Pristine Grace

This is a Faithful Saying
by Henry Mahan

This is a Faithful Saying

     After encouraging Timothy to oppose the false teachers and to charge the Ephesians "to teach no other doctrine" than that which was taught by Christ and the Apostles; after defending his own ministry from slander and unjust accusations, declaring that though he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious, he had "obtained mercy" and was put into the ministry by the Lord Jesus; Paul proceeds to give the sum and substance of his gospel: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (I Timothy 1:15).

      "This is a faithful saying:" It is a true saying, not to be doubted, argued or debated, but to be received and believed. A dedicated gospel preacher, while visiting with his liberal preacher-brother, was asked to bring the morning sermon, but the request was carefully worded, do not preach anything controversial! The liberal pastor did not want such doctrines as the diety of Christ, substitution, divine revelation, or the mediatorial work of Christ preached to his people. The faithful servant of the Lord fulfilled his brother's request, not to preach anything controversial, and at the same time glorified his Lord by announcing as his text I Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels ' preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory.

     Men are always disputing among themselves about how God saves sinners. Wherefore when questions and doubts arise let us repel them with this certain, sure and faithful truth, "Christ came into the world to save sinners. " He alone is the Savior and He is the only Savior.

     This is a faithful saying for the gospel declared by this saying is faithful to God's law which is honored and magnified by Christ. It is faithful to God's justice which is satisfied by Christ. It is faithful to God's promises which are all fulfilled by Christ. Therefore being the truth of God, faithful to the righteousness and mercy of God, and suitable to the need of the greatest sinner, it is worthy of acceptance by all!

     "Christ Jesus came into the world." The second person of the blessed trinity, who was with God, was God, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person, called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, came into this world clothed in the likeness of sinful flesh, dwelt among us, and was numbered with the transgressors! "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself."

     "To save sinners." The word sinners is emphatic and conclusive! Many who acknowledge that it is the office and work of Christ to save have difficulty admitting that this salvation actually belongs to sinners. We somehow manage to find something in the creature that attracts the mercy of God and merits the grace of Christ. We call them "awakened" sinners, "interested" sinners, "convicted" sinners, or "troubled" sinners. But the message of the Gospel is "Christ came to save sinners" – "Christ died for the ungodly." There is no guilt so great; no past so evil; no heart so wicked; that Christ cannot save. "Where sin did overflow, grace did much more overflow. "

     "Of whom I am chief" – the first, the greatest. Paul does not call himself the greatest sinner out of false modesty or for vain glory, but from a real sense of his sins which to him were exceedingly sinful.