1Ti 1:15-17 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Mankind has held many notions through the centuries about who Jesus is and what exactly He has done, is doing, and will do. If the Holy Spirit has not given us the ability to read and believe the scripture, then we have very little to go on. From a purely human standpoint, the story of Jesus is just that; a story. However, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts, that story becomes infallible truth.
We rejoice when Paul tells us that “this is a faithful saying.” In our terms, Paul is saying that this is something we can take to the bank. He himself has experienced it, and we who have been called from nature’s darkness into His light can say the same. The truth that Paul is stating here deserves our acceptance.
Whether or not we accept it does not change the veracity of the statement. Our acceptance of this faithful saying affects our perspective of what Christ has accomplished. Acceptance has no effect on the accomplishment itself. And what is this great accomplishment?
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners! Let that thought sink into your heart. Jesus came to save the wretched, vile, and undone. He came to save men like Paul who were going about trying to destroy the very grace and truth that came by Jesus. He came to save people like you and me.
We should find great comfort in the fact that Paul did not say He came to try and save sinners. He did not come to give sinners an opportunity to save themselves. He did not come to offer salvation to sinners. He came to SAVE!
The simple truth is that we were not seeking Him. If the choice were left in our hands, we would not choose Him. He knew this to be true. So, in His great love for us, He chose us (John 15:16-19).
Being religious does not preclude us from being sinners. Paul was very zealous for the Jew’s religion, which was rooted in God, the Father of Jesus Christ. However, he and his brethren totally rejected the Christ of God and persecuted those who trusted in Him. They believed that God should elevate them above other men and rejected the teaching of Jesus that we should be servants.
Paul declares here that he received mercy. Like Paul, we have received mercy by the divine grace of God. While Paul reaped much benefit from this mercy, he also tells us that this mercy was not given him just for his benefit. God’s mercy shown to Paul allowed Paul to be a great witness to others whose lives were in shambles and thought there could be no hope.
Our lives should be lived in a way that we display the longsuffering of our Lord and Savior. We should be a living testimony to others that if Jesus loves and saves us then they are certainly not beyond His ability to save. Our witness should encourage the belief of others to whom the Lord has revealed His might. We should be showing in word and deed that He is the giver of everlasting life.
When we understand that Christ Jesus saves sinners, the outcome is a desire to praise God and ascribe unto Him glory and honor. There is an urgency (NOW) in that desire. We recognize our King and that He is eternal, immortal, and invisible. He is truly the only wise God.
May we say with Paul “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. (Eph 3:21)”!