1 Timothy 1:15
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Faithful is the word, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first.

World English Bible
The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Young's Literal Translation
stedfast is the word, and of all acceptation worthy, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners -- first of whom I am;

1 Timothy 1:15 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

This is a faithful saying - Greek, "Faithful is the word," or doctrine - ὁ λογος ho logos. This verse has somewhat the character of a parenthesis, and seems to have been thrown into the midst of the narrative because the mind of the apostle was full of the subject. He had said that he, a great sinner, had obtained mercy. This naturally led him to think of the purpose for which Christ came into the world - to save sinners - and to think how strikingly that truth had been illustrated in his own case, and how that case had shown that it was worthy the attention of all. The word rendered "saying," means in this place doctrine, position, or declaration. The word "faithful," means assuredly true; it was that which might be depended on, or on which reliance might be placed. The meaning is, that the doctrine that Christ came to save sinners might be depended on as certainly true; compare 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8.

And worthy of all acceptation - Worthy to be embraced or believed by all. This is so, because:

(1) all are sinners and need a Saviour. All, therefore ought to welcome a doctrine which shows them how they may be saved.

(2) because Christ died for all. If he had died for only a part of the race, and could save only a part, it could not be said with any propriety that the doctrine was worthy of the acceptance of all. If that were so, what had it to do with all? How could all be interested in it or benefited by it If medicine had been provided for only a part of the patients in a hospital, it could not be said that the announcement of such a fact was worthy the attention of all. It would be highly worthy the attention of those for whom it was designed, but there would be a part who would have nothing to do with it; and why should they concern themselves about it? But if it was provided for each one, then each one would have the highest interest in it. So, if salvation has been provided for me, it is a matter claiming my profoundest attention; and the same is true of every human being. If not provided for me, I have nothing to do with it. It does not concern me at all.

See this subject discussed at length in the supplementary note on 2 Corinthians 5:14.

(3) the manner in which the provision of salvation has been made in the gospel is such as to make it worthy of universal acceptation. It provides for the complete pardon of sin, and the restoration of the soul to God. This is done in a way that is honorable to God - maintaining his law and his justice; and, at the same time, it is in a way that is honorable to man. He is treated afterward as a friend of God and an heir of life. He is raised up from his degradation, and restored to the favor of his Maker. If man were himself to suggest a way of salvation, he could think of none that would be more honorable to God and to himself; none that would do so much to maintain the law and to elevate him from all that now degrades him. What higher honor can be conferred on man than to have his salvation sought as an object of intense and earnest desire by one so great and glorious as the Son of God?

(4) it is worthy of all acceptance, from the nature of the salvation itself. Heaven is offered, with all its everlasting glories, through the blood of Christ - and is not this worthy of universal acceptation? People would accept of a coronet or crown; a splendid mansion, or a rich estate; a present of jewels and gold, if freely tendered to them - but what trifles are these compared with heaven! If there is anything that is worthy of universal acceptation, it is heaven - for all will be miserable unless they enter there.

That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - The great and unique doctrine of the gospel. He "came into the world." He therefore had a previous existence. He came. He had, therefore, an object in coming. It makes his gospel more worthy of acceptation that he had an intention, a plan, a wish, in thus coming into the world. He came when he was under no necessity of coming; he came to save, not to destroy; to reveal mercy, not to denounce judgment; to save sinners - the poor, the lost, the wandering, not to condemn them; he came to restore them to the favor of God, to raise them up from their degradation, and to bring them to heaven.

Of whom I am chief - Greek, "first." The word is used to denote eminence - and it means that he occupied the first rank among sinners. There were none who surpassed him. This does not mean that he had been the greatest of sinners in all respects, but that in some respects he had been so great a sinner, that on the whole there were none who had surpassed him. That to which he particularly refers was doubtless the part which he had taken in putting the saints to death; but in connection with this, he felt, undoubtedly, that he had by nature a heart eminently prone to sin; see Romans 7. Except in the matter of persecuting the saints, the youthful Saul of Tarsus appears to have been eminently moral, and his outward conduct was framed in accordance with the strictest rules of the law; Philippians 3:6; Acts 26:4-5. After his conversion, he never attempted to extenuate his conduct, or excuse himself. He was always ready, in all circles, and in all places, to admit to its fullest extent the fact that he was a sinner. So deeply convinced was he of the truth of this, that he bore about with him the constant impression that he was eminently unworthy; and hence he does not say merely that he had been a sinner of most aggravated character, but he speaks of it as something that always pertained to him - "of whom I am chief." We may remark:

(1) that a true Christian will always be ready to admit that his past life has been evil;

(2) that this will become the abiding and steady conviction of the soul; and,

(3) that an acknowledgment that we are sinners is not inconsistent with evidence of piety, and with high attainments in it. The most eminent Christian has the deepest sense of the depravity of his own heart and of the evil of his past life.

1 Timothy 1:15 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Chief of Sinners
'Of whom I am chief.'--1 TIM. i. 15. The less teachers of religion talk about themselves the better; and yet there is a kind of personal reference, far removed from egotism and offensiveness. Few such men have ever spoken more of themselves than Paul did, and yet none have been truer to his motto: 'We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus.' For the scope of almost all his personal references is the depreciation of self, and the magnifying of the wonderful mercy which drew him to Jesus Christ. Whenever
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

St. Paul's Wish to be Accursed from Christ.
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Few characters more remarkable than that of St. Paul, are to be found in history. He is introduced to our acquaintance on a tragical occasion--the martyrdom of Stephen, where he appears an accomplice with murderers--"he was standing by and consenting to his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him." The circumstances of Paul's conversion to Christianity were very remarkable, and
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

The Joy that was Set Before Him
T. P. I Tim. i. 15 From the palace of His glory, From the radiance and the rest, Came the Son of God to seek me, Bear me home upon His breast. There from that eternal brightness Did His thoughts flow forth to me-- He in His great love would have me Ever there with Him to be. Far away, undone, forsaken, Not for Him my heart was sore; But for need and bitter hunger-- Christ desired I nevermore. Could it be that in the glory, Ere of Him I had a thought, He was yearning o'er the lost one, Whom His
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

But Regard the Troops of virgins, Holy Boys and Girls...
37. But regard the troops of virgins, holy boys and girls: this kind hath been trained up in Thy Church: there for Thee it hath been budding from its mother's breasts; for Thy Name it hath loosed its tongue to speak, Thy Name, as through the milk of its infancy, it hath had poured in and hath sucked, no one of this number can say, "I, who before was a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious, but I obtained mercy, in that I did in being ignorant, in unbelief." [2130] Yea more, that, which Thou commandedst
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Cross References
Matthew 9:13
"But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mark 2:17
And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Luke 15:2
Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

Luke 19:10
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Romans 11:14
if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

1 Corinthians 15:9
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Ephesians 3:8
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

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