“How is Christ the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe?”
“…the living God…is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Tim. 4:10).
“…the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14), but “it pleased God…to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). So God is the potential Saviour of all, and the particular Saviour of all that believe. Righteousness is offered “unto all,” but it only comes “upon all them that believe” (Rom. 3:22).
But in the context of 1 Timothy 4:10, it is possible Paul had even more than this in mind. In Verse 16, he told Timothy:
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Since Timothy was already saved from his sins, Paul must be saying he could save himself and his hearers from all the misery and heartache that not taking heed to Pauline doctrine always brings. Unsaved men can benefit from this kind of salvation as well.
Remember, a few verses earlier, Paul told believers that “godliness is profitable… having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (v. 8). Every believer knows that living a godly life will yield the profit of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the life to come. But godliness also profits richly in this life as well. Berean Bible Society founder Pastor C. R. Stam used to say that if he died and found out that Christianity was all a lie, that there was no life after death or rewards in the life to come, he wouldn’t regret a moment of the life he had lived, for it is the richest, most rewarding and satisfying life that can be lived.
But even unbelievers know by experience that “the way of transgressors is hard” (Prov. 13:15), and that “virtue is its own reward.” So Christ can save them from misery and heartache as well, as they inadvertantly take heed to “the doctrine that is according to godliness” (1 Tim. 6:3).
And so, just as the sun and the rain that God gives all men can save unsaved men from the deprivation they would know without these things in life (Matt. 5:45; Acts 17:17), adhering to Christian principles can save unsaved men from misery and heartache in life. That makes God “the Saviour of all men,” but specially of them that believe, for them that believe will also be saved from an eternity in the lake of fire in the life which is to come.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.