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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy

 

16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

 

In verse 16, Paul claimed he was a model for God saving sinners. If God is willing to save the number 1 sinner, He is willing to save anyone. God disqualifies no one from salvation, no matter how far they may have sinned. There is hope for everyone.

16 However [strong contrast], for this reason I obtained mercy,

The very reason God saved a person such as Saul of Tarsus was to show His abundant grace and mercytoward sinners. God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). He is abundant in it (1 Pe 1:3). God delights in mercy (Mic 7:8).

that in me first Jesus Christ might show [display] all longsuffering,

Others can expect the same patient mercy God showed to Paul in his salvation. Christ showed restraint toward Paul by “longsuffering.” “Longsuffering” comes from three words: long, soul, and tumultuous. The Lord’s capacity for dealing with tumult is long. He did not exercise judgment toward him because God had the capacity of protracted patience.

as a pattern [prototype] to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

The example of Paul’s salvation is a “pattern” to those who might believe salvation unto everlasting life. God’s grace is constantly available to anyone who wants to receive it. God wanted to make a public display of His grace toward sinners. The apostle’s salvation set the pace for those who would believe after him.

The “life” in “everlasting life” is the life God gives the believing sinner at the point of salvation. God’s life had no beginning nor an ending. He provides the life He possesses.

PRINCIPLE:

The supreme sinner became the supreme saint.

APPLICATION:

No one is beyond the range of salvation. If God is willing to save the foremost sinner, He will save anyone who trusts Christ’s death to forgive their sins. Jesus came to live a perfect life that people cannot match. He died a death that He did not deserve and rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

God’s grace applies to believers as well. No minister is worthy of his ministry. God allows him to serve by His infinite mercy.

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