Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Christ Saves Even the Worst of Sinners

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  (1 Tim 1:15-16)
That the Only-begotten became man for the sake of sinners, he himself taught in the sacred Gospels, “I came to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  [Paul’s] claiming to be foremost among all sinners surpasses the very bounds of humility; yet in what follows he develops a further case that is even more extreme:
Just as, in a single house where there are many ill at the same time and all despair of recovery, a physician takes one patient suffering from the worst condition, and by offering appropriate remedies and restoring this one to the peak of condition he instills confidence in all the others, so Christ the Lord, the physician of souls, became man for the sake of the salvation of sinners, brought me to notice, most lawless of all, and not only freed me from the former defilements but also plied me with marvelous gifts.  In me he showed all people immeasurable long-suffering so that none of those guilty of transgressions should despair of salvation once they have looked to me.
Theodoret of Cyrus, “The First Letter to Timothy”

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