By The Mercy of Christ
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 NIV
It has always seemed strange to me, but then again scripture says our most intelligent moments don’t rise to the level of God’s foolishness, that Christ’s Apostles were just plain people, not the wise, the rich, nor the esteemed. In Paul’s case, he was one of the chief persecutors of Christ followers, yet the most well known Apostle and the one chosen to teach the Gentiles although he was a Jew, and a Jew among Jews. He was more educated than other Apostles for the most part based on what we know, and a genuine leader in the movement against the church.
That had to be a primary thought in his head, his past life before coming to know Christ, when he said ‘of whom I am the worst’. But what did he say next?
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16
Paul said by the mercy of Christ, Jesus would be able through him to display His extreme patience, as an example for future sinners to see and understand that through this Messiah, there is hope, and the promise of eternal life for those who, like Paul, would repent of their sin, and obey the commands of Christ to be baptized to wash away sin, and live a new life as a child of God.
Occasionally we hear of people who say they are too far gone to be saved, or that their sin is too great, or that Jesus wouldn’t want someone like them anyway. The Greek word for that is baloney! Jesus came to save sinners….He never indicated to anybody that He was beyond their reach. He knocks at the door, but it’s up to us whether or not to open it.