You Can Trust This!
I Tim 1:15-20
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
In our previous passages we have seen Timothy told by Paul to tell folks who are teaching false ideologies to quit! And then Paul goes off into a discussion of the proper use of the law.
Today, our message focuses on how to view ourselves on the correct foundation before God. Correct teaching leads to correct behavior. How should we see ourselves in the light of what God has revealed about Himself and about ourselves in the world?
- Jesus’ Purpose is to Save Sinners!
Reread v. 15
Luke 19:10 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Lost sheep, Lost coin, Lost Son
- Salvation is God’s idea
Think about Paul’s conversion experience. Is God involved? Is God demonstrating initiative? Now, what about your life? Were you raised in a Christian home? Why? So it would be easier for you to believe! This is God’s grace? Did you have a Christian come into your life to share the truth about Christ with you? Why? It is God’s initiative.
Ephesians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight
Ephesians 2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
- Salvation is from God’s wrath
Biblical examples of God’s wrath:
Genesis 3 Curse: God’s presence, marriage, work and family.
Genesis 6 Flood: A reset on the living world
Genesis 11 Babel: More relationship troubles
The terrible nature of the cross: Why the beating? Why the mocking? Why the spitting? Why blindfold Him and club Him around? Why the crown of thorns? Why the public humiliation? Why the nakedness? Why the most cruel form of punishment people can think of?
Wrath. It is what we are saved from. It is what highlights God’s love. It is what makes the cross, the greatest instrument of torture, the piece of jewelry we wear on our bodies all the time.
- Salvation is from sin’s power
John 8: 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Gal 5: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Romans 6: 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Galatians 2: 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.
- Salvation is only through Christ
Hebrews 10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’[a]
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Gal 2: 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
- I Am A Sinner
- All must understand their need of salvation
How does Paul know?
Romans 7: 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
Paul was a persecutor of the church!
- All must decide to follow Jesus
In a way, God’s call to follow Jesus is unique to every person. He calls for your submission, so He will call you to a crisis of obedience. He will call you to a crisis of trust.
- God is actively exercising patience
16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience
as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
God is waiting on people to follow Jesus!
We are waiting on people to follow Jesus!
II Peter 3 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
It can’t be both ways. God is either being patient and salvation is being offered, or His patience is ended and salvation is no longer available.
This is why the Book of Revelation teaches us that Jesus has purchased people by His blood for God from every tribe tongue and nation. And this calls for patient endurance of the saints.
Romans 8: 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
- You honor God by following Jesus
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
These truths honor God! V.17
This happens because you are a testimony of God’s patience, love, grace and mercy. Your very life experience shows these things. It is your purpose. And you only walk in it if you start from humility like Paul.
Note that Paul does not define himself in his relationship with God based upon his great work. He is a great Apostle. He does not deny his hard work, He just makes all of his life a result of the grace of God: I Cor 15:9-10 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.