‘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 [NKJV]
I Am A Sinner
Admit this, and this verse of Scripture holds good news for you. Deny it knowingly, and Jesus Christ cannot help you. However, your denial may simply be the result of misunderstanding what the Bible defines a sinner to be.
So, what does it mean to be a sinner?
The Bible defines a sinner as one who has ‘come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).
It is easy to use the word ‘sinner’ as a descriptor of those who fall short of our own personal standards. If this were the case, we would never know were we stood: I might measure up to John’s standard, but not Jenny’s. Am I a sinner or not? Who judges?
The Bible tells us God is the ultimate judge. It is His standard and appraisal that matters, and as we measure ourselves against a perfect and holy God, we all fall short. We are all sinners!
I Need To Be Saved
Having admitted I am a sinner, I tremble, for I know that God is righteous and just. Scripture is clear that a Judgement Day looms before us, and having admitted I am a sinner, I know the verdict on Judgement Day will be guilty. Indeed, the Bible tells us we are ‘condemned already’ (John 3:18) and face eternal damnation. It’s clear! I need to be saved!
Thank God, our verse tells me of a Saviour who ‘came into the world to save sinners’, and that means me.
Can I Really Be Saved?
Perhaps your are saying to yourself: ‘You don’t know my life. I’ve done too many wicked things to be saved. I’m the worst of sinners and I don’t deserve to be saved’.
If this is how you’re thinking, consider the last phrase of our verse, where the Apostle Paul writes: ‘of whom I am chief’. Here is a man who thought just the same as you. Before his salvation, Saul of Tarsus (as he was previously known) was an arrogant man with innocent blood on his hands, yet he came to know the wonderful saving power of Jesus Christ.
He certainly didn’t deserve it, and never forgot the wonder of God’s grace to him. He could later write with what I think was incredulity: ‘the Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me’ (emphasis mine). And let me tell you – God loves you too, no matter who you are; no matter what you’ve done!
It is out of love for guilty, hell-deserving sinners like you and me, that God ‘gave His Only Begotten Son’ (John 3:16). And so we read that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Tim 1:15).
Jesus Christ Came To Save Me
Christ Jesus did not come ‘into’ this world like you or I came into this world. For us, there was a moment of conception when we began to exist. For the Son of God, He has eternally existed ‘in the bosom of the Father’ (John 1:18). In John’s Gospel, He is also referred to as ‘the Word’ which ‘was with God, and was God’ (John 1:1). But then, there came a glorious moment just over 2000 years ago, when ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14).
However, while the coming ‘into the world’ of God our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was an act of amazing grace in itself, that by itself was not enough. More amazing than His coming, is the reason for His coming, and this is the point our verse is driving home. Let’s consider it again.
‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’1 Timothy 1:15 [KJV]
Jesus Christ Died To Save Me
Christ’s coming fully reveals the Father to me, but cannot save me from His judgement. His miraculous power can heal the sick and raise the dead, but it cannot save me from my guilt. For salvation to be possible, the Lord Jesus Christ needed to give ‘Himself a ransom for all’ (1 Tim 2:6).
You see, God’s standard is consistent and clear. ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23), and therefore ‘without shedding of blood, [there] is no remission (a putting away of sin)’ (Hebrews 9:22).
And so, we turn to the centre cross, and consider that the One hanging there, is One who has come from heaven – our Creator. How can we, the creature, treat our Creator with such spite and hatred? We marvel at His silent meekness in the face of such injustice, but then we catch His words: “Father, forgive them”.
I Can Be Saved
It is ironic that it was a result of mankind’s greatest sin – crucifying the Saviour – that salvation and forgiveness became a possibility. However, it was not the sufferings inflicted by men that brought salvation, but as darkness covered the scene, ‘the LORD laid upon Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6).
As the darkness lifted, a loud cry was heard: “finished!” And bowing His head, Christ Jesus voluntarily went into death to rise again the third day – a Living Saviour.
This is the good news for sinners. For because of Christ’s death and resurrection, countless lives have been changed as sinners have come to know the joy of sins forgiven; peace with God; and a certain hope of heaven.
What about you? Are you saved?
I Am Saved
I pray that you will come to know the blessing of this statement: I am saved.
The assurance of our salvation is not because of ourselves, but because ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’. He is the One who saves us.
Do you believe His death and resurrection is sufficient to save you? Are you willing to submit to His authority over your life? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then you have the promise of God Himself that you are saved.
‘That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9 NKJV).