By Stewart Topping …
Timothy 1:12-17 (KJV) 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
This week let’s take apart this portion of scripture; I have highlighted the three key areas I want to discuss. We know the letter was written to Timothy, who was a young preacher. This is the first letter of three letters that are called the Pastoral Epistles that were written to establish the basics of the early Christian Church. I think the most important thing for Paul would be to establish salvation.
How to receive it, conditions, etc. Remember you cannot build the Body of Christ, the spiritual body, without having the cornerstone of faith is Jesus.
Here are the 3 key areas of Paul’s message in 1 Tim. 1:12-17.
1. for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry Who was before a blasphemer, and a, persecutor and injurious but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
2. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
3. that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long suffering for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Paul will use himself as example for a really good reason. First Paul did not consider himself to be worthy to be in Ministry or even to be saved, because of who he was and what he had done in the past. He considered himself to be unworthy and on his way to Hell. I went to the dictionary to get clear definition of these words, after looking them up, here is what I found.
This explained who Paul was during the time he persecuted believers. These believers were Jewish believers with faith in the name of Jesus and still practicing the law.
- Blasphemer: To speak of (God or a sacred entity) in an irreverent, impious manner.
- Persecutor: To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, beliefs.
- Injurious: Causing or tending to cause injury
We do know that Jesus came into the world to save sinners; He was the prophecy of the Old testament from the time of Adam till the end of the Gospels; Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”Until the death of Jesus on the cross;1 Thessalonians 5:9 (GW) 9 It was not God’s intention that we experience his anger but that we obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The thing that is important about Paul’s message is how Paul’s conversion is the center of our faith in Jesus.
Paul was allowed to receive through Grace his salvation because he was ignorant in his unbelief. Paul says in; 1 Timothy 1:16 (NKJV) 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
In me first Paul says … Paul was the first converted with the new message of believing in the Death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He became a pattern to those that believe. We are to continue to use the same pattern concerning salvation. When you build a house you make a pattern to cut the first stud. If you change and use one that was cut from the pattern then it may change the length but if you use the pattern for the cutting of all the studs then all of them will be the same length.
If a woman was to make 5 dresses she would make a pattern and proceed to cut five dresses from the same pattern, this way all dress would be identical. If she used one cut from anything other than the pattern it would not be identical. That’s why it is important to receive your salvation from the one who is the pattern for our salvation.
Paul made it very clear in; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NKJV) 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
If Paul is the pattern for our salvation and he says in 1 Cor. 15; 1-4 that his gospel (good news) by which you are to be saved is to believe in the Death, Burial and resurrection of Jesus. Then that is the way we must believe. This is why we have so many different ways to heaven, people use different Pattern for how we are to be saved. We want to make peace with God; we should expect God to provide a way of salvation and a clear path to that salvation. Paul was a committed man in his belief towards God, but it was wrong. God did not hold it against him because he was ignorant in his belief.
So now Paul is the Pattern of someone who received salvation from God because now his belief is correct.
Paul gives us the understanding to how we must believe in God’s salvation. First we must believe that God is.
Think on this verse. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. What is the reward?
1. Peace with God.
3. Receiving the Holy Spirit, seal of God’s promise.