1 Timothy 1:12-17 - Christ Jesus Came to the World to Save Sinners
V-12 - Paul now will contrast himself with the false teachers he wrote about in the previous verses. Paul begins with giving thanks and his thankfulness is felt throughout this whole passage. God has given Paul strength to stay faithful in the ministry He gave him. Our service to God is done by the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we must work hard, but the work is in keeping in step with God’s Spirit. God has saved Paul from a life of rebellion.
Acts 9:1-19 - Paul’s conversion
Acts 22:3–5 (ESV): 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.
Acts 26:10–11 (ESV): 10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
V-13 - Paul is not saying that he is innocent in any way. He is a sinner and guilty, but God showed mercy towards Paul because he was indeed ignorant of who Jesus really was, rather than hiding Him like some Pharisees or false teachers. Thus, God showed Paul great mercy.
Blasphemed - He spoke lies or untruths about God.
Persecutor - He persecuted and oversaw the murder of Christians.
Insolent opponent - Paul would speak arrogantly and condescendingly toward followers of Jesus.
V-14 - Paul received mercy and grace. God’s grace overflowed for Paul. It is like waves of grace just hitting us and overwhelming us. The more our sin increased, grace increased.
John 1:14–16 (ESV): 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Romans 5:19–21 (ESV): 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The grace of God comes to us because of God’s love. 1 John 4:19 (ESV): 19 We love because he first loved us. We in turn respond in faith and in love to God because He has worked in us through His grace and mercy.
V-15 - This verse seemed to be become a known statement of the early church. Something they would recite it or have as a bumper sticker on their donkey cart.
Christ - All the promises about the Messiah.
Jesus - Savior and God with us.
Matthew 1:21(ESV): 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Came into the World - The incarnation. God coming to us.
Matthew 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
John 1:1–5 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:14 (ESV): 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
To Save Sinners - Our great need is met by Christ. The plan was to save us. To seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
Luke 5:27–32 (ESV): 27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
John 12:44–50 (ESV): 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
I am the Foremost - Paul certainly would be considered quite an evil guy. But, this phrasing is for us. This has to be our heart cry. We “ARE,” not we “WERE.” Humility.
Luke 18:9–14 (ESV): 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The nearer a man gets to God the greater He sees his sin. - Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones
The nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart. - Charles Spurgeon
As you draw closer to Christ, you will see just how far away He truly is.
V- 16 - There is hope. God saves us to display His perfect patience for others to see. Others glorify God when they see that God would even save the chief of sinners. There is purpose for you no matter your past. What you have done doesn’t define you. Rather, what has been done for you defines you.
V- 17 - Paul breaks out in a doxology of praise because, I believe, He is overwhelmed by the grace, love, and mercy of God towards him in Christ Jesus. Paul points out multiple truths about God in this doxology.
King of Ages - He is the true sovereign King from age to age.
Immortal - He is never ending, never dying, never changing, and never being defeated.
Invisible - You can’t see Him, but He can see you. He is here.
Only (wise) God - The only true God. A lot of pretenders.
This sermon and the entire sermon series were influenced and impacted by the following commentaries, Bibles, books, teachings and sermons. I am so very grateful for the insight and ministries of those involved with each. Likewise, I am thankful for the insights and input from those who attend the sermon preparation time at FBCCK.
NIV Compact Bible Commentary - John Sailhammer
The Message of the New Testament - 1 Timothy - Mark Dever
The Letters to Timothy and Titus - The Pillar New Testament Commentary - Robert Yarbrough
The Pastoral Epistles - Tyndale New Testament Commentary - Donald Guthrie
1&2 Timothy and Titus - Preaching the Word Commentary - Bryan Chapell and R. Kent Hughes
1 Timothy - Reformed Expository Commentary - Philip Ryken
What is Legalism - John Piper - Podcast
Three Uses of the Law - R.C. Sproul and John Calvin - Articles on Ligioner
ESV Study Bible
HCSB Study Bible
John McArthur Study Bible
Topics for the Prayer Time
*Those who have yet to believe in Jesus
*The unreached peoples of the earth
*Missionaries around the world and for more to go
*The spiritual growth of other believers and churches
*That you would have more spiritual gifts
*That Christians would remain faithful under persecution
*Those who are sick
*Those who have lost loved ones
*Our nation, leaders, military, and civil servants
*Pray for the health and salvation of the unborn babies in our church
*Pray against the evils of abortion and human trafficking
*Pray for the University of Florida international students
*Pray God would bless our efforts to in evangelism and discipleship
*Pray God would bless our community
*Pray God would bless the churches of those visiting us