John 8:32 tells us "And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."
And finally John 14:6 tells us "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
First of all, God desires, He wants ALL men to be saved. The Greek word for saved is “sozo” which means to save, heal, cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, to deliver. Sozo saves from physical death by healing and from spiritual death by forgiving sin and its effects. In primitive cultures saved is translated simply, “to give new life and to cause to have a new heart.* In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and life more abundantly.”
So going back to 1 Timothy 2:4, we just saw that God desires all men to be saved which happens when men come to the knowledge of the truth, which is to come to the knowledge of Jesus. Reconciliation with God only comes through Jesus. It was His blood that paid that redeemed mankind back to God and it is His blood that allows us to draw near to God and have relationship with Him. Ephesians 2:13 tells us "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
Also, 1 Peter 3:18 tells us “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”
In order to come to the knowledge of the truth and be reconciled to God, there must be a measure of faith, of believing that Jesus is who He said is and did what He came to do.
So, basically God reconciled all men to Himself through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son. Legally all men (not gender specific, mankind) – believing and unbelieving men are reconciled to God; however, only believing men (again not gender specific) experience the benefits of reconciliation, which are the effects of forgiveness of sin and fellowship and friendship with God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
One last verse to consider is 1 Corinthians 1:21: “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Saving faith is believing faith which is reconciling faith.
*Spirit-Filled Life Bible, page 1525 Word Wealth – Saved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishing 1991.