Reading through 1 Timothy, I was really encouraged with what Paul wrote to Timothy. Paul shares his life as an example of what the true Gospel looks like. I hope you take the time to read! It is an awesome passage.
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
The message Paul is trying to stress to Timothy is that Jesus came to save sinners:
Vs. 12 - Paul takes the opportunity to thank Christ for giving him the strength to be faithful to Him and because of that Christ has appointed Paul to work for his kingdom. He is an awe that God has given the opportunity to serve him despite his dark past, where he formerly slandered the name of Christ and was in unbelief. Paul is delighted in the fact he gets to share the love of Jesus.
Vs. 13 – I think a lot of have similar stories to Paul. Before our conversion to Christianity, we mocked the faith, and persecuted those who were in the faith. We knew who Jesus was but we could care less about the details. We took the Father lightly and found him as weak opposition
----BUT--- we received mercy BECAUSE of our ignorant belief..
That is CRAZY. Chew on that last sentence. The reason why God gave us mercy and brought us out of our ignorant unbelief is because we were idiots. There was NOTHING valuable about me and you for God to be like, “Wow, this guy is great, if I don’t have him then there is no hope for humanity.” That is the furthest thing from his mind! He found mercy with us because we were hopeless rejects. And because our God is infinitely great, he uses humbled rejects to show his redemptive mercy.
Paul shows that God uses us as an example that you can never do too much to outrun God’s mercy and grace.
Vs. 14 – And we received that mercy for the first time, the love of Christ overflowed us, and there was nothing left to say but, “I am yours.”
Paul describes this passage in more depth in Galatians 2:20. Once he had received the mercy and grace of Christ, he no longer lived for himself, but devoted his life to Christ.
Vs. 15 – If Paul was alive today he would probably say, “Hey, you know that cliché statement that Jesus came to save sinners? Well, it is true. Just look at me, I have done everything you could possibly do wrong. I murdered, slandered and persecuted the Church. If anybody deserved Hell, It would be me. And yet he loved me!”
Vs. 16 – And because of vs. 15, Paul is certain that this is the reason he received salvation. So that Jesus could show his perfect patience to those who call on His name, no matter what they have done.
Vs. 17 – We give thanks to God for giving us the Law of Christ. He truly is the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.