Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 4:9-10 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Application: Paul, having just pointed out that we should give ourselves to those things that matter eternally, re-clarifying the importance of this endeavor Paul states it more simply saying it is worthy to be trusted, and it is for this very reason that believers persist even when it is so difficult, because it is based on the hope “You” give Lord.
hope: - ἐλπίζω elpízō; To hope, expect with desire.
Wuest states: Literally, “we have set our hope upon with the present result that it is a settled hope.”
That hope is based on the reality that Christ came, paid the sacrifice and is coming back for those that have entered into His grace and become children of God. Then Paul goes on to make an interesting statement:
God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
What could this mean? Again Wuest helps us by bringing out the real issue:
Paul says that the Christian God is the Saviour of all men. This might appear to teach universalism, and hence needs careful exegesis. The word “Saviour” (sōtēr (σωτηρ)) means “saviour, deliverer, preserver.” The name 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 (Thayer). In the Cult of the Caesar, the state religion of the Roman Empire, the reigning emperor was called “saviour of the world,” in the sense that he was the preserver of mankind by reason of his beneficent reign. One could find in this statement the idea that God is the Preserver of the entire human race in the sense of His providential care. But the context, which brings in the idea of faith, seems to indicate that the idea of salvation from sin and the impartation of eternal life is the function here of God as Saviour. He is Saviour of all men in the sense that our Lord is “the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). He is the actual Saviour of those who believe, and the potential Saviour of the unbeliever in the sense that He has provided a salvation at the Cross for the sinner, and stands ready to save that sinner when the latter places his faith in the Lord Jesus.
Either concept works and keeps the integrity of the Word. If we understand this to be that God is the preserver of all men and especially the believers, it is true. No one has life unless God sustains them. He controls that, and even if no one understands that, it does not make it less true. If on the other hand Paul means that God is the Eternal Savior of all men, that is also true. Jesus paid the debt of all sin, every person’s sin has been paid for, but not every person’s debt has been forgiven because each person must collect that forgiveness for themselves. Therefore, it is right that we see God as the Savior of all men, due to the fact that He has supplied the opportunity to be forgiven and saved to all mankind, whether they take advantage of that is another issue. How it must hurt You Lord when people who have had all their sin paid for refuse the gift offered only to have their eternities forever separated from their Creator.
Meditation Questions: Do you see that God grants life, and only He can do that? Do you believe Jesus paid for all sin? Why? Why not? Do you believe anyone can be forgiven? Why? Why not? If Jesus paid for all sin why does anyone go to hell? Do you believe in hell? Why? Why not? What does God owe us? Is God fair? Why do you feel that way? What is “fair”? Is it fair that Jesus paid for sin He did not commit? What is that called? Have you talked to God about your sin? Why? Why not?