Summary: A textual sermon on 1 Timothy 1:15 (Idea came from Boyce Mouton)
Christmas is for Sinners
From Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol we read about Ebenezer Scrooge. “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!”
If we had to narrow down the gospel message into one sentence, what would that sentence be? Several we could use but here is Paul’s sentence. (1 Tim 1:15 NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.
Thesis: Let’s talk about this saying today.
Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. The Messiah means “The Anointed One”. The OT had ceremonies where kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil to be set apart for those positions and duties. Christ is our prophet, priest and king.
A. (Mat 1:20 NIV) But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (Mat 1:21 NIV) She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." The name was given from heaven.
B. Jesus is the Greek word for Joshua. Joshua means “Jehovah is salvation.”
C. Christ Jesus means, “The Anointed Savior.”
A. (John 1:14 NIV) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
B. (Phil 2:6 NIV) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (Phil 2:7 NIV) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
C. Fully God and fully man
Into the world
A. (Gen 6:11 NIV) Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. Not to that degree today but the earth is still full of it.
B. As his mother held him closely it was hard to understand That her baby, not yet speaking, was the word of God to man He would tell them of his kingdom but their hearts would not believe They would hate him and in anger they would nail him to a tree
C. (Phil 2:8 NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
A. Savior He can move the mountains My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save Forever Author of salvation He rose and conquered the grave Jesus conquered the grave
B. Because of his death, burial and resurrection He is mighty to save. (Heb 7:25 NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
A. It is interesting to see how Jesus responded to notorious sinners compared with how he responded to the respectable religious leaders of his day. He blasted the righteous people but was kind and compassionate with the sinners. Matthew 23 contains many harsh words to those who thought they were righteous.
B. (Luke 5:29 NIV) Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.(Luke 5:30 NIV) But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"(Luke 5:31 NIV) Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. (Luke 5:32 NIV) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
C. Who has sinned? (Rom 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
D. This is where all mankind is the same. We differ on many things but not this one. This is one of the reasons Jesus got upset with the religious leaders of his day, they thought they were righteous and not “sinners.” They felt like they were a cut above everyone else.
D. Jesus cannot save the healthy and the righteous. He can only save the sick and sinners. We must admit and understand that we are sinners before we can be saved.
F. (Rev 3:17 NIV) You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
G. Oh come on, I have been a Christian for years, I am righteous and respectable. Maybe this next phrase will help us.
- of whom I am the worst (chief)
B. (Acts 26:9 NIV) I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. (Acts 26:10 NIV) And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.(Acts 26:11 NIV) Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.