For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
Paul is instructing the Church about what God has done for everyone. This is not teaching Universalism. That is a Red Herring argument by some 5-Point Calvinists to discredit Scripture so that we can ignore its teaching altogether. Rather, this teaches that God has brought salvation to all men, making it possible for anyone to be saved, through the grace of God poured out at Calvary. However, some Calvinists can get very animated over the notion that Calvary merely makes salvation possible, insisting instead that it saved unilaterally those of the Calvinistic elect for whom it was intended.
The 4-Point Calvinists, however, disagree:
4-Point Calvinist, William MacDonald: “God’s grace appeared when the Lord Jesus visited our planet and especially when He gave Himself for our sins. He appeared for the salvation of all men. His substitutionary work is sufficient for the redemption of all. A bona fide offer of pardon and forgiveness is made to all. But only those who truly receive Him as Lord and Savior are saved. There is no suggestion here or elsewhere in the Bible that everyone will be saved at last. Universal salvation is a lie of the devil.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2141, emphasis mine)
But if Jesus didn’t die for everyone, as per the 5-Point Calvinist doctrine a of Limited Atonement, then what would God be offering to those whom He allegedly never died for? This is why some 5-Point Calvinists insist that the Gospel is not an offer, but a command, and a command that only those who are of the secret Elect will be irresistibly enabled to accept.
Question: What is the “grace of God”?
Answer: Jesus Christ is the Grace of God, whom the Father had given to the world for the salvation of all men, so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
Some Calvinists insist that the “grace of God” is Election, such that if a person denies Calvinistic Election, he has denied the “grace of God”:
Sovereign Grace Church: “Because God’s election and God’s grace cannot be separated, to believe in God’s grace in the biblical sense is to believe in the ‘doctrine of election’. If ‘the doctrine of election’ is not ‘truth essential to salvation’, then the ‘doctrine of grace’ is not truth essential to salvation.” (http://www.sgc-gettysburg.org/writings/argument2.asp)
What should we suppose then, that [Election] has appeared, bringing salvation to all men? 5-Point Calvinists would agree, because they believe that “all men” means “some from of all types of men,” and and not necessarily everyone in general. However, this blows up by the time you get to Titus 3:1-2.
As with 1st Timothy 2:4 and 4:10, John Calvin argues that “all men” means “all [races of] men,” collectively but not individually or distributively:
John Calvin: “Paul specifically states that salvation comes to all men, keeping in mind especially the slaves he has just been talking about. Paul does not mean individuals but rather all kinds of people with their diverse ways of life, and he lays great emphasis on the fact that God’s grace has graciously come down even to slaves. Since God does not despise even the lowest and most degraded people, we would be most foolish to be slow and negligent to embrace his goodness.” (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.196, emphasis mine)
However, employing a hostile witness, Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon states: “What is the election of a nation but the election of so many units, of so many people? and it is tantamount to the same thing as the particular election of individuals.” (Jacob and Esau, emphasis mine)
If God merely wants all nations to be saved, as Calvin argues, then by Spurgeon’s reasoning, it follows that God wants all individuals to be saved, because what is a nation but so many units of so many people?, which is tantamount to the same thing as individuals because a nation is the sum of its parts.
Titus 3:1-2: “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”
Yes, Paul is writing to Christians, but he is instructing Christians on how to deal with people, saying not to malign anyone, being respectful towards all men. But if all men just means “some from of all types,” such as the Calvinistic Elect types, then you could be malicious and disrespectful towards everyone else. It’s only when you understand everyone to mean everyone that the verse makes any sense, and when you filter that understanding of the term “all men” back into Titus 2:11, it becomes clear that the grace of God in Christ has appeared to everyone, rather than “some from of all types.”
John Goodwin: “From the context, in the words immediately following, wherein the proper end or ducture of this ‘saving grace of God,’ now discovered, is declared thus: ‘Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.’ If, then, this saving grace of God teacheth...‘all men’ without exception...then must the savingness of it necessarily be of equal extent within that property. ... Otherwise we must say that there are some men who ought not, who are no ways bound, to learn any of these things from the gospel, nor to practise them upon any account of grace or love tendered herein from God unto them: which, I suppose, is a saying too hard for any considering man to digest.” (Redemption Redeemed, pp.132-133, emphasis mine)
Interpreting “all men” as meaning collectively but not distributively, has unacceptable consequences, such as when Romans 12:18 states: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” So what should we conclude?, that for our part, we are to be at peace with people of various races, but not with any man in particular? What kind of advice is that? Listen, for your part, you are to be at peace with all men, so far as it is up to you. Similarly, the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to everyone without exception, that is, both collectively and distributively, so that whomever believes, may receive the grace of His provision at Calvary. It’s fairly straight-forward, and is very similar to 1st Timothy 2:4, in terms of its relation to 1st Timothy 4:10.