When we think about being saved, we should be amazed at lots of things. But there are two things that stand out. One is the amazing love of God. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die in our place.
The second is the people He has shown His love to. While we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), we have become sinners. Romans 5:8 tells us “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” It wasn’t for good people, for religious people, for people who deserved to be saved, but sinners who deserve the opposite.
Today’s scripture reinforces this amazing truth: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). Other versions say, “I am the worst.”
So, not just any sinner, but the worst. He was thinking of his past as a persecutor (1 Timothy 1:12), but he also recognises how serious sin is. It is not just some little thing, it is rebellion against our perfect, good, loving, holy, wise, all-powerful, glorious creator. He has given us all things, even our breath, and yet human beings have become their own gods.
hen we see how bad sin is, we will be moved to continuous praise for our salvation. But Paul’s amazement wasn’t just about God’s love for sinners in general, but God’s love for him even though he was such a sinner. When we see how bad our own sin is, like Paul did, we will be moved even more to worship, delight in God and obedience.
There’s an old hymn that says: “Oh, make me understand it, Help me to take it in, What it meant to Thee, the Holy One, To bear away my sin.”
That’s a good prayer to pray today.