For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,…
1. A choice and excellent description of the gospel; it is the grace of God, that is the doctrine of God's free grace and gratuitous favour declared in Christ to poor sinners.
2. The joyful message which the gospel brings, and that is salvation; the gospel makes a gracious tender of salvation, and that universally to lost and undone sinners.
3. The clear light and evidence that it does hold forth this message in and by; it has appeared or shined forth like the day star or the rising sun.
4. The extent of its glorious beams, how far they reach. It is tendered to all without restriction or limitation.
(1) As to nations, Jew or Gentile.
(2) As to persons, rich or poor, bond or free.
(3) Without restriction in reference to the degree of their graces.
5. The great lesson which the gospel teaches, negative and positive.
(a) Negative, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; where, by ungodliness, understand all sins committed against the first table; by worldly lusts, all sins committed against the second table; called worldly lusts because the object of them is worldly things, and because they are the lusts of worldly men.
(b) Positive, to live:(1) Soberly: he begins with our duty to ourselves, then to our neighbour, and last of all to God, and so proceeds from the easier to the harder duties: and observe the connection, soberly and righteously and godly, not disjunctively; as if to live soberly, righteously, or in pretence godly, were sufficient. A sobriety in speech, in behaviour, in apparel, in eating and drinking, in recreations, and in the enjoyment of lawful satisfactions.
(2) Righteously, exercising justice and charity towards our neighbour; he that is uncharitable is unjust and unrighteous, and the unrighteous shall no more enter into the kingdom of God than the unholy; and all a person's pretences to godliness are but hypocrisy without righteousness toward our neighbour.
(3) Godly, godliness has an internal and external part; the internal and inward part of godliness consists in a right knowledge of Him, in a fervent love unto Him, in an entire trust and confidence in Him, in an holy fear to offend Him, in subjecting our wills entirely to Him, in holy longings for the fruition and enjoyment of Him. The external and outward part of godliness consists in adoration and bodily worship; this is due to God from us; He was the Creator of the body as well as of the soul, and will glorify the body as well as the soul; therefore we are to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits, which are the Lord's.
6. The time when and the place where this lesson is to be learned, in this present world. Here is the place, and now is the time when this duty of living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world is to be performed by us. Learn, that a sober, righteous, and godly life in this present world is absolutely necessary in order to our obtaining the happiness and glory of the world to come.
(W. Burkitt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,