Summary: In these statements, Paul gave to Timothy, Titus, and now to us, principles which are true and dependable, truths upon which we can build our faith and our lives in Christ.
The Mission of Jesus
A Trustworthy Statement
Text: 1 Timothy 1:15
This is the final lesson in this series drawn from the letters of Paul that we often refer to as the “Pastoral Epistles”, those letters written to Timothy and Titus. In this lesson, as with the others, we focus again the particular phrase used by Paul in these texts to underscore a principle or specific truth apart from the rest of what was written: “This is a trustworthy statement...” In these statements, Paul gave to Timothy, Titus, and now to us, principles which are true and dependable, truths upon which we can build our faith and our lives in Christ.
In this lesson we are going to look at the occurrence of this phrase in 1 Timothy 1 where the trustworthy statement declares the mission of our Lord.
1 Timothy 1:15 (NASB) It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
I.A Trustworthy Statement
A.Deserving full acceptance
1.The Spirit-inspired Apostle tells us that these words of our text are "a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance."
a.Five times in the pastoral epistles we find the phrase "trustworthy saying" (1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11; Tit 3:8).
b.It is to be found nowhere else in Scripture. The Greek language allows us to translate this phrase as a "faithful saying."
c.What is a faithful or trustworthy saying? It is a saying one can depend on. You know it is true, reliable, and inerrant.
d.Of course, in the final analysis this saying is trustworthy and faithful not because Paul can swear it is but only because it comes from our God Who is faithful and trustworthy. Because we can depend on Him we know we can depend on what He says to us in His Word.
2.This trustworthy, faithful saying "deserves full acceptance," our full acceptance. We must believe it with all our heart. We must live it with all our being.
a.Paul puts himself up as proof of the validity of the statement.
b.Paul calls himself the "worst of sinners." He tells us exactly why he calls himself this.
(1)First of all, he thinks about his past: "I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man" (vs 13). Before his conversion Paul hated Jesus Christ and His church, he persecuted Christians.
(2)Secondly, Paul is thinking not only about his sinful past but also about his sinful present. Consider his words in Romans 7:
Romans 7:21 – 25a (NASB) “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord...”
c.Paul clearly identifies himself as one of the sinners Christ Jesus came to save. In fact, he was so aware of his sin, of the evil in his life, of his fallen condition apart from Christ, that he called himself "the foremost of sinners." Which of us say that of ourselves?