Chief of Sinners

Photo by Larry Johnson

Photo by Larry Johnson

You may remember an old hymn line which goes, “Chief of sinners, though I be, Christ was crucified for me…” So that is the theme of this poem and comes from that which was written by Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15. When we’ve done things contrary to God’s ways, we may feel this way; but we have a Savior in Jesus, who became sin and became a curse for us on the cross. It seems to me that though Jesus lived a sinless life, one could say that, at that point, on the cross, Jesus was the chief of sinners, as He took upon Himself the sins of all, for He died for all. Through His act of obedience to His Father, we now have peace with God and He, who humbled Himself to death on the cross, is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

Search me, and see if there is any offensive way–

I know that it’s there, for it’s surfaced in a fray.

Anger, resentment, judging others and more–

things such as these, my conscience can’t ignore.

I know I need God’s Word to a greater degree;

but from any condemnation, Jesus has set me free.

He became my substitute, for God knew that I’d fail,

and the blood of Jesus has more than paid bail.

My righteousness is established by that blood;

He’s made me a new creation–a forgiven, fresh bud.

The fruit of the Spirit will flourish–and I’ll bloom,

as I seek first the One who was raised from the tomb.

I’ve immediate peace when I confess any sin,

for the Spirit of the Eternal Judge resides within.

P. A. Oltrogge

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (PHILLIPS)
My debt to Jesus Christ

“I am deeply grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ (to whom I owe all that I have accomplished) for trusting me enough to appoint me his minister, despite the fact that I had previously blasphemed his name, persecuted his Church and damaged his cause. I believe he was merciful to me because what I did was done in the ignorance of a man without faith, and then he poured out his grace upon me, giving me tremendous faith in, and love for, himself. This statement is completely reliable and should be universally accepted:—’Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners.’ I realize that I was the worst of them all, and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to me. It was a kind of demonstration of the extent of Christ’s patience towards the worst of men, to serve as an example to all who in the future should trust him for eternal life.”

“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.” 1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 KJV

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’–in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13

“But if we walk in the light, as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:7-9

“My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails….” (from 1 Corinthians 13)

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NRSV

II Corinthians 5:17
Romans 6:10-14

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