A Study Of 1 Timothy 1:15
When God converted Saul of Tarsus, He showed us a vivid picture of the fact that NO SINNER, no matter how guilty or defiled they might be, are beyond His Sovereign ability to save. When most people think about the Apostles, Paul and Peter in particular, they only think of them as great men of God, greatly used in establishing the Church. But when Paul and Peter spoke to other sinners, they knew nothing of any spiritual superiority to any man. Just like every justified sinner, they knew where they were when God found them and saved them. Paul wrote concerning himself: “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:13)
When he wrote that “I did it ignorantly in unbelief”, he meant He did all these things while he was a lost man. Saul of Tarsus was a very moral man as a lost sinner – “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the (required by the law) law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:5,6)
Everyone who looked at Saul’s life considered him to be a man of God, and no doubt Saul considered himself to be a man of God – “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)
A wise preacher told me one time: “Everyone thinks they’re saved, before they’re saved, UNTIL THEY ARE SAVED.”
Satan had Saul right where he wants every sinner: blind to his need of a righteousness (holiness) he can never produce by his own efforts to keep the law of God, a Righteousness required by God to bring a sinner into a state of perfect justification. It was in this depraved, lost, hopeless condition that God’s grace descended to this elect sinner, Saul of Tarsus, and revealed to Saul’s mind and understanding what his Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ had actually accomplished on his behalf by His obedience unto death at Calvary. Paul knew by experience what he was talking about when he wrote: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE (REDEEM AND JUSTIFY) sinners; OF WHOM I AM CHIEF.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
The good news of Saul’s conversion is if God saved the “chief” literally, first in rank) of sinners, no matter how sinful you might consider yourself, God’s grace is sufficient to satisfy God’s law and justice on your behalf.
Didn’t Paul write “Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners”?
Are you a sinner?
Would you trust Christ’s Righteousness ALONE for all your salvation?
If you believe it is evidence CHRIST SAVED YOU A SINNER. (Read John 5:23-24).
By R. Warmack