For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,…
Power is calculable by the results it yields, but if we are attempting to estimate the force of a projectile, we shall take account not only of the velocity at which it moves, but also of the quality and tenacity of the resisting material which it shows itself competent to penetrate. One evidence of the vital energy of Christianity is shown in this, that in all its movements and demands and prohibitions, it runs steadily counter to the whole grain of natural desire. Whatever Christianity has done or may yet be doing in the world, it is doing it all in the teeth of spontaneous impulse. It is a system that requires us to love our neighbour as we do ourselves. It enjoins upon us to crucify our affections and lusts. It is a religion that is contented with nothing less than sacrifice. It meets the soul at the level of its higher needs, to be sure; but that is not the level at which we find it our first impulse to live. Christianity prohibits our doing a host of things that we would like to do, and requires us to do another host of things that we have no disposition to do. Every inch that Christianity has gained, or may still be gaining, it has gained by a square fight. All advance that it has made has been so much conquest on the one side, over against so much reluctant and contested surrender on the other. In estimating the draught power of a locomotive, we must consider not only the rate at which it moves and the tons of freight it drags, but the grade at which it is pulling. If I can row eight miles an hour, it is important to know whether I can do it with the wind, or in the teeth of it. There is nothing evangelical in a man's first impulses. So in estimating the inherent vigour of Christianity, it must be studiously considered that in all its advances it has steadily trained upon it the charged and primed artillery of man's natural lust and congenital ambition. All the way from the last man that became a Christian, back to Peter who forsook his fishing tackle at the Lord's call, the process of becoming a Christian has been a process of surrender. Count that carefully in calculating the spiritual dynamics of the doctrine of the Nazarene.
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,