Looking for that blessed hope - Expecting the grand object of our hope, eternal life. See Titus 1:2. This is what the Gospel teaches us to expect, and what the grace of God prepares the human heart for. This is called a blessed hope; those who have it are happy in the sure prospect of that glory which shall be revealed.
The glorious appearing - Και επιφανειαν της δοξης του μεγαλου Θεου και σωτηρος ἡμων Ιησου Χριστου . This clause, literally translated, is as follows: And the appearing of the glory of the great God, even our Savior Jesus Christ. On this passage I must refer the reader to the Essay on the Greek Article, by H. S. Boyd, Esq., appended to the notes on the Epistle to the Ephesians, where both the structure and doctrine of this passage are explained at large.
Some think that the blessed hope and glorious appearing mean the same thing; but I do not think so. The blessed hope refers simply to eternal glorification in general; the glorious appearing, to the resurrection of the body; for when Christ appears he will change this vile body, and make it like unto his Glorious Body, according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself. See Philemon 3:20, Philemon 3:21.
Looking for - Expecting; waiting for. That is, in the faithful performance of our duties to ourselves, to our fellow-creatures, and to God, we are patiently to wait for the coming of our Lord.
(1)We are to believe that he will return;
(2)We are to be in a posture of expectation, not knowing when he will come; and,
That blessed hope - The fulfillment of that hope so full of blessedness to us.
Of the great God - There can be little doubt, if any, that by “the great God” here, the apostle referred to the Lord Jesus, for it is not a doctrine of the New Testament that God himself as such, or in contradistinction from his incarnate Son, will appear at the last day. It is said, indeed, that the Saviour will come “in the glory of his Father, with his angels” Matthew 16:27, but that God as such will appear is not taught in the Bible. The doctrine there is, that God will be manifest in his Son; that the divine approach to our world be through him to judge the race; and that though he will be accompanied with the appropriate symbols of the divinity, yet it will be the Son of God who will be visible. No one, accustomed to Paul‘s views, can well doubt that when he used this language he had his eye throughout on the Son of God, and that he expected no other manifestation than what would be made through him.
In no place in the New Testament is the phrase ἐπιφάνειαν τοῦ Θεοῦ epiphaneian tou Theou- “the manifestation or appearing of God” - applied to any other one than Christ It is true that this is spoken of here as the “appearing of the glory - τῆς δόξης tēs doxēs- of the great God,” but the idea is that of such a manifestation as became God, or would appropriately display his glory. It is known to most persons who have attended to religious controversies, that this passage has given rise to much discussion. The ancients, in general, interpreted it as meaning” The glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This sense has been vindicated by the labors of Beza, Whitby, Bull, Matthaei, and Middleton (on the Greek article), and is the common interpretation of those who claim to be orthodox; see Bloomfield, Rec. Syn., and Notes, in loc. He contends that the meaning is, “the glorious appearance of that great being who is our God and Saviour.” The arguments for this opinion are well summed up by Bloomfield. Without going into a critical examination of this passage, which would not be in accordance with the design of these Notes, it may be remarked in general:
(1) that no plain reader of the New Testament, accustomed to the common language there, would have any doubt that the apostle referred here to the coming of the Lord Jesus.
(2) that the “coming” of God, as such, is not spoken of in this manner in the New Testament.
(3) that the expectation of Christians was directed to the advent of the ascended Saviour, not to the appearing of God as such.
(4) that this is just such language as one would use who believed that the Lord Jesus is divine, or that the name God might properly be applied to him.
(5) that it would naturally and obviously convey the idea that he was divine, to one who had no theory to defend.
(6) that if the apostle did not mean this, he used such language as was fitted to lead people into error.
(7) and that the fair construction of the Greek here, according to the application of the most rigid rules, abundantly sustains the interpretation which the plain reader of the New Testament would affix to it. The names above referred to are abundant proof that no violation is done to the rules of the Greek language by this interpretation, but rather that the fair construction of the original demands it. If this be so, then this furnishes an important proof of the divinity of Christ.
