“… God and Saviour who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
For an aeroplane to fly there are a number of laws that are taken into consideration and are either utilised or need to be overcome. The laws that most readily come to mind are the law of aerodynamics and the law of gravity. The law of gravity will not go away and neither does the law of aerodynamics cease to exist even if nothing is utilising it. They always remain. We cannot simply turn them off as we do a light in our home.
The law of aerodynamics requires motion to be effective and energy is needed to effect that motion. In gliders that energy comes from the sun but most aeroplanes depend on engines to give them the required motion to bring the law of aerodynamics into effect.
In the verse quoted above Paul writes to Timothy clearly stating that God’s will is that every person should be saved. Peter and the writer of Hebrews write the same thing (2 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 10:10; cf Romans 6:10). Equally clear in the Bible is that few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-15).
There are two laws in the Gospel of Christ that act in relation to each other much like the laws of gravity and aerodynamics. If the law of aerodynamics is not utilised an object will inevitably succumb to the law of gravity. For an aeroplane and its passengers that can be catastrophic. In like manner if the law of grace in Christ Jesus is not utilised a person succumbs to the law of God’s holiness and that is also catastrophic. For a plane to overcome gravity it requires energy. For a person to escape the law of sin and death he/she requires the grace of God through Jesus Christ (vs 5, 6).
Whether an aeroplane in the air or a sinner before our Holy God, whatever happens the laws are fulfilled. If an aeroplane crashes all the laws pertaining to it are fulfilled. It crashed because it did not have the power to bring the law of aerodynamics into effect. When a person is not saved all the laws of God are fulfilled. If a person is not saved it is because he/she had no power to bring the law of grace and forgiveness into effect.
It is God’s will that all be saved but it is only those who receive the grace of God in Jesus Christ who will be saved from sin and death. The reason for this is that He alone took away mankind’s sin and therefore He alone is the Mediator between God and men (v 5). Jesus Christ alone has the power to deal with man’s sinfulness. As Luke writes, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). It was His blood alone that was shed on the cross at Calvary.
We who have received the grace of God in Jesus Christ now have the privilege and responsibility to tell others so that they may come to the knowledge of the truth and receive the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, just as we have been so graced.