Date: 11 October, 2021
Text: 1 Timothy 1:12-20
Timothy - Timid, younger man, sickly, fearful....
exp. He would naturally feel unworthy of the work to which God had called him. He might look up at "the great" apostle Paul and think - Paul is worthy to serve God - but I am not worthy.
Perhaps for that reason - Paul pauses to reflect on his life with gratitude to Jesus Christ.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,
exp. It's good to be reminded of the names of our Lord which Paul here uses.
Christ - Messiah - the annointed deliverer sent from God.
Jesus - the Saviour - for He shall save His people from their sins.
Lord - the Master - the one before whom all must bow.
PAUL WAS THANKFUL TO THE MESSIAH, SAVIOUR, MASTER.....
1. ...who had qualified him.
...who hath enabled me,
exp. Nobody who loved Jesus and who met Paul could doubt God's enablement.
- The fruit of his ministry testified of God's call.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
- The labour of his ministry testified of God's call.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2. ...who had considered him.
...for that he counted me faithful,
exp. God knew that Paul would be what God would direct Paul to be. (He knew this before His conversion.)
NOTE: A faithful man doesn't stop NO MATTER WHAT GETS IN HIS WAY.
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
app. Praise God for faithful men - if it wasn't for faithful men the Gospel would have ceased to be promoted long ago - 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3. ...who had called him.
....putting me into the ministry;
note: Paul's office was that of an apostle. He was the great missionary apostel to the Gentiles.
- Paul was ambitious for God's glory - but ambition had not put him into God's Work.
- He was a God called man - as a preacher, teacher, organizer of God's churches.
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2Co 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
1Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
GOD HAD TRANSFORMED PAUL - HE WAS NOT NOW WHO HE WAS BACK THEN.
exp. God had considered him faithful, qualified him and called him into ministry. (A new man....)
ill. When we first moved to Scotland - we lived near Dalkeith - the bus station there was very ugly. Now there is a beautiful well developed grocery story and shops there. (It's easy to forget the what it was in the past.)
exp. It would be easy for Timothy - who saw the great Apostle Paul - to forget what Paul was before He had gotten saved. - PAUL MADE IT A POINT TO REFLECT ON WHO HE WAS.
WE OUGHT NOT FORGET WHAT WE WERE (OR WOULD BE) WITHOUT JESUS.
We ought to reflect on how the Gospel has worked in our lives.
question - What were you? - Or what would you be? - if it wasn't for Jesus?
I. Reflect on what we were.
exp. Some believers got saved as children - however in our day - many will get saved in their adulthood. PRAISE GOD - they will be saved from a life that was AGAINST GOD.
A. Paul was a blasphemer.
13 Who was before a blasphemer,...
def. blasphemer - a railer against God.
ill. I have heard blasphemer's in my day - they think - lightning didn't strike....so it is ok.
Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
exp. In Paul's case - He was a railer against Jesus - not realizing that Jesus IS God.
ill. I met a Jehovah's Witness who was a blasphemer.
"If God sends people to Hell then I reject that God."
exp. He wouldn't call himself a blasphemer, but He is. Also - like Paul - He rejects the God man, Jesus Christ.
app. Paul didn't forget who He had been - he had railed against God with blasphemy.
B. Paul was a persecutor.
13 ...and a persecutor, and injurious:
ill. Jesus was killed by religious people - "Crucify Him - Crucify Him." Those who killed Christ - proceeded to imprison, beat and kill the followers of Christ.
Act 5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
ill. The followers of Christ are still being persecuted BY MEN in our day.
Voice of the Martyrs - Vietnam - Hy and Tan - "At 9 a.m. the beatings started again. Police officers dragged the two bruised evangelists out of the police station and into the village square, where a large crowd had gathered for the privilege of beating these “propagators of lies and rebellion.” As more than 100 people stepped forward to strike the evangelists, the two men remained silent. “Dog men!” jeered the watching crowd. The beating lasted for three hours."
Later, Tan said that as they received each blow, they remembered how Jesus had been beaten. That gave them strength to endure the three-hour beating. Finally, the police released them. “Our whole bodies were battered and bruised, and we ached all over,” Tan recalled. “My face was so swollen that I could not see out of one eye.”
exp. Paul had given beatings worse than this to men and woman who had died for Christ.
C. Paul was an ignorant unbeliever.
13 ... I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
exp. Paul in His unbelief in Jesus thought that he was pleasing God by killing Christians.
ill. When Paul was taken in Jerusalem by Pharisees he testified that he was zealous - just like them.
Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
ep. If Paul didn't tell you this - you would never know how incredibly God had changed his life.
app. It's good for us to reflect on what we were or wold be if it wasn't for Jesus.
