This is Paul, writing in his first letter to his adopted son, Timothy...
1 Timothy 1
is a trustworthy saying,
and everyone should accept it:
came into the world to save sinners"
and I am the worst of them all.
God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime
example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.
will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Paul did some pretty tough stuff before he met Jesus in a flash of light on the road to Damascus.
He persecuted Christians, had them put in prison (not a Club Med experience back then), & probably had them killed.
He was at the stoning of Stephen, & approved of Stephen's death (if
you're not familiar with that event it's recorded in Acts 7).
That's why when Paul first became a Christ follower, Christians didn't trust him or believe him.
They thought he was trying to trick them into leading him to other Christians so he could throw them in jail.
Sometimes I feel like Paul - a pretty big sinner.
Now before you try to convince me otherwise, let's be real here - you ain't inside my head.
Trust me - I'm a sinner, big time.
But I know that God, because of Jesus, views me otherwise (go to 1 Corinthians 1:30 to see about that).
The important thing here isn't that Paul thought of himself as a bad sinner, or that I see myself a a bad sinner.
What IS important is that Jesus came to live among us to save EACH & EVERY ONE OF US from our own sinfulness.
as a result, we can all say to those who have not started becoming a
Christ follower that if God has made a way for me to connect with Him,
then He's made a way for them, too.
We're all alike - sinners.
And we're all made able to connect with God the same way - because of Jesus.