1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
I. THE MISSION OF THE SON OF GOD is here set forth — He "came into the world." This expression would be an extravagance if it referred only to ordinary human parentage. The pre-existence of our Lord in a higher state was unquestionably an accepted axiom among the early Christians, a commonplace of primitive Christian belief; and we, believing in His deity, offer Him our lowly adoration as well as our thanks and love.
II. THE PURPOSE OF HIS MISSION could not be set forth more clearly and concisely than in the words, He came "to save sinners." His object was not to become the temporal king of the Jewish people, nor yet to give the light of scientific, or philosophical, or even ethical knowledge to the Gentiles; but to redeem men from the condemnation of the law, and to deliver them from their sins. To reverence Him as a kingly man, or to honour Him as a great teacher only, is but an imperfect acknowledgment of His claims.
III. THE EXEMPLIFICATION OF THIS PURPOSE, given by Paul, is drawn from his own experience. He says, respecting himself, of sinners, "I am chief." The word "sinners" is the same as occurs in the ninth verse, where it denotes those for whom the law was a necessity, for rebuke and restraint. Whom the law came to condemn, Jesus came to save. When, under the influence of chloroform, some critical operation is performed, and the patient wakes up to find that it is over, a great feeling of thankfulness rises up in his breast at the whisper, "thank God it has been successful," for he knows that life is saved; but he would feel still more thankful if he knew what the skilful surgeon does, that there was only a fractional part of an inch in this direction or in that between him and death. Paul knew better than we do what he had been saved from here and hereafter, and his intensity of feeling about sin was an element in his spiritual greatness. May God give us also humbling views of ourselves and adoring thoughts of Him who has saved us! Conclusion: The truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, is "worthy of all acceptation." "It is a faithful saying," worthy of implicit credence, of absolute reliance, for it will not give way though you lean the whole weight of your soul's salvation on it. It is worthy of acceptance by all men. And it is worthy of every kind of acceptation; worthy of being embraced by every faculty of mind, and heart, and will. You may understand it as a theological doctrine, but that is not enough; you may love it as a familiar pleasant-sounding phrase, but that is not enough. It deserves the homage of your entire nature.
(A. Rowland, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.