Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15).
For Paul, who described himself as the chief of sinners, this was good news, amazing news.
Paul’s sins were big.
He persecuted the church and blasphemed God’s name. You can’t do worse than this. His record didn’t merit salvation.
And then he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and his eyes were opened to truth. He knew he was unworthy and that mercy was his only hope. He found that God is rich in mercy.
From that moment on, Paul lived to share the gospel with everyone. He explained his mission to Timothy this way:
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16).
We all were sinners, dead spiritually. Our only hope was mercy. And God delivered. In his great mercy, God sent Jesus Christ to erase our sins and make us alive in Him.
Paul was shown mercy. He shared his story as an example for us. In it, we see that mercy reached even the worst of sinners. This is why Jesus came, to save sinners, to give mercy to those dead in sin.
Paul’s story is one of great hope. And here is the good news. So is yours.
You may feel like the chief of sinners right now and that your sins have put you beyond the reach of God’s mercy. If so, let Paul’s story ease your mind. He shared it for your benefit - so that you can say just as he did, “I was shown mercy.”