“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” ~ Titus 2:11-12
The implications of this verse are truly amazing. It declares that ALL the goodness, ALL the morality that is seen in EVERY man, woman and child ever born and to be born comes from the Grace of God! Therefore, EVERYONE in the past and in the future (1) has had a personal interaction with God (knows God exists) and (2) is aware of the truth of God (knows God is Righteous). In other words:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” ~ Romans 1:18-21
NOTE: “…so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20b). There is no excuse for not knowing God. None!
Therefore, knowledge of God and Godliness is not what the world lacks; rather the world lacks Salvation. As our text shows, the Grace that brings salvation is the same Grace the imbued knowledge. Knowledge is given, but salvation is offered.
To understand this, consider Cornelius who is described as a God-fearing man who knew nothing of salvation in Jesus (Acts 10:1-8). Therefore, God sent Peter (Acts 10:9-48) to tell Cornelius the Good News of redemption through Jesus Christ. Despite living in a largely pagan society, Cornelius responded positively to the Grace of God working within him, making him aware of God and God’s cal to righteousness. Cornelius accepted the truth revealed by God’s grace and sought to worship God, and God led him into salvation.
Therefore, mankind’s problem isn’t fundamentally one of knowledge. For, as our text points out, God has already revealed Himself to each of us. Rather the issue that besets the world is one of will. We know God exists, we know what is right. But will we seek God? Will we humbly accept His Way and His Salvation?
Consequently, (with due respect to Christian apologists) the evangelical work of the Church is not proving the existence of God. Rather the evangelical work of the Church is revealing the saving work of Jesus Christ by both word and deed (Matthew 26:18-20, Matthew 5:16). The Light that is Jesus must shine through Believers. So that those who are willing to surrender their will to God’s Will, can find The Way to Salvation (John 14:6), just like Cornelius: No excuses!