May 30, 2021
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 ESV
In understanding that Christ came to save sinners, Paul implies that only those who know they are sinners will be saved. The self-righteous think that they do not need a savior. Secondly, as one who is saved, Paul is keenly aware of the sinfulness of his heart. This is the third and last time that Paul declares in his letters that he is a sinner. Here, in his old age, Paul is more fully aware of the extent of his sinful heart, but he also has a deeper understanding of grace and of how God has used Paul’s story of redemption to lead others to faith in Christ and eternal life.
Father God, reveal to us the extent of your grace in Christ Jesus that overcomes the depth of our sinful hearts, that our stories of redemption might become beacons to others. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling