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.
This might just be the only place in Scripture that includes an error. Yep. Something that isn’t true.
Before you judge me, think about it. You probably will agree.
- Who is considered the greatest New Testament Christian (not counting Jesus)?
- Who wrote half of the New Testament?
- Who went all over the known world at the time proclaiming Jesus?
- Who actually saw Jesus, was blinded by Jesus, and then spent all his time risking his life for Jesus?
- Who wrote all those letters about being holy and being pure and not sinning?
The same guy who said HE was the foremost of sinners. In other words my Bible tells me that the Apostle Paul was/is the chief of all sinners.
See what I mean? That can’t be right! It can’t be true. It’s me. I am the worst of sinners.
Okay, I may not be – but one of you readers might be. 🙂
Now. Before you send me a long email on Paul’s point in these verses and what he actually meant here and that I need to stop saying the Bible is wrong – hang with me.
I know the Bible is infallible.
I know the Bible is totally accurate and true.
I also know Paul’s point. . . Don’t pass over it too quickly.
He considers himself to be the chief of sinners. When he wrote this, it was toward the end of his ministry and life. What does that reveal? Simply that the closer he walked with Jesus and the longer he lived with Jesus – the more of a sinner he understood himself to be.
The older Paul got and the more he lived – the more of God he grasped. That caused him to tremble at his own sinfulness.
Get this: THE MORE OF GOD WE UNDERSTAND, THE MORE SINFUL WE BECOME. Not practically, necessarily, but categorically in our minds and hearts. When we behold – more and more – the greatness of God in Christ, we will see ourselves in comparison. It will NOT be pretty. He becomes more beautiful. His grace toward us will. His power will. Our love for Him will grow in depth. Ourselves on the other hand? Not so much.
So, let me ask you: The longer you walk with Jesus and the older you get as a Christian – do you see God as more remarkable and your sin as more gross? Do you see Jesus as a fascinating Savior and yourself as desperate? A sign of genuine Christianity is a deeper disregard for ourselves and a more intense love of the Father due to His grace toward us in His Son.
“To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”