New American Standard Bible
Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
King James Bible
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Darby Bible Translation
But for this reason mercy was shewn me, that in me, the first, Jesus Christ might display the whole long-suffering, for a delineation of those about to believe on him to life eternal.
World English Bible
However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life.
Young's Literal Translation
but because of this I found kindness, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, for a pattern of those about to believe on him to life age-during:
1 Timothy 1:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Howbeit for this cause - That is, this was one of the causes, or this was a leading reason. We are not to suppose that this was the only one. God had other ends to answer by his conversion than this, but this was one of the designs why he was pardoned - that there might be for all ages a permanent proof that sins of the deepest dye might be forgiven. It was well to have one such example at the outset, that a doubt might never arise about the possibility of forgiving great transgressors. The question thus would be settled for ever.
That in me first - Not first in the order of time, as our translation would seem to imply, but that in me the first or chief of sinners (ἐν ἐμοὶ ποώτῳ en emoi poōtō) he might show an example. The idea is, that he sustained the first rank as a sinner, and that Jesus Christ designed to show mercy to him as such, in order that the possibility of pardoning the greatest sinners might be evinced, and that no one might afterward despair of salvation on account of the greatness of his crimes.
Might shew forth all long-suffering - The highest possible degree of forbearance, in order that a case might never occur about which there could be any doubt. It was shown by his example that the Lord Jesus could evince any possible degree of patience, and could have mercy on the greatest imaginable offenders.
For a pattern - ὑποτύπωσιν hupotupōsin. This word occurs no where else in the New Testament, except in 2 Timothy 1:13, where it is rendered "form." It properly means a form, sketch, or imperfect delineation. Then it denotes a pattern or example, and here it means that the case of Paul was an example for the encouragement of sinners in all subsequent times. It was that to which they might look when they desired forgiveness and salvation. It furnished all the illustration and argument which they would need to show that they might be forgiven. It settled the question forever that the greatest sinners might be pardoned; for as he was "the chief of sinners," it proved that a case could not occur which was beyond the possibility of mercy.
Which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting - All might learn from the mercy shown to him that salvation could be obtained. From this verse we may learn:
(1) that no sinner should despair of mercy. No one should say that he is so great a sinner that he cannot be forgiven. One who regarded himself as the "chief" of sinners was pardoned, and pardoned for the very purpose of illustrating this truth, that any sinner might be saved. His example stands as the illustration of this to all ages; and were there no other, any sinner might now come and hope for mercy. But there are other examples. Sinners of all ranks and descriptions have been pardoned. Indeed, there is no form of depravity of which people can be guilty, in respect to which there are not instances where just such offenders have been forgiven. The persecutor may reflect that great enemies of the cross like him have been pardoned; the profane man and the blasphemer, that many such have been forgiven; the murderer, the thief, the sensualist, that many of the same character have found mercy, and have been admitted to heaven.
(2) the fact that great sinners have been pardoned, is a proof that others of the same description may be also. The same mercy that saved them can save us - for mercy is not exhausted by being frequently exercised. The blood of atonement which has cleansed so many can cleanse us - for its efficacy is not destroyed by being once applied to the guilty soul. Let no one then despair of obtaining mercy because he feels that his sins are too great to be forgiven. Let him look to the past, and remember what God has done. Let him remember the case of Saul of Tarsus; let him think of David and Peter; let him recall the names of Augustine, and Colonel Gardiner, and the Earl of Rochester, and John Newton, and John Bunyan - and thousands like them, who have found mercy; and in their examples let him see a full proof that God is willing to save any sinner, no matter how vile, provided he is penitent and believing.
LibraryThe Chief of Sinners
'Of whom I am chief.'--1 TIM. i. 15. The less teachers of religion talk about themselves the better; and yet there is a kind of personal reference, far removed from egotism and offensiveness. Few such men have ever spoken more of themselves than Paul did, and yet none have been truer to his motto: 'We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus.' For the scope of almost all his personal references is the depreciation of self, and the magnifying of the wonderful mercy which drew him to Jesus Christ. Whenever …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
St. Paul's Wish to be Accursed from Christ.
The Joy that was Set Before Him
But Regard the Troops of virgins, Holy Boys and Girls...
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
1 Corinthians 7:25
Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.
so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:13
even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
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