Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Chief of Sinners?

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  1 Timothy 1:15

Multitudes of people believe that Paul was the greatest Christian who ever lived. Certainly, no student of Paul would believe that he was the “chief of sinners.”

There are at least four things that could explain why Paul said this. The first is his possible thinking of his life before becoming a Christian. Paul writes in verse 13 “… I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man ….”

Second, he was possibly thinking of his life after being saved but before he understood about his spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection and how to experience it. In Romans he tells of being filled with covetousness while trying to observe the tenth command not to covet. He describes his inner misery with, “I died.”

A third reason Paul could have said this was his knowledge of the corruption of the sin nature In Romans 8:18, Paul writes, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells ….”

The fourth reason is that Paul progressively experienced God in a deeper and richer way. As he continually drew closer to God, he realized for the first time that some of his actions of the past were sinful.    

Perhaps you are seeing yourself as “the chief of sinners.” This may have paralyzed your walk with God and your ministry for God and others. However, there are some good things about believing that you are the chief of sinners. It elevates our praise to God for His amazing loving kindness and forgiveness. It gives us a greater motivation to live out our oneness with Christ. It should never draw us away from our walk with Jesus.

Regardless of your age, there is still the possibility of continual growth for you and all of God’s children.