Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Greatest Sinner Ever

I was reading 1st Timothy 1:15,16 and something struck me as important. It says,

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

Familiar enough passage, but what struck me as interesting is the line, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance" The passage in context is talking about God's grace that was shown toward Paul the former killer of Christians. Fair enough, but why should we pay special attention to the fact that he was the chief of sinners, or more specifically, why does this require our full acceptance? I mean, sure he wants to make an important point for those who don't know the love of Jesus, the mercy of Jesus, the grace and patience and salvation of Jesus. But couldn't the case be made that we need to fully accept that WE are the worst of sinners? Don't we need to fully accept the fact that had we been the only person on earth, Jesus would have had to die for our sins in order for us to apprehend the salvation that he offers? And surely if you were to closely examine your motives in your relationships with family members, co workers or those you meet in passing, wouldn't you have to say that you reek of sin?

I don't have any problem believing that when motives and thoughts are taken into account, I could give Paul a run for his money any day re: being a trophy of God's grace as it was shown to me, the worst of sinners.

1 comment:

G-man said...

You know, you could move up the ladder one notch pretty easily. Ask Jesus to help you read things positively (assuming that what they say makes sense, rather than intentionally looking for ways to slam them...

And ask for help in trying to actually understand other perspectives. That would put you closer to being the second-worst sinner ever.