Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Head honcho

Why did Paul call himself the chief of sinners?

It is my understanding, and in my own study of the passage, the Apostle is saying that he was chief or "first" in rank/number, i.e., “first in line.”

1 Timothy 1:15-16
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. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

The Greek word for "chief" and for "first" is the word protos, which we get our English word "prototype." That word is used when they make robots or new cars—it's the first model that all the rest are built like.

So, when Paul uses the word "chief" he is saying (not that he is the worst, but rather) that he is first in rank, first in succession, at the head of the line [as the first member of the church, the body of Christ], the pattern of all that are saved eternally by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ plus nothing in the present dispensation of grace.

Hopefully this helps!


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