I’ve said it before, while I enjoy having to noodle on some of the more “hidden secrets” of Scripture . . . while I like having to think a bit . . . and dig a bit . . . and cross reference a bit . . . I also love it when I encounter again those simple, “bottom line” truths in God’s inspired word that take little to unwind their meaning . . . but will take an eternity to understand their implications. Came across one of those in Paul’s first letter to Timothy . . .
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. (1Timothy 1:15 ESV)
Why did Jesus come to earth? To save sinners. Pretty simple, huh?
Sure, He came to announce that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. And, He came to find lost sheep. He also came to enter into His creation’s life context, that He might be a faithful High Priest able to sympathize with our weakness. But in order to be a reigning King . . . and a great Shepherd . . . and a faithful Intercessor . . . He came to save sinners.
This is a trustworthy saying, and deserving of full acceptance. It’s a truth that can be relied upon . . . even by the vilest enemies of God . . . that Christ came to redeem and reclaim even the most rebellious lovers of darkness. While it might sound like Christianity 101, Paul’s statement is worthy of being received in its fullness by all who have ears to hear. Regardless of past iniquities . . . despite all transgressions against a holy God. In fact, because of such things, Jesus came into the world. That’s what was necessary to save sinners.
Paul was a blasphemer of the Holy Trinity. He was an arrogant disputer of Christ’s claim as God’s Holy One. He was a persecutor and executioner of God’s holy people. He was, by his own assessment, the foremost of sinners . . . or as the KJV puts it . . . the chief of sinners. But such are those for whom the Father sent the Son into the world.
God sent not His Son because the world deserved His favor . . . but because we deserved His wrath. God sent not His Son because we desired His face . . . but because each of us had determined to give Him our back, and had gone astray. Rather, Christ Jesus came into the world because of Heaven’s determination to save sinners.
. . . and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
(1Timothy 1:14 ESV)
Overflowing grace towards blasphemers, debaters, and persecutors. Abundant grace for those who loved darkness more than light. Conquering grace, seeding even the faith to believe that Jesus came to love the unlovely and unlovable. Amazing grace . . . how sweet the sound . . . that saved a wretch like me.
Not too complex a thought this morning. But one that will take eternity to plumb the depths of what motivated the blessed Son of God to enter our sphere . . . and offer His life as a ransom for many. An eternity to thank Him, and worship Him, who came into the world to save sinners . . . of whom I am chief.
To Him be all glory . . .