"The Worst Sinner I Know"

November 03, 2023 | By Chuck

 Who is the worst sinner you know? Do you think of friends or church members and some of their mistakes that you so fortunately haven’t experienced, at least not yet? Do you think of the most infamous criminals of our time and the heinous crimes they’ve committed? Well, for me, I don’t have to look very far to see the worst sinner I know. It’s the guy looking back at me in the mirror. I’m the worst sinner I know.

            Saul of Tarsus was a church persecutor and violent man who did all he could to destroy the Lord’s church. But Saul was offered grace when he had a providential encounter with Jesus. Years after his conversion to Jesus, now as the apostle Paul, he understood grace because he had experienced grace firsthand. “But I received mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 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.” (I Timothy 1:13-15) When it came to sinners, Paul wrote, “I am the foremost.” He didn’t say I was the worst sinner. He said I am the worst sinner I know.

            Paul understood grace because he experienced it. He appreciated grace so much because he had the right view of himself as the worst sinner. When I see myself as the worst sinner I know, I understand my serious need for grace and I appreciate God’s grace even more. I’m not so sure I would appreciate grace as much if I pointed my finger at others as the worst sinner I know. So, who is the worst sinner you know?