This text reminds Christians of the unmovable truths of the gospel that gave Paul his thanksgiving (1 Tim 1:12-14) and strengthens our confidence in Christ’s forgiveness (1 Tim 1:16-17). This passage contains two unmovable truths that glorify Christ and encourage our souls.
Questions for Application
1. We live in a world that does not want to accept the concept of absolute truth. Do you struggle with unbelief (see Mark 9:24)? How does the opening phrase of the verse address your struggle?
2. Pause for a moment to think of specific sins you are guilty of for which Christ died. List them out and dwell upon them. Think of the people you have hurt. Think of the ways you have grieved God with your sin.
Now think about the gospel and Christ’s resolve to save you and forgive you for those specific sins.
3. We also live in a world of self-esteem where one’s view of self is what matters most. What would the world say of Paul’s statement, “of whom [sinners] I am foremost”?
Is it ok to view yourself in this way? In what ways is this biblically healthy? In what ways could this passage be misunderstood?
4. Why did Paul say “I am” and not “I was”? What does this say about our own spiritual lives and journey? What are some sins that you currently struggle with that God has forgiven?