‘This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”
1 Tim. 1:15, NLT
There are some things that can be easily understood, they are obvious. As believers, there are certain things that are just written in stone. They are revealed to us in a moment of time, and give us dimensions to a knowable truth. In this case, ‘people sin all the time’. Our essential nature as a human being is to sin. We are “factories of sin.”
Paul’s relationship has its starting point in theology. He declares to us directly the perhaps ultimate fact in the entire universe. Jesus has come for sinners. Sinners, transgressors, perverts, and the foolishly ignorant are special recipients of a grace that is irresistible. This is why Jesus came, to find us who have been so twisted up by life, and left wrecked by the side of the road.
It’s funny but I have a point of departure with Paul’s proclamation of being the worst, or the chief of sinners. I contend with it because I know and believe in my own wickedness. (I’ve always felt Paul was a bit premature on this). My own iniquity is such that I feel I can supplant Paul’s personal place.
But in this central verse in 1 Tim 1:15 lays out some vital truth.
- Jesus has come.
- He has focused on the “world.”
- His purpose in coming was to save each of us.
- Paul understands and thinks he is the ultimate sinner.
Who are we, exactly? I think we need to realize that scriptural truth has come to us, and rather some diverse mist that just accepts all of us just as we are. Rather, it’s more like each of us accepting God’s terms of what is theologically real and walking away from it, having absorbed the truth.
It is true, that united with Christ I live a resurrected life. But there can be no resurrection with something dying first. Both are needful. Both are to be part of our theology. Thats what is really important.