April 12, 2021 – Monday
1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 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 1:15-16 NKJV
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
Sinners, mercy, believe, eternal life – these are the subjects of today’s two verses. I would like to begin with a quote from Charles Spurgeon, All men are truly sinners, but all men are not equally sinners. They are all in the mire; but they have not all sunk to an equal depth in it. You might wonder why I would use such a quote but read verse 15 and you will see why. Jesus came to save sinners and Paul said he was the worst or the chief of sinners.
There was good reason for Paul to call himself the worst or chief of sinners for he persecuted many Christians resulting in their death/execution/murder, incarceration, impoverishment, or misery. This was all prior to his encounter with Jesus on his way to Damascus to persecute followers of Jesus there. Worse sinners than Paul would come in the future, but there was a purpose for Paul’s salvation.
The purpose of Paul’s encounter with Jesus and his salvation was to demonstrate the mercy of Jesus for such a sinner as Paul through His immense patience or His longsuffering for all sinners. Remember first Jesus came into the world to save sinners or as we read in John 3:17, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. We were all already condemned, and Jesus came to save any and all of us if we would admit we are sinners, repent, and believe He died for our sins and rose of the third day. Not only do we receive mercy, but eternal everlasting life.
Jesus is waiting on each living person, just as He waited on Paul with immense patience or longsuffering. Ellicott’s Commentary says, If Christ could show mercy to Paul, surely in after times the greatest of sinners need never doubt the Redeemer’s power and will to save. St. Paul’s conversion foretold many a patient waiting on the part of the Lord, much long-suffering, which would never hurry to punish His enemies, but which would tarry long, in the hope of the sinner repenting while it was yet time. Christ waits until a person draws their last breath so great is His patience. It is the same patience He has for each of us. Such mercy makes me think of what Spurgeon said about when we become Christians, As soon as we become Christians, we cannot hate anybody. It is utterly inconsistent with grace in the heart to harbor malice against others. Easy to say, difficult to put into practice, but Spurgeon has captured the incredible mercy and grace we have undeservedly received. Jesus did not hate but waits and waits for the opportunity to forgive.
Prayer: Dear God, I deserved no mercy, no forgiveness, yet you granted me mercy and forgiveness through Your Son on the cross if I would but believe in the good news of Your Son. I believe and through Him have the promise of eternal life in heaven. Your love knows no bounds. Thank You. – In Jesus Name. Amen.