter
of Romans Paul uses chrestotes to contrast the attitude and
action of sinful men writing
all have turned aside. Together they
have become useless. There is none who
does good (chrestotes). There is not even one. (Ro 3:12-note)
And yet when men become beneficiaries of God's kindness
and repent and believe, they are new creatures in Christ, now fitted to
the fruit of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness (chrestotes), goodness, faithfulness." (Gal 5:22-note)
Paul in his famous definition of "love" writes that
= continually, as the habit of one's life = only possible
supernaturally, not naturally!), love is kind (chresteuomai
- also in the
present tense) (1Cor
He instructs the Colossian saints as
"those who have been chosen of
God, holy and beloved (to), put on a heart of compassion,
kindness (chrestotes), humility, gentleness and
patience." (Col 3:12-note)
Peter writes that believers
"have tasted the kindness
chrestos) of the Lord." (1Pe 2:3-note)
And in another reflection of God's amazing grace, Paul records
in the ages to come He (will) show the surpassing riches of His
grace in kindness (chrestotes) toward us in Christ
Jesus." (Ep 2:7-note)
God's kindness initiating our salvation. His
kindness continuing throughout eternity! Simply unfathomable!
Even a glimpse of the true meaning of God's kindness is
something that ought to cause us to drop to our knees in grateful
adoration as expressed by Isaac Watts in the hymn below...
I RENDER TO MY GOD
Click to play
What shall I render to my God
For all His
My feet shall visit Thine abode,
My songs address Thy throne.
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary
summarizes "kindness" as that
"state of being that
includes the attributes of loving affection, sympathy, friendliness,
patience, pleasantness, gentleness, and goodness. Kindness is a
quality shown in the way a person speaks and acts. It is more volitional
One of the most beautiful illustrations of this
volitional aspect of human kindness is King David’s treatment of
Mephibosheth (2Sa 9:1ff-note).
Scripture records David's question -- "Is there yet anyone left of
the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's
sake?" David’s desire was to show “the kindness of God” to
King Saul’s family because of his covenant with Saul’s son, Jonathan.
The young man chosen was Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who "was lame
in both feet." (2Sa 9:13-note)
If David had acted according to justice, he would have condemned
Mephibosheth who belonged to a condemned family. But David acted on the
basis of kindness, seeking out Mephibosheth, assuring him
he had no need to fear, inviting him to live in the king's palace as
family and to eat at the king’s table. This is but a veiled picture of
the infinite kindness of God! Indeed every believer has
experienced even greater kindness, for we are now children of the King
and shall revel in His majestic presence forever! What kindness!
THERE IS GLORY IN
Click to play
Since He cleansed
my heart, gave me sight for blindness,
There is glory in my soul!
Since He touched and healed me in loving kindness
There is glory in my soul!
In sum, how was God our Savior's
undeserved kindness manifest to sinners who deserved hell? Paul sums it
up this way: "And the Law came in that the transgression might
increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as
sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ro 5:20, 21-note)
This is divine kindness in action!
OF GOD OUR
SAVIOR: tou soteros hemon theou:
Our Not just
God the Savior but "our" Savior. What a glorious thought
and bold confession of possession! Can you proclaim Him as "your"
Savior? If not, then read on to see how you can and why you should.
sozo = rescue from peril > from
saos = safe; delivered) refers to
the agent of salvation or deliverance, the one who rescues, delivers,
saves and preserves. Anyone who saves or delivers can be called a
deliverer or rescuer (a soter).
The Exegetical Dictionary
In secular Greek usage the gods are
deliverers both as helpers of human beings and as protectors of
collective entities (e.g., cities); this is the case with Zeus, Apollo,
Poseidon, the Dioscuri Castor and Pollux, Heracles, Asclepius as the
helper of the sick, and Serapis; it is true also for philosophers (Dio
Chrysostom Or. 32.8) and statesmen (Thucydides v.11.1; Plutarch
Cor. 11, also in inscriptions and elsewhere). In the Hellenistic
ruler cult "theos soter" (god our savior) is attested in writings and
inscriptions as a title of the Ptolemies and Seleucids. Inscriptions in
the eastern part of the Empire called Pompey “Soter and Founder,” Caesar
“Soter of the World,” and Augustus “Soter of Humankind.” Hadrian had the
title "Soter of the Kosmos" (Balz,
H. R., & Schneider, G. . Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament.
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans)
soter as a title of divinities such as
Asclepius, the god of healing. Soter was used by the mystery religions
to refer to their divinities. At an early date soter was used as
a title of honor for deserving men, e.g., Epicurus (300BC) was called
"soter" by his followers. As discussed below, soter was used as a
designation of the "deified" ruler, e.g., Ptolemy I Soter (323-285BC).
