The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.” vs. 151 Timothy 1:15-17
Paul wasn’t a half-way sort of guy. By his own estimation he was a brilliant scholar, far more zealous for the law than any of his peers, blameless in all of his words and actions. But after his encounter with the Risen Christ, he came to see that he was also the chief of sinners–no one else came close to matching his wretchedness. Whatever else that can be said of him, he certainly didn’t have any issues with his ego! We can chuckle a bit about Paul’s use of superlatives in describing himself, but he has a point that is worth remembering. If we’re really interested in a living relationship with Christ, it’s crucial for us to acknowledge that we are sinners! For most that’s not much of a stretch–we’re fully aware of our defects. But some don’t like saying that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We’d rather talk about our intrinsic goodness and being created in the image of God. The problem is that during his ministry, Jesus hung out with sinners. He loved being with them and regularly offered them forgiveness. He saw the goodness of their hearts and offered them cleansing–and that’s what he does for us. We don’t have to wallow in our imperfections, but when mercy and grace are freely offered to all who confess their sins, it doesn’t make sense to deny that we are sinners.
Thought for the Day: What do I do with my sins?