God’s Greatest Sinner
You think you are too sinful for God to save? Do you think you have done way too many bad things in life in order to “qualify” for Heaven? Do you think people like Adolf Hitler and other horrible humans have no chance at all of getting into heaven because of what they have done in life? Did you know that in the Bible God mentions a man that he calls “the chief of sinners”?… and no, it is not Satan that He is talking about either. It is a man. A man that walked the earth like you and I and that tried to live a good life, but committed some very bad things too. God called him the chief of sinners. This man wrote a letter and in it he said, “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.”
So, God who cannot lie, tells us that this guy is the chief of sinners. That means he must have been pretty bad and very likely worse than you. The Bible describes some of the things this bad guy did too…. but then it also tells us how God chose to use him anyway. In his letter he continues: “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” God chose to use this guy as a pattern for others to follow! God says he is the chief of sinners and yet He uses him to show others how they can get to heaven too! And how is that done? The end of the verse shows us… with the words, “to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” To “believe on him” is to believe what God has told us Jesus has accomplished for us when he went to the cross and died a sinners death in our place. You see, the important thing to God is not what YOU have done, good or bad, but what His son has done. His son took all of our sins upon himself and died on our behalf. Jesus paid the price of our sins for us. Jesus saved us from the penalty of our sins… that’s why He is called the Saviour. He does the saving, we do the being-saved. We cannot save ourselves, so God provided us with someone that could do it for us.
And God sent us our Saviour when we needed him most. He did not wait until we were living good enough, or when we were doing more “good” things than “bad” things. He did not save us when we were living more godly or when we were doing our best to be good or anything. The Bible says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It also says God did this for us while we were actually enemies of God! “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,”. How cool is that?
The bottom line is that God wants us to recognize and believe what He has told us. He has told us we are sinners and that He has supplied us with a Savior. When we believe what God has told us, we are saved from our sin and are guaranteed eternal life in Heaven with Him. God tells us all the details about this in the Bible.
And do you know who God used to tell us all these wonderful details? Yes, the same man He calls the chief of sinners. That man was the apostle Paul and God used him to write 13 books of the New Testament in the Bible. It is through Paul that we come to understand God’s wonderful way of his current dealing with mankind.