Thayer writes that the name
was given by the ancients to deities,
especially tutelary deities, to princes, kings, and in general to men
who had conferred signal benefits upon their country, and in the more
degenerate days by way of flattery to personages of influence;
Soter was used of God as the source of salvation - the
Deliverer, the Preserver, the Protector, the Healer, the One Who rescues
man from danger or peril and unto a state of prosperity and happiness.
Soter was used of Jesus Christ as the agent sent by
God to bring deliverance to sinful mankind.
- 24x (7-8x = reference to God 17x = Christ) in NAS -Lk 1:47, 2:11; Jn
4:42; Acts 5:31, 13:23; Eph 5:23; Phil 3:20; 1Ti 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; 2Ti
1:10; Titus 1:3 4; 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6; 2Pe 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1Jn
4:14; Jude 1:25. NAS = always translated "Savior".
Soter - 24x in the
-Dt 32:15; Jdg 3:9, 15; 12:3; 1 Sam 10:19; Neh 9:27; Esther 5:1; 8:12;
Ps 24:5; 25:5; 27:1, 9; 62:2, 6; 65:5; 79:9; 95:1; Isa 12:2; 17:10;
45:15, 21; 62:11).
In the Old Testament the NAS
often has "God of my salvation" (Ps 18:46 25:5 27:9 51:14 88:1
Micah 7:7 Hab 3:18) whereas the Septuagint is usually rendered "God
Some of the first to call Jesus the
Savior were not Jews but Samaritans!...
"and they (Samaritans) were saying to
the (Samaritan) woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we
believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is
indeed the Savior of the world." (John 4:42)
Soter is a frequent title
given to the Father (as Source of salvation) and to the Son (as the
Agent of salvation) in the epistle to Titus:
"the commandment of God
our Savior" (Titus 1:3-note)
"Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior"
"showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our
Savior" (Titus 2:10-note)
"looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our
great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13-note)
"Whom (the Spirit) He (Father) poured out upon us
richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." (Titus 3:6-note).
Note the clear involvement of the
Trinity in salvation in these verses from Titus.
Kenneth Wuest writes that the name
soter "was given by the ancients to
deities, to princes, kings, and in general, to men who had conferred
signal benefits upon their country, and in the more degenerate days, by
way of flattery, to personages of influence."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
The Romans looked
upon their emperor as a "savior" in that he held mankind together
under the great Roman power, providing peace and order, prosperity and
protection. In the Cult of Caesar, the state religion of Rome, the
emperor was actually known as the "Saviour of the world" (at
least 8 Roman emperors carried this title)! He was a "Saviour" in
that he held mankind together under the great Roman power, providing
peace and order, prosperity and protection. In contrast to the Cult of
the Caesar, was the "Cult of Christ", in which the Lord Jesus was
worshipped as the Saviour God. The former ruled over the temporal
affairs of his subjects and was one of their gods. The latter was
Saviour in the sense that He saved the believer’s soul from sin and
exercised a spiritual control over his life. To recognize our God as the
Saviour of the world instead of the Emperor was a capital offense, for
this recognition was a blow at the very heart of the Roman Empire and
explains the reason for the bloody persecution of Christians.
who healed others were referred to in the Greek culture as "saviors". Human physicians
might be able to heal physical sickness but only the Great Physician can
heal sin sickness. As alluded to above, in Greek mythology various gods were called
an epithet applied especially to Asclepius, the "god of healing".
How tragic to call mere mortals and figments of men's imagination "saviors".
