But after that
After all this series and course of wickedness; notwithstanding all this foolishness, disobedience, deception, bondage to sin, envy, malice, and malignity; or "when" all this was, as the word may be rendered, amidst all this iniquity; when these persons were in the full career of sin, and so had done no preparatory works, or had any previous qualifications and dispositions for the grace of God:
the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared;
unto them; and the Ethiopic version adds, "unto us". The apostle takes the advantage of the above character of himself, and others in their former state, to set off and magnify the grace of God in their conversion; so contraries, as black and white, illustrate each other. By "God our Saviour" is not meant the Lord Jesus Christ, though he is commonly designed by our Saviour, and is several times called God our Saviour in this epistle; see ( Titus 1:3 ) ( Titus 2:10 Titus 2:13 ) and who is truly God, and the only Saviour of lost sinners; and whose kindness and love towards them has appeared in many instances; as in his suretiship undertakings for them, in his assumption of their nature, and in his suffering and dying in their room and stead: and yet it appears from ( Titus 3:6 ) that God our Saviour here, is distinguished from Jesus Christ our Saviour there; and therefore here must be understood of God the Father; who contrived the scheme of salvation, appointed Christ to be his salvation, and made a covenant with him, in which it secured, and sent him in time to obtain it, and through his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, saves all his people: it is his kindness and love to men that is here spoken of; and which designs not his general and providential goodness and kindness, which extends to the whole human nature, and to all the individuals of it; but his special love and grace shown in his kindness in Christ Jesus; that good will to men the angels sung of at Christ's incarnation; or that free favour and love of God towards elect men, which is sovereign and special, from everlasting to everlasting, unchangeable and unspeakable, which is better than life; the excellency of which cannot be expressed, and which has shown itself in various instances: it is said to have "appeared"; because it was hid from all eternity in the heart of God, in the thoughts of his heart, in his purposes, counsel, and covenant, and has been made manifest in time; particularly, it has broke forth and showed itself in the mission of Christ into this world, and in redemption and salvation by him; wherein God has manifested and commended his love, and shown forth the exceeding riches of his grace; and also in the effectual calling, which being a time of life, is a time of love, and is owing to the great love of God, and is a fruit and evidence of his everlasting and unchangeable love; and it is this instance and appearance of it, which is here meant, since it follows the account of the state and condition of the saints by nature; and is what was made to them when in this state, by which means they were brought out of it.