The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost. – 1 Timothy 1:15
Have you ever encountered someone who thought they could not be saved because they are hopeless sinners and beyond help? After sharing the gospel with a lot of people over the years and having many of these types of conversations, I began searching the bible for passages that might help during these discussions. The above verse is one of my favorites. What I’ve found is people often have the most difficulty forgiving themselves for what they have done. We must accept that we cannot undo the things we’ve done in the past. No matter how great the pain and hurt we have caused others with our irresponsible and regrettable actions. However, God is merciful and ready to forgive us when we confess our sins and sincerely repent. Before apostle Paul’s conversion he lived a wicked life. He was a former blasphemer, persecutor, and a man of violence (verse 13). So let Paul be an example to us all. Take comfort that despite being the foremost of sinners, he received mercy because no one is beyond the reach of God’s loving grace.