Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Was Paul the Worst Sinner?

I've been reading in 1 Timothy and every time I read 1 Timothy 1:15 I struggle with Paul's confession of being the worst of all sinners. I know he was hot after the believers and wanted to extinguish Christianity, but I still don't think he was the "chief" of sinners.

You see, I know myself inside and out. I know the sin in my life and I have to confess that maybe I'm the chief of sinners. Oh, I know I haven't tried to take the life of believers, but I have said some murderous things about some of them at times. There have been times when I was wounded by the actions and words of other believers and I would not have been disappointed if my Father would have called them home that day. Now here's the really hard part to admit. Paul committed his murderous acts before he became a follower. I've committed most of mine after I became a follower. And, as bad as I think that may be, my Father has reminded me over and over that all sins carry equal penalty. All sins lead to death.

So, I'm not sure that I would personally classify Paul as the worst sinner, and maybe Paul and I can talk about that one of these days. But I do know who the chief sacrifice is! Jesus died on the cross for Paul's sin and for mine. He paid the only price that would make things right with my Father. And Jesus has done the same for you.

You may think you are the worst sinner and that God can never forgive your sin. The truth is, we probably all feel that way at one time or another. The good news is that us "chief sinners" can have a restored relationship with the Father. Thanks be to God for His unfailing love!

1 Timothy 1:15 (HCSB)
15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.

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