The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15)
In 1 Corinthians (15:9), one of Paul’s earliest letters he refers to himself as the “least of the apostles.” In a subsequent letter to the church in Ephesus (Eph 3:8), he refers to himself as the “least of all the saints.” And in one of his last letters, late in life, to Timothy (1 Ti 1:15), he calls himself “chief of sinners.” Though Paul had walked with God and matured in his faith, his awareness of sin increased rather than decreased. Notice who Paul identifies himself with each time. The first time he identifies himself among the apostles, “I am least of the apostles.” The next time he identifies himself with the saints, “I am least of the saints.” But in this last text he identifies himself with sinners. As you grow in your faith you may indeed sin less and less. This is God’s sanctifying work in you. But as you grow closer to the Lord, you also grow more away of your own sin. You begin to see how utterly undeserving you are as a person to stand before God alone. And as you see your sin more and more you will consequently see Christ and his love for you to be greater and greater. This is what it means to progress in the faith!
If you were to compare yourself to another group of people when it comes to how bad you sin, what group are you like?
Ask God to open your eyes to the evil of sin and the greatness of Christ.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Kings 4, 1 Tim 1, Da 8, Ps 50