- Written by Ed O.Bragwell, Sr.
Is that the way the New Testament talks about people who have been made righteous by the blood of Christ? In the 42 verses where the word sinner (singular or plural) appears only one could possibly be construed to be referring to Christians in their present state. That is 1 Timothy 1:15, where Paul 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." This is the verse that is cited by most who insist on constantly talking about what "sinners" they and all other Christians are, implying that those who do not join them in such self-abasement, are prideful and maybe even Pharisaic.
Let’s look at this verse in context. This section of praise and thanksgiving by Paul begins with verses 12 and 13: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." (1 Timothy 1:12-13 NKJV) Here Paul begins his praise for what was done for him as a former blasphemer. But he had been "enabled", "counted ... faithful", and "obtained mercy" – so that rather than in his former state he is now put into the ministry of Jesus Christ.