“1 Timothy 1:12-17”
Categories: 1 Timothy
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
---End of Scripture Verses---
Paul was “shown mercy because” he “acted ignorantly in unbelief” (verse 13). That is not to say that ignorance and unbelief are an excuse to do the wrong things, like being a “blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.” But God showed Paul “mercy” by putting him “into service” even after his heart had been set upon destroying the church of Jesus Christ with great zeal and intensity. Paul did this in all sincerity and good conscience, thinking that he was serving the Lord the whole time. But, when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus Road and convicted him of his sins, Paul did a complete 180 by repenting of his sins and using that same zeal and intensity to become arguably the church’s greatest champion.
Paul set himself up as the perfect example of the grace of God reaching the vilest of sinners (verses 15-16). If Paul could be turned from his sinful ways to serve the Lord, then anyone can. Paul said that “the grace of the Lord was more than abundant” to cover his sins, but he was required to respond in the “faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus” (verse 14). Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. When we acquire and exhibit trusting, penitent, obedient faith in the Lord, God will heap His loving, saving grace upon us. Where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds all the more (Romans 5:20)! He has grace greater than all our sins!
Do you believe that you have committed such heinous sin in your life that God would never be willing or able to forgive you? If you do, friend, you greatly underestimate the magnitude of God’s grace and love. Before Paul became an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, he was complicit in the murder of the Lord’s people (Acts 9:1)! And yet God forgave him when he believed in Jesus and turned from his sins and had them washed away in the waters of baptism (Acts 22:16). God sent Jesus into the world to save you from your sins, not to condemn you. But, like Paul, you must be willing to turn loose of them and give your life to the Savior.
Please read 1 Timothy 1:18-20 for tomorrow.
- Louie Taylor