A Faithful Saying
A Faithful Saying
(1TI 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.
I. This is the first of Paul’s “faithful sayings” as they are given in order in our Bible.
A. The faithful saying of 1TI 4:9 addresses the importance of godly exercise.
B. The faithful saying of 2TI 2:11 addresses the sure promises of Christ towards us.
C. The faithful saying of TIT 3:8 addresses the need for us to build upon faith and grace.
D. These others are of no real value to us had not Christ Jesus come into the world to save
1. Here is good news to the poor in spirit who mourn over their sin. MAT 5:3-4.
2. Here is comfort for the sinner who knows he is inherently depraved and defiled.
3. Here is hope for the sinner who knows that his own righteousness is inadequate to
tip the scales of God’s justice in his favor. ISA 64:6.
4. Here is relief for the sinner who is desperately trying to “do” his way into heaven.
GAL 3:10, 13.
5. Here is consolation for the saint who slips and falls. 1JO 2:1-2.
6. Here is support for the weak. MAT 1:21 c/w LUK 22:32; 2PE 2:7-9.
7. Here is victory for the wise. GAL 5:16; EPH 4:14.
II. “Christ Jesus came into the world....”
A. It was God Himself Who became incarnate, and none less. 1TI 3:16.
1. The Creator ALONE is Savior. ISA 43:11.
2. It was nothing less than the blood of God which purchased us. ACT 20:28.
3. The eternal Creator has such an interest in us that He entered into covenant for us
and became one of us to die for us to redeem us unto Himself!
B. Because of verses like JOH 3:17; GAL 4:4 or 1JO 4:9, some advocate that the Word
existed as the Son of God in eternity past (the doctrine of Eternal Sonship/Generation).
1. This text says, “Christ Jesus came into the world....”
2. “Christ” denotes His Messianic office.
3. “Jesus” denotes His manhood.
4. Does this verse then prove that the Word existed as Messiah and man in eternity
III. This faithful saying exalts God’s primary purpose in coming into this world as Christ Jesus: to
A. There were other goals that He came to accomplish.
1. He came to fulfil the Law. MAT 5:17.
2. He came for judgment. JOH 9:39.
3. He came to bear witness of the truth. JOH 18:37.
4. He came to establish a kingdom. DAN 2:44 c/w MAT 16:18-19.
B. But He was called Jesus due to His primary mission: saving sinners. MAT 1:21.
1. This is how His forerunner introduced Him. JOH 1:29.
2. His appearing was emphatically for salvation from sin. HEB 9:26; 1JO 3:5.
3. If He had fulfilled each of His other goals in coming, but had not worked salvation
for sinners, where would that leave us?
C. Mind that Paul does not say that Christ Jesus came into the world to:
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1. enrich us with material wealth. HEB 10:34; JAM 2:5.
2. insulate us from all trouble or temptation. JOH 16:33; 1CO 10:13.
3. bring world peace. MAT 10:34-35.
4. set up a political earthly kingdom. LUK 17:20-21.
5. placate or condone sinners. JOH 3:19-20.
IV. Consider how Christ Jesus saves sinners. He saves them:
A. from the design of sin. By election through foreknowledge, He predestines sinners unto
Himself in an act of pure grace sovereignly willed and bestowed. EPH 1:3-5; 2TI 1:9.
B. from the deserts of sin (death) by the sacrifice of Himself. ROM 6:23; HEB 9:26.
C. from the dominion of sin. By the power of His voice He speaks new life into His chosen,
putting His Spirit within them to save them from the uncontested mastery of sin and fitting
them for His eternal kingdom. JOH 3:3; 5:25 c/w TIT 3:5.
D. from the deceptions and despair of sin. By the preaching of the gospel the elect may be
saved from the manifold counterfeits of Satan, from ignorance and from personal misery
unto the glorious liberty of truth and walking in the light. 2TI 1:10; JOH 8:32.
E. from the domain of sin. In time every one of the elect shall be delivered from the very
presence or possibility of sin by death or resurrection. PHIL 1:23; 1CO 15:52.
V. Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.
A. In due time He died for the ungodly. ROM 5:6.
B. While we were yet sinners, He died for us. ROM 5:8.
C. When we were His enemies, He reconciled us unto Himself. ROM 5:10.
D. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners unto repentance. MAT 9:13.
E. He came to seek and save that which was lost. LUK 19:10.
F. That He did not come for the “good” folks is something for which we should rejoice with
joy unspeakable and full of glory!
VI. Paul’s words are predicated upon his own experience of being a saved sinner. 1TI 1:12-16.
A. His antiChrist ignorance once drove him to mad belligerence towards Christ. ACT 26:11.
B. As bad as were the likes of Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas, Judas, etc., Paul deemed himself to be
the worst: the chief of sinners.
1. But the mercy, grace, faith and love of Jesus Christ was greater than his sin.
2. The chief Cornerstone (EPH 2:20) outloved the hatred of the chief sinner and made
him into the chief apostle! 2CO 12:11.
C. He received mercy, not because he believed, but in spite of his unbelief! v.13.
D. God’s longsuffering of Paul’s belligerence is a pattern to which believers should take heed.
1. God is longsuffering towards His elect. 2PE 3:9, 15.
2. Sometimes His elect are as unidentifiable as Paul was.
a. Manasseh was a wretched sinner whose humbled prayer was heard.
2KI 21:9, 16 c/w 2CH 33:11-13.
b. Mary Magdalene was infected with devils, yet received mercy of the Lord.
3. That Christ should suffer long with such a sinner as Paul should teach us that:
a. the vilest offenders are not beyond the reach of saving grace.
b. the greatest enemies of the truth may be turned into its ardent supporters.
c. as Christ suffered long with Paul, so saints should suffer long with each
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other. 1CO 13:4; COL 3:12-13.
E. Perhaps Paul’s unparalleled zeal for Christ was directly relative to the scope of God’s
mercy towards him. c/w LUK 7:47.
1. How deep was your sin?
2. How deep is your love for the One Who saves sinners?
3. If you deem yourself the chief of sinners, there is good news. “Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners, of whom you be chief.”
4. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.