Jesus does not care what you have done or where you have been, he more importantly cares about where your going and what you are going to do. Paul, in his letter to Timothy, writes, “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.”
Here is the truth about the Good News of Jesus Christ, the gospel; he already understands we are mess-ups, imperfect, sinful people. He understands that the image of God stamped on us is in dire need of repair and restoration. Therefore as Jesus did with Paul, looking past his blasphemous, violent, and insolent personhood, he will do for us. It does not matter what you have done or been called, today, you can exclaim with Paul, “But I received mercy…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost…But I received mercy…To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Here in the present and now, by having the mercy and grace of Christ applied to your account, you then are able to “display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life” (1 Tim 1:16). The heart of the Gospel is that it redeems and restores our brokenness and distortion because of sin. Through the blood of Christ God’s image in and on us is restored, although not fully now. Yet the redemption and restoration one has in Christ provides a transformative power that takes the hell-bent person and transforms them into a honorable vessel used for the King of Glory.
Do you have a gospel story? Is there someone we know that needs to hear the gospel story, that they might have a Gospel Story like Paul? Do we or someone we know, need to remember this morning that God is not so much concerned as to what we have done, but what we are doing and going to do? This is the foresight of the gospel. He sees what we will become before we are. The gospel of Jesus Christ is truly amazing!