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Summary: The aim of this sermon is to encourage persons to examine where they are today in their faith walk.

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Can any of us identify with this Man? (1 Timothy 1:12-16)

People are people is a common phrase uttered from time to time. It is often said when referring to churches, society, and the world at large. The gist of the is saying is that regardless of where you go there will be commonalties among individuals that will

resemble others in an entirely different place.

Faces may change and names may be different but the adage is true, people are people. Realizing that people are people, I am sure that God in God’s infinite wisdom foreknew all of the things that humanity would involve itself with.

Having that insight, God made provisions for all of humanity through Jesus Christ’s coming into this life to die for the sins of humanity.

Our scriptural passage today helps us with delve into the concept that people are people through the life of the Apostle Paul. While addressing Timothy, a young man he had taken under his wings and had begun to mentor, Paul is giving his testimony.

This testimony is significant because it shows that Paul did not attempt to hide anything that he

had previously done or involved himself in. It clearly reveals that he held back nothing but was open in sharing his witness to Timothy.

It is also crucial for readers of this passage to see that Paul could look back over his life and see what God is capable of doing for anyone open to God’s presence in one’s life.

He began his discourse with Timothy by crediting Jesus Christ with giving him strength and calling him from one way of living and interacting into another way of living and interacting. He

further stated to his younger counterpart that he was once a blasphemer, a persecutor,and a violent person.

But notice that he did not stop there, he went on to say that he recognized that it was God who extended him mercy while he was acting counter to the

gospel. He ascribed his behavior as being ignorant and also stipulated that there was once a time he did not believe what he had been exposed to as far as the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This testimony sounds familiar to me. I am sure that it also sounds familiar to you. People are people and that’s why I posed the theme of this message in the form of a question, “Can anyone of Us Identify with this Man?”

Is there anyone here who can resonate with Paul’s testimony that he or she once was a non-

believer in the Christian faith? Can anyone of us here who identify with the fact that Paul actually made fun of Christians and vehemently opposed anything that resembled Christianity? Can anyone of us here acknowledge without pretense or shame like Paul that you were shown mercy by God despite your unbelief and negative behavior?

I need to know today, can any of us say like Paul said in verse 14 of 1 Timothy 1 that the Lord looked beyond your shortcomings and extended grace abundantly on your behalf? I wish there were a few witnesses in here to what the apostle had to say about that trust worthy saying that deserves full acceptance. How many of us have finally come to

the belief that Jesus Christ did come into this life to save humanity from its sins?

If there were only a few witnesses like Paul who did not deny his past but affirmed his present state as well by stating that there was a time he was a number one sinner.

Is there anyone in here who can possibly identify with this man who came to the realization that the God of creation loves humanity so much that God extends God’s grace and mercy to the worst of us?

I don’t know about you today church, but for me that’s good news. It’s good to know that God can and will do for us what was done for Paul.

People are people and there are still some people in life who have not gotten to the place where God would have them to be. Even with a bad attitude toward God and others who espouse to the Christian faith God still was able to use Paul.

Can any of us identify with this man? I really need to know today? Do I have one witness in this place.

Well, if you won’t tell it I guess I’ll have to tell it. I too was like this man name Paul. Despite the fact that I had been reared in a Christian home it took a while for me to really accept Christ into my life as my personal savior. Yes, I was on the wrong

road and needed to change my direction just like the apostle did. The only problem with that fact is that I could not do it myself. Neither could Paul and neither can anyone else.

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