(Article for publication week of 5-1- AD 2014)
"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 Timothy 1:15).
A dear saint of God upon his dying bed, surrounded by his family and church members was asked if he were prepared to die believing the gospel he had preached, said, " I am a great sinner, but Christ is a Great Savior"! Though he had lived a holy life, his hope in his dying hour was in Christ Alone. Such is the experience of every child of Grace. Though taught of the Spirit to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we know that our best righteosnesses are filthy rags before God, and our lives cannot stand the scrutiny of God's strict justice. The believer feels himself to be the "chief of sinners", but He knows that Christ is a great Saviour.
Dear reader, do you feel yourself to be the "chief of sinners?" Have you been taught by the Word and the Spirit that you are utterly lost and ruined? Well, here is the glorious gospel of the Son of God- Christ Jesus came into the world to save the chief of sinners! The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save, and He is willing to save.
The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save because He is God. Our text says that He "came into the world." It is implicit in the text what is explicit in other scriptures, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God. He is without beginning or end and is coequal with God, because He is God. Our case is such that none less than God Himself could or would save us. We are not small sinners, but very great ones. And so the Eternal Son of God came into the world conceived in a virgin's womb by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit and became a Man Who would live a sinless life and die as a Substitute for all the Father gave Him in the Covenant of Grace. Christ accomplished redemption when He died upon the Cross and He rose again the third Day for our justification and ascended back to His rightful throne in heaven where he now pleads the cause of all for whom He died. Christ is able to save the chief of sinners!
And Christ is willing to save the chief of sinners. Why, He said in John 6:37, "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." He said in Matthew 11:28, "come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Dear reader, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, the very moment you receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour. The only people Christ ever turned away were those who were self righteous and did not want a saviour. We read in the scriptures where Christ saved thieves, murderers, prostitutes, persecutors of the Church, tax collectors, and the vilest of characters. Perhaps you feel your sins are worse than all these out together. Well I will give you the words of scripture, "the blood of Christ cleanseth from ALL sin" (I John 1:7); and "ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men" (Matthew 12:31). Perhaps you fear you have committed the "unpardonable sin." I am not sure the theologians have figured out exactly what it is, but I doubt if you are given over to a reprobate mind if you are truly repenting and seeking Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief, and He saved a wretch as vile as Thomas Ray Floyd, and I am sure that according to the scriptures He is able and willing to save you too. Come to Christ and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour and you will find Him mighty to save.