The Doctrine Of Grace
It may seem strange to some, but Paul's method of establishing Timothy in confidence and boldness was not to assure him of the rewards of the faithful, or the morality of suffering for a noble cause. Instead, in order to excite Timothy to boldness and to keep him constant in the faith, Paul instructs him in the great doctrine that the grace of God reigns in the salvation of sinners. Many suggest that 'the doctrines of grace will kill a church, destroying evangelistic zeal and the motive for personal holiness. Paul was not of this opinion. When he was concerned for the future life and ministry of his beloved friend, Timothy, he felt that the surest way to secure his faithfulness was to instruct him in the doctrine of God's free and sovereign grace.
Brethren, we should never doubt the power and usefulness of truth. Usually men look upon doctrinal truth as nothing more than unpractical theory. We sometimes think that legal precepts are more effectual than gospel truth to produce obedience in the saints. I am persuaded that the very root and vital energy of practical holiness is the truth of the gospel. To teach people the truth that God has revealed in his Son is the surest way of leading them to obedience and perseverance in love, faith, and holiness.
In this verse we are plainly taught that salvation is of the Lord. Human merit has nothing to do with it! God chose us in Christ, redeemed us in Christ, regenerated us and called us in Christ. And the grace that we now enjoy was given to us according to his own gloriously sovereign purpose in Christ before the world began. There is no doctrine more practical than this. It strips away human pride. It gives a sure ground of confidence and assurance to our faith. It most highly exalts and honors the name, person, and work of Christ. This doctrine alone gives hope to sinners and encourages evangelism.