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PAUL’S FAITHFUL TESTIMONY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, November 8, 2009

“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” (I Timothy 1:15).


Here is a very simple verse. It is a plain text that gives us the very essence, the very heart, of true Christianity. Understand this verse and you will grasp the main point of the New Testament.

“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”
     (I Timothy 1:15).

I. First, the text is a true statement that should be accepted.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation…”
       (I Timothy 1:15a).

What the Apostle says is trustworthy. It is not a fable or myth. It is the truth of God, revealed in Christ, and proclaimed throughout the Bible. Later, in his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle spoke of

“…the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus”
       (II Timothy 3:15).

And the Apostle Peter said,

“Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21).

Thus the Bible is the source of the faithful saying in our text. The Apostles did not follow “cunningly devised fables” when they spoke of Christ, “but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (II Peter 1:16). They spoke of Christ, whom they had met in person,

“…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled…”
       (I John 1:1).

These were the Apostles,

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days”
       (Acts 1:3).

Therefore, what Paul is about to tell us is very faithful to the truth of the Scriptures, a trustworthy statement which deserves to be accepted and believed. Yet Satan does not want you to believe it. Spurgeon said,

[Satan] slips along through the crowd, and he whispers in one [person’s] heart, “Don’t believe it!” and [to] another, “Laugh at it!” and [to] another, “Away with it!” [And to some poor sinner, the devil says] “Don’t believe it – it’s too good to be true.” Let me answer the devil by God’s own words, “This is a faithful saying.” It is good, and it is as true as it is good…I hope you will thrust Satan away from you, and not think it too good to be true (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Glorious Gospel,” The New Park Street Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1981 reprint, volume IV, p. 158).

So, I say to you, don’t listen to the doubts Satan puts in your mind.

“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”
     (I Timothy 1:15).

“Jesus saves!” Sing it!

We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
   (“Jesus Saves” by Priscilla J. Owens, 1829-1907).

II. Second, the text is a true statement about the Saviour, sin and salvation.

“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” (I Timothy 1:15).

First, it speaks of the Saviour. Dr. McGee said,

This is a very important verse of Scripture because it affirms that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He didn’t come to be the greatest teacher the world has ever known, although He was that. He didn’t come to set a moral example, but He did do that. He came into the world to save sinners (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume V, p. 434; note on I Timothy 1:15).

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He “came into the world” from Heaven,

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…” (Galatians 4:4).

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”
       (John 1:14).

Why did Christ come into the world? “To save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). That is what Jesus said about Himself,

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

That is why Jesus took your sin upon Himself. That is why He sweat Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. That is why He endured flogging, drenched in Blood. That is why He went to the Cross, nails piercing His hands and feet. That is why He died a horrible death on the Cross, in agony, pain and Blood – “to save sinners!” “Jesus Saves.” Sing it again!

We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Again, the text says Christ came “into the world to save sinners.” You may wonder why I have spent so much time, the last few weeks, preaching against Darwinian evolution. You may say, “Why does he speak about that so much?” The answer is simple. Darwinism teaches that man is only an animal, just another great ape, that evolved from lower forms. But if Darwinism is true, why did Christ have to come? If man is only another animal, why did Christ have to come down from Heaven and die on the Cross? I’ll tell you why – because man is a special creation of God. Man did not evolve from lower forms of life. “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). But man went wrong at the beginning. He sinned, and by his sin, all his descendants became sinners by nature and by practice. The Bible teaches that man was created by God, but became sinful. That is why Christ had to come and die on the Cross, and rise from the dead – to save men and women from sin!

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
       (I Timothy 1:15).

The Bible teaches that you are a sinner. The Apostle Paul said,

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”
      (Romans 3:10-12).

Since you are a sinner, you cannot please God, no matter how hard you try. Your sin must be paid for by the crucified Christ,

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”
       (I Peter 2:24).

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity [the sin] of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Sing the chorus, “Jesus Paid It All”!

Jesus paid it all,
   All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
   He washed it white as snow.
(“Jesus Paid It All” by Elvina M. Hall, 1820-1889).

Sing “In the Cross”!

In the cross, in the cross,
   Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
   Rest beyond the river.
(“Near the Cross” by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).

Few there are that say it today, but you may be one of them. You may be one of those who say, “I am too great a sinner for Jesus to save.” But look again at the text.

“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”
    
 (I Timothy 1:15).

Paul said that he was the foremost sinner, the chief sinner. He was speaking the truth. He blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ. He persecuted and killed Christians. But Christ saved him! If Christ could save a wicked sinner like Paul, He can save you as well. If Christ could turn an evil man like Paul into one of His Apostles, He can pardon your sins and regenerate your heart, and turn you into a real Christian!

“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”
      (I Timothy 1:15).

Jesus came to save sinners. If you feel that you are a sinner, Christ can save you. But I caution you – if you do not feel that you are a sinner, you cannot be saved by Him. For

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,”

and no one else! He only came to save sinners. So, if you protest that you are not a sinner, He will not save you. May God convict you of your sin. May God draw you to Jesus. May you be justified by His death, and cleansed from sin by His Blood! Sing hymn number 7 on your song sheet!

Just as I am, without one plea,
   But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
   To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
   With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
(“Just As I Am” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: I Timothy 1:12-16.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Oh, What a Fountain!” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

PAUL’S FAITHFUL TESTIMONY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (I Timothy 1:15).

I.   First, the text is a true statement that should be accepted,
I Timothy 1:15a; II Timothy 3:15; II Peter 1:21, 16; I John 1:1;
Acts 1:3.

II.  Second, the text is a true statement about the Saviour, sin and
salvation, I Timothy 1:15b; Galatians 4:4; John 1:14;
Luke 19:10; Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:10-12; I Peter 2:24;
Isaiah 53:6.