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Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 46) - 2Ti 3:15; Tit 2:11-12

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For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse.

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace

113. 2Ti 3:15
A. "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2Ti 3:15)
B. Does this verse teach that believing what the scriptures say about Jesus is a means of acquiring eternal salvation?
C. First of all, the verse says that the scriptures are able, not were able, or did, make Timothy wise unto salvation.
i. Paul was not saying that Timothy's childhood knowledge of the scriptures gave him eternal salvation.
ii. He was saying that the scriptures which Timothy knew from a child are able (were in the past and continue to be in the present) to make him wise unto salvation.
iii. Paul was not telling Timothy, who was an ordained minister with an unfeigned faith (2Ti 1:5), and who possessed eternal life (1Ti 6:12), how to "get saved", because he already was saved (2Ti 1:9).
iv. Therefore, the scriptures being able to make Timothy wise unto salvation doesn't mean they could give him (or gave him) salvation.
D. To be made wise unto something means to know or understand something.
i. Wise adj. - 1. a. Having or exercising sound judgement or discernment; capable of judging truly concerning what is right or fitting, and disposed to act accordingly; having the ability to perceive and adopt the best means for accomplishing an end; characterized by good sense and prudence. 3. a. Having knowledge, well-informed; instructed, learned (in, earlier of, upon). (b) colloq. (orig. U.S.). to be (or get) wise to, to be (or become) aware of;
ii. Paul exhorted the brethren to be wise unto that which is good (Rom 16:19).
a. In other words, Paul wanted the brethren to be knowledgeable and understanding of that which was good.
b. Unfortunately God's children are too often just the opposite; they have no knowledge of how to do good, but are wise to do evil (Jer 4:22).
iii. Through faith, the scriptures are able to make one knowledgeable and understanding of (wise unto) Christ's salvation (2Ti 3:15).
a. The gospel brings life and immorality (salvation) to light (2Ti 1:10).
b. The gospel is the light which shines in our hearts to give us the knowledge of the glory of God (2Co 4:6 c/w 2Pe 1:19).
c. The gospel gives knowledge of salvation to God's people (Luk 1:77).

114. Tit 2:11-12
A. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" (Tit 2:11-12)
B. Does Tit 2:11 teach universal redemption or general atonement - that God saves, or offers to save, the entire human race (all men)?
i. No, it doesn't.
ii. It says that the grace of God brings salvation, not offers salvation.
iii. God hath saved us by His grace, not offered to save us (2Ti 1:9).
iv. It says that the grace of God hath appeared to all men.
a. Appear v. - 1. To come forth into view, as from a place or state of concealment, or from a distance; to become visible.
b. But not everyone can see the kingdom of God, but only those who are born again (Joh 3:3).
C. Who are the all men to whom the grace of God hath appeared?
i. "All men" doesn't always refer to the entire human race (Act 25:24). (See Section II,11 on Universal Language)
ii. The verses following verse 11 tell us who the "all men" are to whom the grace of God appeared.
iii. Paul said it teaches us that we should live righteously and godly in this world (Tit 2:12).
iv. He said that we are to look for the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us (Tit 2:13-14).
a. Who are the "all men" for whom Jesus gave Himself and of whom He is the Saviour?
b. They are his people (Mat 1:21).
c. They are his sheep (not goats) (Joh 10:11,15 c/w Mat 25:32-33,41).
d. They are his church (Eph 5:23, 25-27).
e. They are his elect whom the Father gave Him (Eph 1:4 c/w Joh 17:2-3).
f. They are his peculiar people (Tit 2:14).
g. Peculiar adj. - 1. That is one's own private property; that belongs or pertains to, or characterizes, an individual person, place, or thing, or group of persons or things, as distinct from others. Const. with preceding possessive (my own, the king's own), or with to. peculiar to now always denotes ‘belonging exclusively to’; formerly it might denote ‘belonging specially to’.
h. Jesus is not the Saviour of the entire human race (2Th 1:7-9).
v. The "all men" to whom the grace of God hath appeared are all men distributively, not collectively; they are men out of every nation (Rev 5:9).
a. The doctrine of God our Saviour (Tit 2:10) was once hidden from the Gentiles (Psa 147:19-20; Eph 3:5) and even from a lot of righteous Jews (Mat 13:17), but after the resurrection of Christ it was preached to all the world (Col 1:6) and God commands all men everywhere to repent (Act 17:30).
b. The gospel was made known to "all sorts of men, of every nation, of every age and sex, of every state and condition, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, masters and servants; which sense well agrees with the context" (John Gill) (Tit 2:9-10).

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace