A note from our Pastor:
“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”1 Timothy 1:16
In the prior verse, the Apostle Paul has detailed the truth of salvation and identified himself as the chief of all sinners. His view of himself is largely driven by his persecution of the early community of believers and the depths to which he took his opposition to Christ. Now, in our study verse for this week the Apostle explains his understanding of why Christ granted him of all people salvation and knowledge of his salvation.
The Apostle begins the study verse with “for this cause I obtained mercy” making it clear he wants to teach a lesson to the community of believers founded in his personal story of salvation. The Apostle continues on saying, in himself, Jesus Christ showed all longsuffering. In other words, the Apostle is arguing for Christ to not turn his back on the Apostle and to eventually make him to not only know of his salvation but to preach the knowledge of salvation to others required extreme patience and love.
Then the Apostle says his story, one of great longsuffering, should be a pattern to them who believe on Christ in days to come. This lesson ought to serve as a warning to the community of believers. All too often the “church” has taken a stance which directly or indirectly said a potential member of the “church” must already be living a certain way in order to be welcomed into the fold. However, the Apostle was actively persecuting the church when he was converted. His history was of blasphemy, murder, and all kinds of unspeakable sins, yet he was immediately brought into the congregation by Christ.
Thus, the pattern for the community of believers is to set aside views which would be judgemental and unwelcoming to one seeking Christ. Instead, the community of believers should welcome in all in love who seek after Christ. Their background might be a difficult one, but it is unlikely any who seek Christ in our lifetime will have committed the acts which the Apostle had and Christ continued to love and welcome him into the congregation.
As a community of believers let us focus more on including those which seek after Christ.
Our Prayers are with you daily,
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