by Impact Church
“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. 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.”
1 Timothy 1:15, 16
The strongest statement for the reason Jesus came into the world is spelled out by the Apostle Paul in this passage: to save sinners. Once Paul stated the divine purpose of the greatest act in human history, he measured himself by that reality: that he is a sinner. And not just a sinner, but the worst. He was a blasphemer against God, a persecutor of the Church, and an overall opponent of Who Jesus was and what He was doing in the world. He was a fierce and angry enemy. And then Jesus did what He came to the earth to do: He saved Paul. When He did that, everything changed.
Imagine living with the feeling of being an enemy of the God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who would become the Incarnate Man and die for sinners. That’s what Paul was feeling. Rather than stay in that reality, Paul recognizes that he became an example of Jesus’ saving sinners. The world took note that if Jesus came to save “the worst” then no one is beyond the merciful love of God and that anyone can believe and receive eternal life.
It is common to think of our salvation as a smart decision we made; we considered the benefits of belief and accept the offer Jesus made. The focus is on our decision. In light of this passage and the rest of the biblical revelation, the real focus of the redeemed is on the mercy and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us. We weren’t smart for choosing Him. He was merciful in saving us. To God be the Glory!