God pronounced judgment long ago on those who worship these so-called "saviors"
They have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden
idol, and pray to a god who cannot save (Hebrew word
is yasha from which is derived Yeshua the Hebrew
equivalent of "Jesus"!). (Isa 45:20b)
Soter is also used 24 times in the Greek
translation of the OT (Septuagint), virtually always describing God as Savior. For example,
Psalm 27:1 translated from the Greek
reads "The Lord is my light and my Saviour" compared to
the translation from Hebrew -- "The LORD is my light and my
Other OT uses
soter describing God
- Dt 32:15; 1Sa10:19; Neh 9:27; Ps 24:5; 25:5; 27:1, 9; 62:2, 6; 65:5;
79:9; 95:1; Isa12:2; 17:10; 45:15,21; 62:11; Mic7:7; Hab 3:18)
AND HIS LOVE
FOR MANKIND APPEARED: kai e philanthropia epephane (3SAPI): (Titus
1:3; 2:10; 1Ti1:1; 2:3; 4:10) (Titus 2:11; 2Ti1:10; Heb 9:26)
More literally "His philanthropy for
mankind shined forth"
Our salvation in one sense had its
"historical starting point" when "the kindness of God our Saviour and
His love for mankind appeared" which marks the incarnation and birth
of Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. However God is not
constricted by time as we are and in His great plan and sovereignty He
us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph 1:4-note)
Our eternal destiny was determined and sealed before the world began.
Paul opened the letter to Titus with a declaration of
"the hope of
eternal life, which God, Who cannot lie, promised long ages ago."
In 2 Timothy Paul writes that God
"has saved us and called us with a
holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own
purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all
eternity ("before the beginning of time" NIV, "before time
began" NKJV)" (2Ti 1:9-note)
writes that "there was a Divine interposition. The
love and kindness of God our Saviour, which had always existed, at
length “appeared” when God, in the person of His Son, came hither, met
our iniquities hand to hand, and overcame their terrible power, that we
also might overcome.
Love for mankind
phílos = friend or phileō = to have affection for +
anthropos = man; English = philanthropy = the desire to promote
the welfare of others, especially through the donation of money to good
causes) means benevolence or a friendly disposition toward people
(friendliness). It describes an affectionate concern for mankind.
Webster defines philanthropy
as "goodwill to fellowmen; especially active effort to promote human
welfare" -- An apt description of what God does for man in
In the present
context philanthropia describes God's compassion, especially the
eagerness to deliver someone from pain, trouble, or danger. It involves
more than mere emotion and always finds a way to express itself in some
form of helpfulness. It is God's uninfluenced
and unearned friendly disposition, affectionate concern for and interest
in mankind (the very ones who outside of Christ who are "haters of God",
Ro 1:30-note, "enemies"
Ro 5:10-note, "alienated and hostile in
mind" Col 1:21-note!).
Amazing grace that loves and saves such wretches as we!
this word well, for he himself had twice experienced philanthropia
from unsaved Gentiles, Luke recording that before Paul boarded the ship
to be taken as a prisoner to Rome, the centurion
Julius treated Paul
with consideration (the related word philanthropos)
and allowed him to go to his friends and receive care. (Acts 27:3)
Note the benevolent disposition of philanthropy
is associated with a beneficial action, so it's not really always "the
thought that counts" for actions really do "speak louder than
words"! Again, after suffering shipwreck off the coast of
Malta and managing to safely reach shore, just as God had promised (Acts
27:22, 23, 24, 25, 26),
Luke records that the unregenerate
natives showed us (Paul and
Luke) extraordinary (uncommon, unusual, unexpected) kindness (philanthropia) for because of the rain that
had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us
all. (Acts 28:2)
Once again their philanthropy spoke through their kind actions.
All men are "shipwrecked", helpless (Ro 5:6-note)
and lost without God's philanthropia. And yet God stood eternally
ready to help and welcome humanity drowning in the sea of sin, Scripture
God demonstrates (present
tense - continually!)
His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." (Ro 5:8-note)
for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have
eternal life. (John 3:16)
Hiebert - God's 'love-toward-man'
(our English word "philanthropy") is expressive of the fact of
His feeling of pity toward man and that it extends to all men. The
divine attitude thus stands in sharp contrast to the human disposition
pictured in v3. Although God hates the sinner's sin, He loves the sinner
and yearns to save him. God was the first great Philanthropist. True
human philanthropy must be rooted in the divine love. "The goodness and
love of God to man on which our salvation is based, should lead us to
show benevolence and gentleness to all men." (Huther)."
Barclay writes that "philanthrōpía...is
defined as love of man as man. The Greeks thought much of this beautiful
word. They used it for the good man’s kindliness to his equals, for a
good king’s graciousness to his subjects, for a generous man’s active
pity for those in any kind of distress, and specially for the compassion
which made a man ransom a fellow-man when he had fallen into captivity.
