Here are some additional thoughts I enjoyed while studying for yesterdays sermon. They didn’t make it into the service as they deserve a message unto themselves. Still, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had 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. 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. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)
“The word ‘pattern’ in the original is expressive: a pattern from which endless copies may be taken. You have heard of stereotype printing. When the types are set up, they are cast – made a fixed thing, so that from one plate you can strike off hundreds of thousands of pages in succession without the trouble of setting up the types again. Paul says, ‘That I might be a plate never worn out – never destroyed, from which proof impression may be taken to the very end of time.’ What a splendid thought that the apostle Paul, having portrayed himself as the chief of sinners, then portrays himself as having received forgiveness for a grand and specific end, that he might be a standing plate from which impressions might be taken forever, that no man might despair who had read his biography! – Dr. Cummings.
“Every conversion of a great sinner is a new copy of God’s love; it is a repeated proclamation of the transcendency of His grace. This was His design in Paul’s conversion. He set up this apostle as a white flag to invite rebels to treat with Him and return to their loyalty. As every great judgment upon a grand sinner is as the hanging of a man in chains to deter others from the like practice, so every conversion is not only an act of God’s mercy to the convert, but an invitation to the spectators.” – Stephen Charnock
Quotes are from Supugeon’s Sermon Notes pp.646-7