Forgiving FaithSeries: Real Faith
The Worst Sinner
In I Timothy 1:15, Paul calls himself the “foremost” of sinners. That’s a pretty big label, and today we’ll look at how he got there. As I was preparing for the lesson this week, I was reminded of what Paul says about all of us in his letter to the Romans in 5:6-11. He uses 3 labels to describe the “before Christ” relationship between us and God: “weak,” “sinners” and “enemies.” That last one is pretty jarring—enemies? I never saw myself as an enemy of God. I would imagine most of us probably haven’t either. And yet, in sin, that is exactly how we stand before God. Because of our sinful nature, we were hostile to him before submitting to Christ and having our sins washed away. Jesus literally washes us and puts us in a right standing with God and we become children of God instead of His enemies. Amazing, right?! It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it sometimes.
Paul goes on to describe the incredible love God has for us. Even while we were weak, sinful enemies of God, He sent His son to die for us. Imagine doing the hardest thing you can think of for the most difficult person you know and you might come close to what Jesus did on the cross. In fact, Paul even says someone might die for a good person, but a sinner? Never. It’s not just Paul. We all have been given this incredible gift. This is how Paul—with his “worst sinner” title—is able to be forgiven. The love of God is greater than my—or anyone’s—sin. That’s good news!