This week’s reading from 1 Timothy 1:12-17 sees the apostle Paul reminding Timothy, a younger pastor, of the extent of God’s forgiveness. The Bible often speaks about how serious our sin is. Our failure to fulfill God’s will, our neglect of God’s Word, our rejection of God’s people, all our failure is clear to us. However, we often try to ignore one simple fact. The Bible says that all sin is worthy of death (Ezekiel 18:20, Romans 6:23, etc.). How are we going to deal with this?
First, we should be moved to sorrow. Our sin is grievous. It is not acceptable in God’s sight for his people to be engaged in sin. There should be no question about that. Any awareness of our sin should rightly remind us of the curse of God against sin.
Second, we should realize the depth of Jesus’ forgiveness. This is the subject of our passage in 1 Timothy. The apostle Paul, before his conversion, was actively involved in hindering, discouraging, and even killing God’s people. Furthermore, he was doing this all in the name of God, thinking that the Christians were a fringe group who had wrongly identified the Messiah and needed to be silenced. Paul was guilty as guilty can be. However, he was confronted by Jesus, who showed him forgiveness, acceptance, and patience in all things.
The Bible depicts Jesus as willingly intervening to take sin away from sinners (v. 15). When we are confronted by our sin and shame, let us, like Paul, look to Jesus, the savior of sinners.
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