II. Reflect on what Jesus did.
hymn: "What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart! I have light in my soul for which long I had sought, since Jesus came into my heart."
exp. If there has not been a wonderful change - Jesus hasn't come into your life.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
A. He gave me mercy.
...but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
exp. Paul received mercy.
ill. I've shared before - the story of losing my dad's fishing pole when my canoe tipped in Lake Malilu - the problem was not losing his fishing pole - it was that I didn't have on my life jacket.
exp. My father gave me mercy - I don't remember him punishing me for that - though I deserved it.
note: Paul had killed Christians - he was a sinner and LIKE YOU AND ME - deserved Hell.
app. Have you received mercy? Or is your judgment still rightly coming?
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
B. He gave me grace.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant....
exp. Grace - underserved favour - Paul deserve Hell - but God gave him forgiveness and Heaven.
ill. I was witnessing to a man - he brought up the police officer who killed the girl in London. He said, "Can he say sorry and be forgiven?"
exp. Do you know - the man is right - he deserves GREATLY to be punished!
note: What he didn't want to consider is that WE DESERVE great punishment!
app. In God's GOODNESS - Jesus died for murderers - liars - fornicators - drug addicts - drunkards - blasphemers - mockers - etc. (Because Jesus died for you and me - SINNERS.) Grace is God giving us forgiveness and LIFE when we deserve Judgment and Hell.
C. His grace brought me to faith in Christ Jesus.
14 ...with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
exp. Saul (Paul) was not a believer in Jesus. If Jesus had said to Him - I Am Your Creator and Saviour - Paul didn't care because He didn't believe. God's grace changed the heart of Paul.
ill. evangelism - if I had a pound for every time I heard - "It's not for me." "There is no way I will ever...." "You are wasting your time."
exp. Paul would have said the same things - don't give up believers.
app. The grace of God can bring that person (can bring you) to saving faith.
D. His grace gave me a love for Christ Jesus.
14 ...with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
exp. Paul went from hating Jesus and His followers to loving Jesus and his followers.
ill. That would be like the COP26 crowd standing up to declare that there is no such thing as climate change and that God is in control of this world.
It would be like Darwin taring up his Origin of the Species and confessing that there is a Creator.
app. Don't despise those who despise Jesus. In God's grace - they may someday be on the Saviour's side. - 2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
transition: Reflect on what you were - on what Jesus did.
III. Reflect on what Jesus can do.
ill. V - E Day - the end of WW2 - "As news of the official surrender spread on May 7, relieved and exhausted citizens poured into the streets of London to welcome the war’s end and the defeat of Nazi Germany. Tens of thousands crowded Central London, cheering and partying until midnight, when a thunderstorm ended the celebrations for the night.
note: Can you imagine what it was like to hear the declaration of the end of the war! You ought to stop whatever you are doing and celebrate - death and the enemy were defeated!
exp. Verse 15 is a GREAT declaration of death being defeated and men ought to stop and rejoice!
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.
A. Jesus can save sinners.
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!"
exp. If Jesus had not come - life would be END worse than the lies of evolution which say men go into a grave - Men would die - without hope of any mercy and WOULD ALL GO TO HELL.
ill. If you were in a prisoner of war camp - you tried to keep hope - someday salvation will come. What if the war had gone the other way - and there was no hope of salvation. (Sad day....)
app. We have a GLAD DAY today because Christ Jesus came to save us!
B. This is THE TRUTH. "This is a FAITHFUL saying...."
exp. Many in the prison camps - could not believe the truth - they were afraid that to accept it would be to believe a disappointing lie. BUT IT WAS A FAITHFUL SAYING.
app. None who trust in the Saviour will be disappointed. It is THE TRUTH.
C. Everybody should believe this. "...worthy of all acceptation...."
exp. Nothing would be sadder than a man who refuses to leave the prison camp - because he refuses to believe that He has been set free. He's unnecessarily continuing in bondage and death.
app. EVERYONE OUGHT TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST! It is true - it is sad if you don't believe.
IV. Reflect on why Jesus did it.
ill. It has done me well to reflect on God's grace and mercy in my life. I didn't deserve to be brought to the Gospel. God has graciously saved me! Why?
question: Why would God save a man who calls himself, "The chief of sinners?" v.15
exp. Paul thought about it and had some reasons he believed God saved Him.
A. Jesus wanted a testimony of THE POWER of His love.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering,
exp. If God could still love Saul - God STILL LOVES EVERY MAN.
ill. The world DOES NOT love the man who killed that young woman. But, God does
App. And because He does - GOD LOVES YOU - He hates your sin - BUT HE LOVES YOU.
B. Jesus wants EVERY MAN to know that He can be saved.
...for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
ill. A "pattern" is made to be copied.
- A recipe - is a pattern - of how to cook a dish - you copy it.
- A dress patter - is to be copied to make a certain style.
exp. Paul is a pattern of the POWER OF THE GOSPEL TO GIVE BELIEVERS LIFE!
app. Have you copied it? Have you experienced Paul's salvation in your life?
Timothy saw the great apostle Paul - Paul saw the sinner saved by grace.
How do you see yourself today?
Do you see yourself as a sinner needing God's mercy and grace? - You can have it.
Do you see yourself as a sinners - saved by grace - thanking God as you reflect on your life?