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1 Timothy 1:12-20 (ESV)
Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 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. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
What gives Paul the authority over false teachers?
Merciful Father, You know people’s past, their brokenness, and failures but You use them anyway. Paul was devoted to killing followers of Jesus. When he was convicted and converted to faith in You, the believers were skeptical, concerned, fearful, and didn’t know what to do with Paul or the situation. Paul had to defend his faith and prove it through faithful actions. Jesus put him through the test and Paul humbly and consistently responded. Paul’s story was powerful and telling his story helped people to see Your grace for Paul and as a result for them. Lord, I too am a sinner. I have a broken past but You chose to love me. Pastor Mike said, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. As I have grown in my relationship with You, my conviction of sin has increased and my appreciation of God’s forgiveness, love, and mercy has grown. Salvation means freedom, it came about as a result of grace. Help me not wallow in the past, but celebrate the present freedom and the grace that brought it about. Help me to tell others what Your grace and mercy have done for me, what it means to my life and how I have changed as a result. Help me to prove my faith through actions and to humbly and consistently respond to the tests of this life so that I can be an example for You. I have a story to tell. I want to tell them how much You have done for me and how much mercy You have had on me. Provide opportunities for me to share what You have done in my life. Give me the confidence and the boldness to tell others the story of Your Grace, Love, Hope, and eternal salvation. Through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen