Verse of the Day
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [1 Timothy 1:15 – KJV]
My childhood memories of church are somewhat fuzzy, but for some reason I have a vivid recollection of today’s Scripture passage. The minister would recite it during the celebration of Holy Communion, omitting the phrase “of whom I am chief” to avoid confusion among the participants. However, it is this somewhat cryptic phrase that is the subject of today’s devotional.
Why does the Apostle Paul, a great man of God and faithful servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, believe that he is “chief” among sinners? After all, he was responsible for spreading the Good News to the Gentiles. How can he be the worst of the worst? Perhaps it has to do with his prior life as Saul, blaspheming God and persecuting Christians. But I believe that there is something deeper here. I’d like to submit that all Christians should feel this way about themselves; I know I do. We are all “sinners in chief.”
Once God fully and completely reveals our sins to us, the inevitable result is the realization that we are the lowest of the low. We feel a profound sense of guilt and shame because of the pain and suffering Jesus endured for us on the Cross. He was wounded by my transgressions and yours. The full realization of our sinfulness can cause guilt and remorse, but we are not to wallow in a state of self-pity and depression.
What’s past is past; we need to move forward and run the race with our eyes focused on the Prize. After all, we are new creations in Christ Jesus. God’s grace is amazing.