Saturday, September 8, 2012

1 Timothy 1:15-17

Summary retelling of 1 Timothy 1:15-17

As Paul continues to write to Timothy, he does make sure to make his point clearly.  Christ did come to save sinners, and Paul admits he is certainly one of those.  But Christ came not just to save the sinner, but to change the sinner so as to be an example of God’s patience to the rest of the world.  Because God does this, He deserves our praise and our glory.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Paul makes sure that we understand one thing very clearly: Christianity starts with sinners.  All of us at one time were caught up in sin and walking apart from God.  All of us at one point were chasing our own desires.  All of us – even at some times when we thought that we were following God – were actually more interested in our own desires.  Remember when we studied Acts and learned that Paul was persecuting Christians?  He thought he was being obedient to God, but He was actually being a horrible thorn in God’s side!  We all were sinners at one point, and Christ came because all of us need Him in order to be saved.

Can you remember a time in your life when you were simply living your life without caring too much about God and His ways?  Why is it important to remember that all of us begin our journey with God by Him calling us out of our sinful life?

Second Thought:
However, Paul also talks about the fact that Christ came to him to change him.  Jesus Christ came to Paul so that Paul could become a model.  This doesn’t mean that Paul is being arrogant or self-centered.  The reality is that this is true about all of us.  Jesus Christ comes to all of us so that we might be changed and we might become a representation to the world of what God can do within each of us.  That doesn’t make us better than others, because it is God who is changing us.  God gets the credit; we are merely the vessels through which His hand is at work.  But it is important to remember that God saves us for His purpose – that we be changed and that we represent His work to the world.

How well do you do at “being changed?”  Are you a great representative of what God can do within a person?  Do you ever have times in your life where you still believe in God yet aren’t exactly the best representative of the humble servant who focuses on God’s ways?  Why do you think that it is important for Paul to have Timothy reflect on the importance for remembering that while God does start with sinners, he calls His people to be models for the world?

Third Thought:
Paul takes some time in the midst of this conversation to give praise to God.  God does all of it.  God could have left us sinful.  God could have walked away.  But He doesn’t.  God gives us every opportunity.  He allows us to know Him.  He allows us to change our life.  He does deserve our praise and His name should be glorified!

Have you given praise to God today?  For what have you given Him praise?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
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