1 Timothy 1:15 “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.”
Today the Word of God, reminds us of how great a love He has for us, and how forgiving He can be! We are reminded in today’s verse, that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, came not into this world to satisfy the “religious,” but came into the world, to save sinners (Matthew 9:13). And Paul calls himself the chief of sinners. Many times I feel as though that terrible title would shamefully be upon me instead, but truly, Christ has redeemed us and set us free from our sins, wiped our sinful record clean, and given us a new life to live. Paul calls himself chief of sinners, not to seem to boast or lift himself up or as some do, to compete with others at how sinful they used to be. What reason should we ever wish to compete with others, boasting in our past sins? Though some do, as though they want receive some type of reward for their sins! There have been times I’ve thought to myself, similar things, going through my past and thinking of how terrible I acted, and affected others even, and our Lord would rebuke me, asking me as I just mentioned, “You want a reward for the worst past? I don’t remember your forgiven sins, neither should you. All you should care about, is how much I have loved you, to bring you out of a deep pit.”
Paul calls himself in today’s verse, the “chief of sinners.” This is to bring God the glory, as he mentions in the next verse, that as God had patience with him, to save him, He most certainly will do the same for all others. (Verse 16) “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.” Indeed, Christ showed so much longsuffering, so much patience, with Paul, as he was once the main one who went around persecuting the Children of God. He was even there, for the stoning of Stephen, as he even consented Stephen’s death! He went around putting the children of God, the redeemed of Christ, in jail, torturing and killing some. But our Lord had mercy on Paul (earlier called Saul), even calling him to preach and teach the Gentiles. Our Lord Jesus, forgave him, even for killing, and persecuting the Precious Redeemed of the Lord. It is no small thing, to go against the body of Christ. What is done to the Children of God, is done to our Lord Himself! As shown the scene, in Acts 9:4-6 “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” All this reminds me of something our Lord has said in His Word. Some may wonder why Paul was so great among the Apostles, while he before did so much to harm the children of God. To whom much is given, much shall be required of that person (Luke 12:48). Much forgiveness shown, how much more shall forgiveness be required likewise, and yet, how much more will that servant who is forgiven of much more, much moreso love Him who forgave (Luke 7:40-47)?
Our Lord, so loves us, that He will forgive us of any and all sins (except the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, as said in Matthew 12:31-32.) Our Lord has shown so much love to us! Let us never believe the lie, that our Lord will run out of patience with us, and will cease to forgive us. Satan loves to tell us that, because he knows that if we feel we are no longer forgiven, we will not get back up when we fall down. Let’s not give the devil what he wants, but let us get right back up, and love the Lord our God and redeemer. Praise God for the Patience He has given us, to forgive us of our sins!
Today’s verse, reminds us also, of something important: our forgiving others. I’ve had it told to me, “God will not forgive you if you murder someone.” and that God will justify our own unforgiveness toward others who might have done us wrong. This is a lie straight from the pits of hell! As for murderers, God has a habit of using murderers, to spread His Word, showing His forgiveness toward them! Moses, David, Paul to name three! By no means is murder or any other sin good or acceptable in the eyes of God. But by no means does forgiveness not reach those who have done such, or something wrong to us. We should never show unforgiveness toward others, nor should we seek to exclude them from God’s forgiveness by not witnessing to them, or hoping in our hearts that they do not get saved! We should be as Paul says many times, Stephen said, and most importantly, Jesus our Lord, toward those who had committed sin against them—said to the Lord, “Forgive them.” If we see a brother or sister come to Christ, and we know of their past and the things they have done, rebuke any and all ill thoughts toward them! Rejoice in the Lord, for God has taken another soul out of Satan’s Grasp, and given us another brother or sister! “Oh, but you don’t know what they’ve done!” Oh, but neither does God! Once He forgives, He remembers our transgressions no more! “But they’ve done so much to me!” And you, at one time in the past, were like them, sinning against our Lord and Saviour even (Psalm 51:4)! As we have been so graciously forgiven, let us so graciously forgive others! If someone does something wrong to us, let us witness to them! Let’s show forgiveness to them, and show them how they can be forgiven by God Himself, and be given eternal life! To some it might be hard, but remember, we fight not against flesh and blood, but against the devil, and all his work! And when we bring that person to Christ, we issue out a painful blow to the devil, and to our own flesh as we show we are walking in the Spirit and in the love of our Lord! PRAISE GOD!
I love you so much. May we never forget the precious blessings and the wonderful things God has done for us. Let us so love Him as well, and walk as He walks, forgiving others, and loving others. As much as He has loved and forgiven us, how can we do otherwise?! I pray daily for you, as you are in my thoughts. God Bless you magnificently in all you do today and always.
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”