From: Jamie Smith
1Tim 1:15: “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, foremost of whom am I.”
This is one of Paul’s faithful sayings and so is vital to every believer. He may have been the world’s greatest sinner, yet Paul believed he was saved because the risen Christ had clearly explained it to him. Christ explained what His work accomplished. Christ had a will to do it. He was competent and able to carry out His purpose.
I’ve heard church leaders say, “He is doing the best He can.” Did Christ tell Paul that He was doing the best that He could? That is actually disrespect for God and His Son. At the Dais of Christ, would any want to declare to Him, “I know that You did the best that You could under the circumstances.”
Religion changes the ideas conveyed when reading a word with normally a clear meaning. “Save” really represents “opportunity” ergo “sinners” is forced to mean “believers”. So it becomes Christ Jesus came into the world to provide a chance to be saved. That is easy to believe because that is what we see. That is not faith in accord with Scripture.
The risen Christ did not meet Paul on the road to give him a chance. Christ overwhelmed him with irresistible force. Paul’s only and unavoidable choice was to give in to it. Any who believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to give people a chance to qualify for salvation by making a free will decision to believe, is an unbeliever concerning this part of Scripture. That is, they do not believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. For them, the cross accomplished nothing in that respect.
These articles are not for everyone. They only seem to appeal to a certain type of person, specifically, a person who has doubts about what they have been led to believe. They have doubts of conscience. They want to see what Scripture really says. They hope to remove the contradictions between conscience and Scripture, while understanding that Scripture must rule every conclusion.
When we truly face the Scriptures, facing them squarely, soundly, in context and not compromising any parts, our conscience can embrace our faith. It needn’t carry the burden of a God who leaves us to ourselves resulting in endless torment. Conscience can then see the light in all of our hard learning in this life. We can love the God of love and boast of Him to any who will hear it.