By admin in : Discipleship // Aug 31 2010
1 Timothy 1:15 “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.”
The verse above was written by the Apostle Paul…THE Apostle Paul…the author of ½ of the New Testament Books…arguably the Greatest Theologian among the Apostles. So why would he say that he is the worst of all sinners? The answer comes in the Law. The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee. He understood the Law of Moses. The more you understand the Law, the more your understand your own sinfulness. The more you realize your own sinfulness, the more Amazing Grace actually becomes. Consider this test of just the 10 Commandments.
#10 – Have you ever Coveted anything? This means that there is something you don’t have that you want. Money, a car, nicer house, another partner, better job, music talent, sports ability, education, etc. How many times each day do you break this when see you advertising, attractive people, nice things???
#9 – Have you ever lied? Color or size of the lie is irrelevant. A lie is a lie. 99% of the truth is still a lie. Yes lying to telemarketers, bill collectors, salesmen, spouses, teachers, employers, and children count. It only takes one to make us guilty.
#8 – Have you ever stolen? Value does not matter. Not been charged for a drink at a restaurant? Gotten back too much change? Borrowed and not returned? Not paid taxes properly? Ever worked for cash under the table? Taken a pen from work? Made a personal call on company time? These are all stealing.
#7 – Ever committed Adultery? Adultery is not just having sexual relations with someone other than your spouse, it is having relations BEFORE marriage. Even two consenting singles commit adultery. What about your thought life? Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 that even a lustful look is the same as Adultery. How many times a day do you look at another person lustfully? This is Adultery according to God’s standards.
#6 – Ever committed Murder? Think you passed one finally, huh? Well have you ever hated anyone? 1 John 2:9 says that is the same as murder. You never really hated anyone? Well, Jesus says that even Anger = Murder in your heart (Matthew 5:21). Ever been angry before? A rude customer service person? A child? A Sibling? Bad driver? A Boss? Then you are guilty of Murder.
#5 – Have you always Honored your parents? Before you answer, if you have ever gotten any sort of discipline from your parents, talked back, disobeyed (even after 18), then you have dishonored them. Also, if you have broken any Laws of God or man you have dishonored them. My father died when I was very young, but I dishonored him even in the grave by my crimes against all authorities.
#4 – Have you kept the Sabbath Day Holy? (The Sabbath day has always been Saturday even though we go to Church on Sunday) If you have ever worked or traveled a long journey on a Saturday, then you are guilty.
#3 – Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? This is not just saying God with a cuss word. Even stubbing your toe and saying ‘Oh God!’ is taking His Holy name in an irreverent way. The same is true for the name of our Lord Jesus.
#2 – Have you created a god in your own image? If you have ever said, ‘I don’t believe in a god that…’ and you are not basing it on Scripture alone, then you are guilty. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. We do not have the option of creating a god of our own choosing.
#1 – Have you always placed God first in your life? Hint: if you have broken any of the other Commandments then the answer is No! When you lie, you are not putting God first, etc.
And these are just the 10 Commandments. There are still over 600 Levitical Laws dealing with cleansing, purification, sacrifices, feast days, etc. So how guilty are you? Do you now think you could compete with Paul for the Chiefest of All Sinners Award? The more I read God’s Word, the more I believe I could challenge Paul.
The Law is created to shut every mouth from declaring our own righteousness and leave us all guilty before God (Romans 3:19). It is designed to bring knowledge of what sin is. Paul said that if it were not for the Law, he would not know what sin was. He also said that the Law is to be our Schoolmaster. It teaches us of our own guilt and drives us to the foot of the cross begging for forgiveness before a Holy God. The Law is Good if it is used Lawfully. We cannot partake of Grace until we come face to face with our sin in the Mirror of the Law. If we are practicing sin (actively living in it), then we know not the Truth. (1 John 3)