The First Sunday After Epiphany
1 Timothy 4:10
For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men…

Whether, then, we take the words "the living God" in our text to apply to Christ Himself, or to the Father acting by Christ, it is equally asserted that Christ is the Saviour of all men: that the salvation which He wrought is, in and of itself, co-extensive with the race of man. What He did, He did for, and in the stead of, all men. If we wish to corroborate this by further Scripture proof, we have it in abundance. I will take but three of the plainest passages. St. John in his first Epistle, 1 John 2:1, 2. St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:14. In Romans 5:10 he goes further into the same truth. See also 1 Corinthians 15:22. Adam, when he came fresh from the hands of God, was the head and root of man kind. He was mankind. She who was to be a helpmeet for him was not created a separate being, but was taken out of him. The words spoken of him apply to the whole human race. The responsibility of the whole race rested upon him. When he became disobedient, all fell. Figure to yourselves — and it is very easy to do so, from the many analogies which nature furnishes — this constitution of all mankind in Adam: for it is the very best of all exponents of the nature of Christ's standing in our flesh, and Christ's work in our flesh: with this great difference indeed, inherent in the very nature of the case, that the one work in its process and result is purely physical, the other spiritual as well. The race, in its natural constitution in Adam, i.e., as each member of it is born into the world and lives in the world naturally, is alien from and guilty before God: has lost the power of pleasing God: cannot work out its own salvation in or by any one of its members; all being involved in the same universal ruin. "In Adam all die." Now that rescue must not, cannot in God's arrangements, come from without. It must come upon mankind from within. God's law respecting us is, that all amendment, all purifying, all renewal, should spring from among, and take into itself and penetrate by its influence, the inner faculties and powers wherewith He has endowed our nature. We know that our redemption was effected by the eternal Son of God becoming incarnate in our flesh. Now suppose for a moment that He, the Son of God, had become an individual personal man, bounded by His own responsibilities, His own capacities, His own past, and present, and future. If He had thus become a personal man, not one of His acts would have had any more reference to you or me than the acts of Abraham, or David, or St. Paul, or St. Peter have. He might have set us an example ever so bright; might have undergone sufferings ever so bitter; might have won a triumph ever so glorious; and we should merely have stood and looked on from without. No redemption, no renovation of our nature could by any possibility have been made. And He, thus being the Divine Son of God, and having become the Son of man, was no longer an individual man, bounded by the narrow lines and limits of His own personality, but was and is God manifest in the flesh; a sound and righteous Head of our whole nature, just as Adam was its first and sinful head. Hence it is, that whatever He does, has so large a significance. Hence, that when He fulfils the law, His righteousness is accepted as ours. He did nothing, if He did not the whole. He redeemed none, if He redeemed not all. If there existed on earth one son or daughter of Adam not redeemed by Christ, then He, who had taken it upon Him to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, had not accomplished His work, and had died in vain. And let us see what this universality of redemption implies, as regards the sons of men themselves. It enables the preacher of good tidings to come to every son and daughter of Adam, every out cast and degraded one of our race, and at once to lay before them Christ as theirs, if they will believe on Him. It is the key, and the only key, to the fact of justification by faith. "Believe, and thou shalt be saved." Why? Believe in a Man who died and rose again, and thou shalt be saved? Now this at once brings us to the second part of our text. In the broad sense on which we have hitherto been insisting, Christ is the Saviour of all men: of the whole of mankind. All have an equal part and right in Christ. And on this foundation fact, the whole mission work of the gospel is founded. We are to go into all the world, and we are to pro claim the glad tidings to every creature. That redemption by Christ, which is as wide as the earth, as free as the air, as universal as humanity, is no mere physical amendment which has passed on our whole race unconsciously: but it is a glorious provision for spiritual amendment, able to take up and to bless and to change and to renovate man's spiritual part, his highest thoughts, his noblest aspirings, his best affections. And these are not taken up, are not blest, are not renovated, except by the power of persuasion, and the bending of the human will, and the soft promptings of love, and the living drawings of desire.

(Dean Alford.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

WEB: For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

The Christ-Likeness of God
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