Thursday, 09 February 2023
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” -1 Timothy 1:16
Paul’s letters to Timothy is as of a father to a son- endearing, encouraging and instructing. Young Timothy was put in charge of some churches Paul had founded. Hence his letters were like “how-to-do” lists for this young promising pastor!
While instructing Timothy to deal with false teachers- those who were purporting error, especially with their wrong concept of the gospel, he is grateful to God for counting him faithful to be entrusted with the gospel (v.9).
Paul was truly an example of the saving grace of God which is the crux of the gospel. When examining verses 15 and 16 of this chapter, the highlights of the Gospel are seen here:
· Christ Jesus came to save sinners- at His birth, the angel spoke, “…you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”(Matt.1:21)
· Salvation is for sinners- Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
· God is patient with the sinner-“…he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)
· It is God’s great mercy extended in saving the worst sinner “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”(Lam.3:22)
· The testimony of God’s saving grace needs to be shared-“…Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”(Acts 23:11)
· In being saved, one has to believe in Jesus Christ- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
· The sinner receives eternal life through Christ- “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1John 5:13)
Paul had experienced a turnaround from a persecutor of Christians to a preacher of the Good News! That is the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! His personal encounter with Christ made him a new person (Acts 9).
Paul had received God’s great grace and mercy. A man of God aptly said, Grace is getting what we didn’t deserve- God’s gift of salvation and Mercy is not getting what we deserved- God’s just punishment for our sin. Both God’s grace and mercy are at work in the salvation of a person as we see in the testimony of Paul. God’s great mercy in His patience to Paul, till he surrendered his life to Christ is still extended to every sinner. He does not want to see any of His creation walk down the road of hell, rejecting Him and His offer of salvation. Hence He is patient and gives ample chances for a person to be saved.
If you have yet not responded to His Great mercy, would you turn to Him? Would you give Him a try? He is worth knowing and experiencing! Only He can put you off to a new start with giving you a new life that is full of purpose and direction.
May the Lord enable each of you reading this today to say: “A sinner saved by His Great Mercy and Grace!”
Thought for the day: “GOD’s mercy and grace gave me hope – for myself, and for our world.” ~Billy Graham