In our Greek Word Devotional series, we discuss some of our favorite passages in the Bible, focusing on the specific use of certain Greek words. Today, we look at 1 Timothy 4:10.
“For this reason we labor and strive, because we put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
The following is an excerpt from the CSB Study Bible.
Greek pronunciation: soh TAYR
CSB translation: Savior
Uses in 1 Timothy: 3
Uses in the NT: 24
Focus passage: 1 Timothy 4:10
Outside the NT, the title sōtēr (savior, deliverer) was applied to deserving men, leading officials, rulers, or deities (e.g., of Roman emperors Julius Caesar, Nero, and Vespasian). The term had connotations of protector, deliverer, preserver, or savior. In the NT, sōtēr refers exclusively to Jesus Christ and to God the Father, with a focus on their saving, delivering character as expressed through their actions. As Savior, Christ grants repentance and forgiveness of sin (Ac 5:31), protects and saves the church (Eph 5:23), will come again to deliver his people from this world (Php 3:20), has made possible the outpouring of the Spirit (Ti 3:6), has abolished death (2Tm 1:10), and has authority in his kingdom (2Pt 1:11). God is “the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1Tm 4:10), and “wants everyone to be saved” (1Tm 2:4). He manifested his love in his saving acts toward the church (Ti 3:4), he poured out the Holy Spirit (Ti 3:6), and he deserves praise and adoration (Jd 25).
In this passage, we are reminded of something that I think we as Christians can often forget: God is the Savior of all people. Sometimes, we get so focused on our own communities that we forget that the neighbor across the street, the coworker, the distant relative, and everyone in between are also loved by God, and his death is for their redemption as much as ours.
I don’t mean to say that we don’t know this intellectually, but it’s one thing to know in our head and a completely different thing to know it in our heart. Sometimes, we let our orthodoxy interfere with our orthopraxy – our beliefs on what God “looks for” in a believer may hinder us from making disciples, because that person is just “too far gone,” or “there’s no way they’d listen.”
What would it look like if we actually believed that Christ yearns for everyone to know him? That his redeeming work was for everyone? How would our lives change?
Let us radically live out the truth that Christ wants everyone to be saved. Let us be reminded that his death and resurrection is for us all. Let us praise and adore him.