Text: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (HCSB)
12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry - 13 one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. Since it was out of ignorance that I had acted in unbelief, I received mercy, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” - and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy because of this, so that in me, the worst [of them], Christ Jesus might demonstrate the utmost patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8 (HCSB)
Intro: Chosen Frozen! Maybe I should say if you’re frozen you’re not chosen or maybe the statement should read: “It is time to thaw out!”
Application: The true Minister is called of God
1. Christ Enables: vs. 12-14
12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry - 13 one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. Since it was out of ignorance that I had acted in unbelief, I received mercy, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Christ forgave Paul just as He can forgive us! Paul mentioned his past, he had cursed the name of Christ, he had been set against all believers - set upon destroying them all. He enjoyed being brutal and violent against them. However despite all this evil, God had mercy upon Paul. Paul had not known that Christ was really the true Messiah. He thought that he knew God and that his religion was the true religion. He felt that any religion that stood against his religion was to be stamped out. When Paul attacked Christ and His followers, he did it ignorantly in unbelief. It is interesting how ignorant people still are today!
Jesus poured out His grace upon Paul. Jesus favored Paul even when he did not deserve it. Jesus blessed Paul even when he did not deserve it. Jesus stirred faith in Paul: the faith to believe and trust and to serve and to keep on serving no matter the trial, problem, or fatigue. Jesus stirred love in Paul: the love to still reach out and do all he could for people even when they rejected, ridiculed, abused, and persecuted him. That is how Jesus enables us!
Christ Jesus enabled Paul. The word "enabled" means to strengthen and give power to. No person has the power to do spiritual warfare; no person can penetrate the spirits of other people. If a person is to minister to people, they must be empowered by Christ, for only Christ can penetrate the spirits of people. You must possess the power of Christ.
Knowing what Jesus did for Paul just imagine what he can do for us! Paul was admitting he was chief amongst the sinners and the lord changed him, He enabled him. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” John 15:16 (HCSB)
It is Christ who calls us, enables us to do the work of the Gospel! He will give us the strength that is needed. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
2. Christ Elevates: vs. 15-16
15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” - and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy because of this, so that in me, the worst [of them], Christ Jesus might demonstrate the utmost patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”
Elevated: Lifted up! Christ lifted up Paul from the pit of sin. What God did was: He saved Paul and He selected Paul.
Christ came into the world to save sinners, to lift them from the pit of sin. This message can be trusted, and the glorious message is worthy of everyone accepting it. Christ saves us from sin, death, and the judgment to come. No matter how sinful a person is - no matter how great a sin or sins we have committed - Christ came to save. Once we are saved we do become part of the ministry, we are called to different functions to carry out Gods plan. The bible reminds us: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19:10 (KJV)
John 3:16-17 (KJV)
Paul made a point of mentioning his past and how bad it was and Jesus makes a point of telling us that no sin is too big, no sin is too bad that it cannot be forgiven. When you or if you hit rock bottom and feel there is nowhere to go just look up and Christ will lift you up!
Christ will save anyone who confesses that he is a sinner and that he needs to be saved - any sinner who truly confesses and repents of his sin. No matter how terrible the sin, if the person will confess and turn from his sin, Christ will save him. Why? Because Christ Jesus came to save sinners. This was His very purpose for coming into the world. “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8 (HCSB)
3. Christ Exalted: vs. 17
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Have you ever wondered why God would do this? Why He would allow someone who had such an evil past as Paul did and forgive him and offer eternal life. One thing is for sure He did it to demonstrate his amazing grace to even the worst of sinners.
When was the last time you praised Him? I mean really praise Him? Not just to ask for blessing on the food, or to recognize Him for His presence in a circumstance but really praise Him?
Christ is to be praised. Thinking of the glorious salvation that Christ had given him led Paul to break forth into praise. This is a great doxology:
- God is "the King eternal": the word eternal is literally ages. God is the King, the sovereign majesty of the ages, both this age and the age to come.
- God is immortal: that is, incorruptible. He has no seed of corruption, no seed of aging, deterioration, or decay within His being. God cannot die. He alone has immortality.
- God is invisible: that is, He cannot be seen by people, not with physical eyes in the physical dimension or world.
- God is the only wise God: that is, he is the only living and true God, the only God who actually possesses intelligence and wisdom, who can truthfully interact with the world and save men.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (HCSB)
Christ choses us, we do not choose Him. When we are Chosen Christ will Enable us, we will receive the power that only Christ is able to give. We will be Elevated from the path of destruction that will lead us to the pits of hell. When we grasp this we can’t help but Exalt Him for what He has done for us!
What must we do? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)
In : Sermon
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