1 Timothy 1:18–20 (ESV)
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 blaspheme.
“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. (LSB Altar Book, p 954)