In his work, Timothy constantly sought Paul's advice and instruction. He did not move from impulse, but exercised consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. AA 205.1
As the lessons of the Bible are wrought into the daily life, they have a deep and lasting influence upon the character. These lessons Timothy learned and practiced. He had no specially brilliant talents, but his work was valuable because he used his God-given abilities in the Master's service. His knowledge of experimental piety distinguished him from other believers and gave him influence. AA 205.2
Those who labor for souls must attain to a deeper, fuller, clearer knowledge of God than can be gained by ordinary effort. They must throw all their energies into the work of the Master. They are engaged in a high and holy calling, and if they gain souls for their hire they must lay firm hold upon God, daily receiving grace and power from the Source of all blessing. “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; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14. AA 205.3Read in context »
The youth who follow Christ have a warfare before them; they have a daily cross to bear in coming out of the world and imitating the life of Christ. But there are many precious promises on record for those who seek the Saviour early. Wisdom calls to the sons of men, “I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.” Proverbs 8:17. CT 330.1
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” 1 Peter 1:13-15. “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; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” Titus 2:11-14. CT 330.2Read in context »
The Lord, by close and pointed truths for these last days, is cleaving out a people from the world and purifying them unto Himself. Pride and unhealthful fashions, the love of display, the love of approbation—all must be left with the world if we would be renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us. “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; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” 3T 52.1
The church in ----- need sifting. A thorough conversion is necessary before they can be in working order. Selfishness, pride, envy, malice, evil surmising, backbiting, gossiping, and tattling have been cherished among them, until the Spirit of God has but little to do with them. While some who profess to know God remain in their present state, their prayers are an abomination in His sight. They do not sustain their faith by their works, and it would have been better for some never to have professed the truth than to have dishonored their profession as they have. While they profess to be servants of Christ, they are servants of the enemy of righteousness; and their works testify of them that they are not acquainted with God and that their hearts are not in obedience to the will of Christ. They make child's play of religion; they act like pettish children. 3T 52.2
The children of God, the world over, are one great brotherhood. Our Saviour has clearly defined the spirit and principles which should govern the actions of those who, by their consistent, holy lives, distinguish themselves from the world. Love for one another, and supreme love to their heavenly Father, should be exemplified in their conversation and works. The present condition of many of the children of God is like that of a family of ungrateful and quarrelsome children. 3T 52.3Read in context »
While you, Brethren B, have been forward to engage in controversy with others upon points of our faith, without an exception you have been asleep in reference to those things which pertain to Christianity. You are not even dreaming of the perilous position you occupy. This apathy extends over the church and over everyone who, professing Christ as you have done, denies Him by his works. You are leading others in the same path of recklessness in which you are treading. God's word declares that without holiness no man shall see God. Jesus died to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 4T 332.1
“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.” Christ says: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What do your prayers amount to while you regard iniquity in your hearts? Unless you make a thorough change, you will, not far hence, become weary of reproof, as did the children of Israel; and, like them, you will apostatize from God. Some of you in words acknowledge reproof, but you do not in heart accept it. You go on the same as before, only being less susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God, becoming more and more blinded, having less wisdom, less self-control, less moral power, and less zeal and relish for religious exercises; and, unless converted, you will finally yield your hold upon God entirely. You have not made decided changes in your life when reproof has come, because you have not seen and realized your defects of character and the great contrast between your life and the life of Christ. It has been your policy to place yourselves in a position where you would not entirely lose the confidence of your brethren. 4T 332.2
I was shown that the condition of the ----- church is deplorable. Your influence, Brother A B, and that of your wife, has resulted, as you and all may see, in discord and strife, and will prove utter ruin to the church unless you either change your location or become converted. You rust and corrode those connected with you. You have sympathizers, because all do not see you as God sees. Their perception is perverted by your multiplicity of words and fair speeches. This is a sad, discouraging state of things. 4T 332.3Read in context »