What an effort it is to defend your ministry. But can you imagine the very harsh reality of being deeply oppressed because of your faith and worship practices? The Western world, I believe, has yet to truly see it because of the religious freedoms in our current society. (At least that is the case in the United States.) But there will be a day that this becomes more of a struggle. Apostle Paul has faced this numerous times by the time we get to this letter to Timothy. He now turns the focus onto his enemies and uses their own tactics against them. Paul points out that he once was a man that persecuted the Church because of their faith in Jesus Christ. It is because he had lived this out that his statements point to that much more grace. God’s grace through Christ shows that all sinners can confidently receive and expect forgiveness of sins if they have sincerely put their faith in Christ Jesus and believe in this ultimate, atoning sacrifice.
Jesus not only saves us, but shepherds us. Why so often do we call him Lord AND Savior while clearly skipping over the idea of him being Lord. We so willingly want our debt paid, but we so often forgo his lordship or authority in our daily lives. The idea that Jesus came into the world to save sinners should not be lost on us. Why have we so easily lost sight of our reverence and wonder about the One who brings us salvation? Why do we so quickly lose focus? Why do so many in the church doubt the continuous, comprehensive work of sanctification through the power of the Holy Spirit?
We must have this cherished mentality in every part of our life. In every temptation, we must face it with the great confidence and gratitude that we have been saved from our flesh and the bite of sin and we have been give the necessary grace to overcome the testing and tempting that we will surely face in the days to come. Between the already of the cross and the not yet of the glory to come, we must hold fast to the great promises that Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15-17. 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. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
What can we learn from this passage?
TRUSTWORTHY // FULLY ACCEPTABLE // it speaks to Christ’s PATIENCE // HIS EXAMPLE // it is ETERNAL // it is INCLUSIVE TO ALL WHO BELIEVE, yet EXCLUSIVE in THAT IT IS IN CHRIST ALONE, THROUGH GRACE ALONE, BY FAITH ALONE.
Meditate on 1 Timothy 1:15-17 today. Let the Word of God be a refreshing reminder that you can rely on it and rest in His great promises that he is trustworthy and has sealed the work of your salvation through your faith in Jesus Christ.