28 Jan 2008

Very aware of their sin

Submitted by theshovel
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Posted: Jan-28-08

I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51:3

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15

Sounds like these two (2) guys were very aware of their sin. BibleStudent

Hello BibleStudent ... let's study!

Consider that Psalm 51 was written by David, a man under the Law. You know, I agree with you that David was very aware of his sin, for he had good reason. After all, Paul did quote him in Romans as having spoken about...


Realize this: he was one of the prophets Peter referred to when writing:

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:10-12

You see, David understood the idea of being fortunate enough to not have one's sins taken into account because he was so very aware of his. Like you say, he did live in view of: "my sin is ever before me". But I wonder if you cannot hear the longing in his words that he could have been so fortunate?

But you also quoted Paul's words from 1 Timothy ... and we both know that Paul was not under the Law, don't we?

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15

Now, can we assume (according to these words) Paul meant to insinuate that he was very aware of his sin? If he was, then how did he ever make a statement like this:

But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

And the above statement is not an exception to Paul's message of freedom from sin in Christ. You do know that, don't you? Since Paul was not a man who lived in view of his sin, that he did not examine himself, that he was not conscious of anything against himself, you might want to make the safe assumption that he was not contradicting it in his letter to Timothy. And if he was not contradicting himself, then although it might sound like he was very aware of his sin he was most certainly saying something else. Then, once you get past the erroneous assumption you might see how his words fit so beautifully into the rest of what he wrote Timothy in that letter. You would hear him saying anything BUT the idea that he was very aware of his sin.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:1-17

This is such a beautiful statement. I could have highlighted every word, but I wanted to bring attention to some. The Law was made for sinners ... NOT for a righteous person. Guess who the righteous persons are? :) Paul certainly knew he was one. After all, he was conscious of nothing against himself. Paul had urged Timothy to stay on at Ephesus because of the men who were teaching strange doctrines, those who were turning to fruitless discussion ... that is, they were preaching the Law, among other things. They were teaching others in a way that they would have to see themselves as sinners ... for that is who the Law is for.

Against this, Paul declares himself the chief of sinners. Why? Because as a FORMER sinner his position still ranked #1 among all men. He knew that God had chosen him as the perfect example of what it was to receive mercy despite his former sins. For his example would forever declare the patience of Jesus Christ in this freedom from sin. Imagine, against ANY who would declare himself too far gone to be redeemable, Paul knew that there were none less deserving than himself. No one could argue that because their sins were so great that they were beyond the grace of God, for in Paul that was already proven false. Paul declared that if HE could be saved then anybody could be saved! His statement didn't contradict his own demand of being totally free from sin; instead, it contradicted anyone who insisted by their preaching of the Law that God's people still needed to be brought into awareness of their sin through its examination.

I hope you consider this in view of what you posted.

Jim :)

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