1 Timothy 1:12–20 (ESV)
Jesus Came to Save Sinners
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor,
and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made
about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to
Why did Jesus come into this world? It was to save sinners! The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (v 15). This truth is the
beating heart of all our hope and joy. God’s patience and mercy are at work to save all sinners, whether they are blinded by ignorance (like Paul) or have actively rejected the faith (like Hymenaeus and Alexander). Our conscience may sometimes be plagued
by doubts and regrets. But if God’s desire to save sinners could extend even to Paul, who actively persecuted Jesus’ followers, and who is foremost among sinners, then it can certainly extend to us as well. God’s mercy and patience for us
is demonstrated at the cross, where Jesus died as the substitute for all sinners and won eternal life for all who believe.
I pray: “Almighty God, You turned the heart of him who persecuted the
Church and by his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world. Grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and, following the example of the apostle Paul, to spread it to the ends of the earth.” Amen.