3 Commentary - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
Milne comments that "Since
philanthropy was publicly prized and praised by imperial rulers, its
inclusion here may be meant to highlight the special and altogether
superior type of philanthropy that lies at the heart of the Christian
religion. Unlike the gods of the pagan cults, the God of Christianity is
a God who really cares about men and women. (Focus on the Bible: 1
Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus)
Appeared (2014) (epiphaino
from epí = over, upon + phaíno
= to shine) literally means to shine upon. It means to bring to light or
to show upon. In the passive (as in the present verse) epiphaino means to
appear or become visible. For example Luke recorded that "neither sun
nor stars appeared" (Acts 27:20).
Figuratively epiphaino is
equivalent to become clearly known or to show oneself as did God's
kindness and His love for mankind here in Titus 3:4. God our Savior's
kindness and love "has shined upon" us in the incarnation of the
Messiah, Christ Jesus.
The ideas conveyed by
epiphaino include to cause something to be
seen, to give light to something (Luke 1:79), to make one's presence
known and so to become apparent (Acts 27:20) and finally to show oneself
or make an appearance (eg, as did God's grace in
Titus 2:10 (note).
Epiphaino - 4x in NAS -Luke
1:79; Acts 27:20; Titus 2:11; 3:4 NAS = appeared , 3; shine, 1.
aorist tense points to the incarnation as occurring at a specific point of
time in history. Today we divide time as BC/AD based on this historical
fact. Epiphaino in the
means to show
oneself openly or before others, and in secular writing was often
associated with the idea of a sudden or unexpected appearance.
Interestingly, Messiah's epiphany should not have been
unexpected because of over 300 OT Messianic prophecies and in fact was
not unexpected by men such as "Simeon (who) was righteous and
devout" and who was "looking for (present tense -
continually, earnestly, expectantly) the consolation of Israel" (what a beautiful Name for the Messiah!) (Lk
and women such as the prophetess Anna who never left the Temple and
to speak of Him (the Messiah) to all those who were
(earnestly and expectantly) looking for the redemption of Jerusalem (another beautiful Name for Messiah!) (Lk
2:36, 37, 38).
In Greek culture epiphaino
was used to describe the visible manifestation of a hidden deity to men
in order to bring help and deliverance. Paul extracted epiphaino
from this pagan, mythological morass and elevated its use in this
epistle in his description of the "epiphany" par
excellence. Indeed, Christ's epiphany was not mythological
but soteriological (theology of salvation) for it made available true
help and deliverance to mankind held fast by the power of sin.
Our English word epiphany (from epiphaino) is
defined by Webster as "an appearance or manifestation especially of a
divine being; a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the
essential nature or meaning of something; an illuminating discovery; a
revealing scene or moment."
The use of the verb appeared
clearly "implies that these qualities of God (kindness, philanthropy) were always
there but received their clear manifestation in the coming of Christ and
the consequent proclamation of the Gospel. Glimpses of these
characteristics had been given in the OT, but it was especially in the
proclamation of the Gospel that was announced to the world this
benignity of "God our Saviour. (Hiebert)
Luke uses epiphaino
in his beautiful description of the incarnation of the Christ,
explaining that salvation was made possible "because of the tender
mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise (Dayspring -
Messiah's coming would be like coming of dawn, His light driving away
darkness of sin, cf Jn 8:12) from on high shall visit us,
to shine upon (epiphaino) those who sit in
darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of
peace." (Luke 1:78, 79)
Milne writes that "When everything on the human plane was pitch–dark and hopeless, the God
of love burst into the darkness of this world in the person of his
earth–born Son, in a definitive moment of divine epiphany. His advent
was like the dawning of a bright new day, the beginning of a truly new
age. (Milne, D. J. Focus On The Bible: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus)
The first use of epiphaino
in the Greek translation of the
(LXX) records that Jacob "built
there an altar, and called the name of the place Bethel for there God
appeared (epiphaino) to him..." (Ge 35:7)
Another use is in the well known Aaronic blessing --
The Lord make
His face to shine upon (epiphaino) thee, and have
mercy upon thee. (Nu 6:25)
It is interesting that a frequent prayer in the psalms is for God to
make His face shine (epiphaino) upon His servants (see Ps 31:16, 67:1,
80:3, 80:7, 80:19, 119:135)
Three times in Psalm
80, the psalmist pleads with God to
cause Thy face to shine upon (epiphaino) us and we will be
Have you ever prayed for God to shine His face upon you? You might
consider doing so even as your read this note. Note how the psalmist
links God's shining with God's salvation just as Paul does in this
section of Titus.
previous chapter Paul declared that
the grace of God has appeared
(epiphaino), bringing salvation to all men (Titus 2:11-note).
