Mar 13, 2022. I Timothy 1:12-17

Please click here for the link to the audio and click here for the video portions of this message. Please click here to view the bulletin.

FROM ABUSER TO APOSTLE. I Timothy 1:12-17. 3/13/2022. #3.

1 Timothy 1:12-17 [New King James Version]

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1. Paul’s gratitude

                a. Paul was very thankful to be called to serve Lord

                b. Paul had moved from persecutor of Christ to promoter of Christ

                                a1. Acts 9:1-16 Saul was a Pharisee who persecuted the church (Acts 7) => Paul

                                a2. Christ intercepted him on road to Damascus and converted him

                c. Paul was overwhelmed with gratitude

                                a1. God enabled (lit., empowered) Paul to become a minister of the Gospel

                                a2. God counted him faithful (Paul would serve diligently and not quit)

                d. Paul’s pre-salvation life was vile and arrogant

                                a1. A blasphemer = he cursed the name of Jesus Christ, nor realizing he was divine

                                a2. A persecutor (lit., to drive away; to make to flee) of the church of Christ

                                a3. Insolent = violent, spiteful, hateful, abusive, and arrogant

                e. Paul thought that he was doing God’s will

                                a1. John 16:2 Paul thought that he was doing God’s work when he persecuted believers

                                a2. Paul did evil when he thought that he was doing great good

                f. Many people believe they are doing good when they do and promote wickedness (tolerating sin in the name of God’s love is an example)

2. The greatest of sinners can become greatest of saints

                a. Paul = persecuted believers out of ignorance

                                a1. He thought that he was serving God

                                a2. Different from purposely opposing God

                b. Paul obtained mercy because he truly desired to honor God, but followed tradition and not evidence

                                a1. If evidence goes against your tradition and beliefs, it is time to change to the truth

                                a2. We are responsible to seek truth on own

                c. Millions reject Christ without investigating the evidence supporting his claims (Luke 24)

                d. The Lord gave Paul a “superabundance” (huper [over; above] + pleonazo [plethora; plenty]) of grace (overflowing; lit., beyond fullness)

                                a1. Paul had been a persecutor of the church and murderer of Christians

                                a2. Paul was selected for salvation and to be an apostle (far above even great grace)

                e. God’s longsuffering to Paul is an example that God can save anyone (criminals, immoral, thieves, blasphemers, persecutors, perverts, deceivers…)

                f. Romans. 6 God’s grace overcomes all sins

3. Awe of the God of all

                a. Paul breaks into praise of the everlasting, invincible, all wise God (in awe)

                b. Paul ascribes to God eternal glory and honor

                                a1. This is God’s due and right

                                a2. Psalm 19 all creation is to glorify God

                c. Salvation should lead to gratitude and praise

Key Verse: Acts 9:1-16

1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”