From Heaven, to a Manger, to a Cross, to Save Sinners
by Impact Church
1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:15-17
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
Christmas is the universal holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Most of the attention paid to the event focuses on a baby that became the leader of a religious variation of Judaism. Who can resist the birth of a baby to a young woman traveling away from home while under an oppressive government? Today, a similar parallel might be a young Syrian woman refugee who has come to term and is suffering the labor pains that demand immediate attention. There is no Hyatt Regency. No Holiday Inn. Only a shelter used for caring for animals.
Beyond the human challenges for a divine delivery, the passage above reveals that Jesus’ birth, the Incarnation, was intentional for more than the biography of a religious leader. There was a predetermined plan for the coming of Jesus. Jesus was born to save sinners. Jesus came into the world to reveal Himself to the world and then go to the Cross and die. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, became a man to be borne of a young woman to die for sinners.
The Apostle Paul reflected upon the Christmas story and considered his own life. In light of the fact that Jesus was born to save sinners, Paul confessed his sinful life, as “I am foremost of all”. Seeing the Eternal plan of God revealed in the birth of Jesus, Paul was in the present tense in describing his life, “I AM foremost of all.” Paul’s confession of his condition was not about his past condition from which he was saved, but from the present tense reality; he was, at the moment of his writing, after his conversion, the foremost of sinners. Jesus’ incarnation led Paul to consider who he is and to give praise for what Jesus did.
Paul showed that as the foremost of sinners he received mercy, not because he deserved it, but because Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example of one who believes in Him. The Christmas story is about Jesus coming into the world to save sinners and by doing so, from the foremost to any one, the one who believes in Jesus, will be saved.
Christmas is a time to praise the King, Who left His throne for a humble manger. To praise a King, Who stepped into Time to show us Eternity. To praise a King, Who touched the dead and raised them up. To praise a King, Who was unseen and yet present. To praise a King, Who is the only begotten Son of God. To praise a King, Who was delivered through natural means to be our supernatural Savior.
That manger held a King, born to die. Heavenly Glory in a crude and lowly pallet. God became Man to die for men so they might live.
Our doxology is to praise God for Jesus’ birth and delight in our salvation!