Clearly this glorious shining forth of God's grace was another way of
picturing the incarnation of Christ, the Source of grace for salvation
of sinners. Paul links grace with Christ in his closing benediction to
the Corinthians asking that
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you
all. (2Cor 13:14)
Writing to his young protégé Timothy, Paul instructed him that although
grace in Christ Jesus was granted in eternity past
grace) has been revealed (openly shown and made known) by the
appearing (epiphaneia, noun form of epiphaino) of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death, and brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel. (2Ti 1:10-note)
Clarke summarizes this section
God the Savior flows from God the
Philanthropist. Where love is it will be active, and will show
itself. So the philanthropy of God appeared, or it shone out, in the
incarnation of Jesus Christ, and in His giving His life for the life of
Paul points to the incarnation of Christ Jesus Who stepped out of
eternity, into time, in the form of a man, shining forth
openly and making known His grace, kindness
and love and making salvation available to all men. As the
writer of Hebrews puts it
now once at the consummation of the ages He (Jesus) has been manifested
to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Heb 9:26-note).
Peter adds that Christ
"was foreknown before
the foundation of the world, but has appeared (brought out to public
view at a given time in history) in these last times for the sake of
you" (1Pe 1:20-note)
The incarnation of Christ is a
historical event testified to by numerous witnesses and is the bedrock
truth for the doctrine that follows.
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F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily -
THE emphasis must surely
rest on appeared. Kindness and love toward man were always in the heart
of God, but they were not clearly revealed. They might have been
perceived in the order of nature and human life; but there are stormy
winds as well as zephyrs in the one--and in the other deaths as well as
births; knells of hope as well as marriage peals. But in Jesus the true
heart of God toward man was manifested. It is thus in human life.
At first God blessed us
anonymously.--In Cowper's memoirs we read how Theodora, his cousin,
pursued him throughout his sad life with her gifts; but they always came
without indication of their source. As the poet unwrapped his new-come
treasure, he would say, "Dear Anonymous has come again; God bless him."
So, through years of thoughtless childhood, and afterward in opening
youth, we were the recipients of myriads of gifts contrived with the
most exquisite skill to give us pleasure; but we did not trace them to
their source. They were from God.
Since then His grace and loving
kindness have appeared.--We have had eyes to see, and hearts to
understand. The Anonymous Benefactor is now recognized as our Father and
Friend. We no longer praise our earthly loves for our cornfields and
vineyards, but our Heavenly Spouse (Hosea 2.). In the breaking of the
bread we have recognized the Son of God, and we know now who it was that
walked with us along the path of life, and why our hearts burned.
Oh to grace how
great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be;
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
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A LITTLE KINDER - Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), one of
the world's leading intellects, was visiting with Houston Smith, a
well-known professor of philosophy and religion. As they were driving to
an engagement, Huxley said, "You know, Houston, it's rather embarrassing
to have spent one's entire lifetime pondering the human condition and .
. . find that I really don't have anything more profound to pass on by
way of advice than, 'Try to be a little kinder.'"
The apostle Paul saw kindness in a different light. In Ephesians 4:32,
he linked being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving with the way God has
treated us. In Titus 3:4, he said that it was "the kindness and the love
of God" that provided eternal salvation.
In a world where callous thoughtlessness and selfish indifference are
all too common, kindness can make our lives fruitful when motivated by
Christlike love. When our walk harmonizes with our words of witness, it
will make a compelling impact on others by pointing them to the kind of
love God has for them in Jesus Christ. If Huxley had learned what Paul
had learned, he would have seen that trying to be a little kinder is one
of the most profound truths of all.
What motivates us to try? There's no better reason than the love of God
as shown to us by Jesus. —Vernon C Grounds (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
He saw me ruined by the fall,
Yet loved me notwithstanding all;
He saved me from my lost estate,
His lovingkindness, oh, how great! —Medley
Kindness is treating others
the way God treats you