This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV)
|The Apostle Paul
The great evangelist, the Apostle Paul, viewed himself as the chief of all sinners. Identification with the transgressor will lead many to Christ.
In my days as a school teacher, I had a colleague who had a moral failure. He had gotten sexually involved with a female student. He was tried and convicted of the crime. We were told by our supervisor that we should dissociate ourselves from this teacher. In my earlier years, I had learned a great deal from him concerning integrating technology into the curriculum. I ignored my supervisor’s warning. He had helped me, should I not reach out to him in his time of need. I visited him before his trial and after he was incarcerated. One day as I spoke to him over a phone through a glass partition, I thought to myself, but by the grace of God there go I. Maybe not his sin, but many others. That day I realized, spiritually speaking, I should have been on the other side of the glass. God in his goodness, not mine, had freely pardoned me. I had reached out to my teacher friend because God had previously extended forgiveness to me.
My supervisor did not think this teacher deserved forgiveness, and she was right, just like you and I did not merit our salvation. Paul, the chief of all sinners, became the greatest of all evangelists. Identification with the transgressor is more effective in reaching them than just pointing out their sins. On which side of the glass do you deserve to be?
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing