“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
We read the words of Paul – and we look beyond him to Jesus Christ. The gospel didn’t begin with Paul. It comes to us from Jesus Christ. Paul did not think too highly of himself. He describes himself as “a servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). He never forgot what he was before his life was turned around by Christ: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man” (1 Timothy 1:13). Paul had this wonderful testimony: “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14). Paul had a great message to share with others: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). Notice the words – “of whom I am the worst.” Paul was not pointing the finger at sinners. He was pointing the finger at himself – ‘This is what I am. I’m a great sinner.” Paul was not exalting himself. He was exalting Jesus Christ – his Saviour: ‘Jesus is a great Saviour.”
“I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:16-17).
May God help us to learn from Paul. May we never forget that we are sinners. May we give thanks to God that he has called us to be his servants. May we always remember that Jesus is our Saviour.