Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Lord's Grace to Paul--and Us

Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy, his son in the ministry: "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:15-17).

The phrase, "trustworthy saying" is used five times in the Pastoral Epistles. Paul is emphasizing the reliability of the statements that he is making about Jesus Christ. I'd like to point out three things we see in this passage.

First of all, there is the mention of Christ's mission. The reason the Son of God left heaven and came to earth was so He could accomplish the plan of salvation. Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10). He also stated, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17).

Paul certainly knew and understood this fact. He not only recognized his own sin--he considered himself "the worst of sinners"--a point he makes and then repeats. Notice the present tense of Paul's astounding affirmation. He was acutely aware of his own failures and shortcomings.

This leads us to the second point, Christ's manner. Paul believed the reason that he was the recipient of the Lord's mercy was in order for Jesus to demonstrate his "unlimited patience" to other believers. "Love is patient," among other things. (1 Corinthians 13:4). Thankfully for us "sinners," the Lord is truly patient. Like Paul, we all fail miserably even after we have been "born again." Recognizing this we should be thankful to God for His grace to us and remember to "bear with" and support fellow believers when they stumble.

The third point emphasized in this text is Jesus Christ's majesty. "Who," considering the stated mission and manner, could do these things? Only "The King" Himself who is God. In verse seventeen, Paul referring to Jesus Christ mentions three attributes: "eternal, immortal, invisible" that can only be said of The Deity. Because this is true, He alone deserves "honor and glory forever." for His grace shown to us.

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