“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” (1 Tim. 1:15).
There are sayings that go around for generations that become axioms of life. One might hear someone make a statement and then hear someone reply, “My father use to say that.” The statement made by Paul to Timothy is a great summary of the redemptive work of Christ Jesus that was and is to be repeated for all generations. Consider three things from this verse that show how important this faithful saying is.
- The Person of History. There are many people who have come into this world since the time of Adam. However, there is no person more important in history than Christ Jesus. While some magazines may have their “Person of the Year” or “Person of the Decade” or even “Person of the Century,” Jesus is the person who impacts every human being in every generation. Christ Jesus came into the world in spite of those that there are skeptics and unbelievers. Paul wrote of God’s eternal plan, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” (Eph. 3:10-11). Peter stated before the rulers and elders of the Jewish people, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Mankind may choose to ignore certain people in life and in history. No one can justifiably ignore Jesus.
- The Purpose in History. This faithful saying also gave the purpose for Jesus coming into the world. He came to save sinners. He stated this as much. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). The Lord God told the devil long ago, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). The saying of God in both the Old and New Testaments is faithful and true from beginning to end.
- The Personal Application in History. While the statement of Christ Jesus coming into the world to save sinners is a primary fact, it is of no value to the individual who will not apply it. Paul stated emphatically that one of those sinners Jesus came to save was indeed Paul himself. There was a time when Paul did not believe such. Notice what he wrote. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them” (Acts 26:9-10). Again, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Rom. 7:9). Paul never lost sight of where he stood before the Christ. There comes a point in everyone’s history that personal application must take place. This faithful saying is “worthy of all acceptation” (1 Tim. 1:15).