Paul’s Personal Testimony


One of the drawbacks to living in Seminary Housing is (the best part is that your rent is part of your financial aid) that the Internet can be a little skittish. So I have been without it (how did we ever live without it???) for the last couple of days. So here we go back to 1st Timothy. Today’s passage is 1 Tim 1:12-17.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul in this pericope is building upon his own call as he spells out at the end of verse 11. He says in verse 11 “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.” Any Baptist worth his salt would point to this passage for an excellent example of what a testimony looks like (I by the way am in favor of Testimonies). Here we have Paul bearing his soul to his protege Timothy. He begins with a statement of where he is now, a follower of Jesus Christ and a teacher of His Gospel. He then speaks of the lows that Christ brought him out of; he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and he was a “violent aggressor” against all that Christ is for his people. Yet what does Paul say next? Even though Paul was all these things “the foremost sinner”, (And this next point is huge!!!) CHRIST CAME TO HIM!!! With his mercy and grace. Paul did nothing of his own account but because Jesus decided by his providential design to show this mercy upon Paul it is incumbent upon Paul to share this message with those whom he as been called to serve. Paul then in the last couple of verses completely spells exactly what is the message of the Gospel. So I end with Paul’s words in verses 15-17 so that you to may know the good news that Paul wants Timothy to know and trust:

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

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