Our Lord Who Has Enabled Me

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me , because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained  mercy because I did it ignorantly and in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 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.  1 Timothy 1:12-16

God’s sovereign purpose for Paul and for all believers works through personal faith. For until Paul was turned by the Holy Spirit from self-righteous works to faith alone in Christ, we read from our text, he could not be used by God. Paul reveals that it was God who enabled him for ministry, God isn’t looking for ability as much as availiabilty. So often we find when we are looking for someone to fill a vacant position in the church, we are looking for the most talented individuals, the ones with the filled out resumes of academic achievements. God doesn’t use these methods. God rather looks for the most availiable individual and He enables them to do the work that He would have be done. How wise it is, to let God choose for us whom He would raise up to be fitted for the task at hand. And so quite often it is rather someone whom we might not ever think of to whom God has called for this purpose. So we read that there are two requirements: Paul says God counted him faithful, and put him in the ministry. And of course, a steward is required that he be faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1-2), so God is looking for someone who’s available, and someone who’s faithful. So Paul was thanking God for this trust in him of the glorious gospel, he goes on to say although I was formally a blasphemer against the church and against Jesus Christ. That experience of Paul when he saw himself in the light of God’s law, for who he really was. A ” blasphemer ”  speaks evil of and slanders God.  A persecutorHe stood by while Stephen was stoned to death, consenting to Stephen’s being martyred by holding the coats of them that were stoning him (Acts 7:58-60).

But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbeliefPaul was neither a Jewish apostate, nor a Pharisee without knowledge of who Jesus was, and until His conversion clearly understood Jesus teaching and still rejected him. As an unlikely candidate as you could ever hope to find. His plea to ignorance was not a claim to innocence nor was it an excuse denying his guilt, he truthfully did not understand the grace of God, and His free gift offer of salvation. He was still trying through the law to earn it. Boy, how many people today are still stuck where Paul was?

And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ JesusGod’s loving forgiveness, by which He grants salvation apart from any merit on the part of those He saves. Through the knowledge of Him, Christ the Lord, of whom we receive faith and love by becoming a child of God, With no more condemnation over the guilt of our sins, having been washed away through the blood of Jesus Christ death on the cross. Glorious! How one sided an offer could ever be! That I would inherit God’s eternal kingdom through faith in Him and His love for me. I know what I have done in my past, how much I loved this world’s offer of sin and fun, how unfaithful I have been, yet, I did it ignorantly, not knowing God’s great love for me. That His only begotten Son would die for me. What a one-sided offer that is. So it is with Paul, who is telling us that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.That’s the gospel. The good news, ” Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”We should all know by now, that all men are sinners. Therefore, He came to save all men. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23). Because all men are sinners, all then were dead in their trespasses and sins. And so this glorious Gospel entrusted to Paul is just so simple, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

Beloved friend, Paul was saved so that God could also display through out his life all His gracious and merciful longsuffering against all those after him would sin against God, even the most wretched of men. Paul was living proof that God can save anyone, no matter how great a sinner he may be. Doesn’t that bring us hope, for the lives our unsaved loved ones and friends? How is He making a difference in your life to reach out to the lost in this world ? Like Paul, the account of your conversion can be used to reach out to many. God only knows.

May the Lord bless Your life and walk with Him!

Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *