I. Timothy 1:16
Of all people the apostle Paul needed to have obtain mercy. According to Paul’s own confession, he was the “chief of sinners” (v.15).
Paul was a ringleader among the enemies of Christ. He was the chief of sinners.
Nothing but mercy could meet his need. God’s mercy is both free and rich, both bountiful and plentiful, bursting forth round about, round about all ages, round about all nations, round about all souls, surrounding all those rounds with surplus and overflowing with mercy to all, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isa.55:1).
Paul did not need more worldly wisdom or a better man-pleasing life; he needed the mercy of God to forgive his sin and save his soul from death. “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;” (II.Cor.4:1).
Divine mercy covered all of his deep needs, (V.15)” This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
The writer of (Acts 13:39) tells us this, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things,“ Only Jesus can make us complete.
He obtained mercy by our Lord Jesus. Paul did not obtain mercy by any work or merit of his own. It is Christ’s work to show mercy and put men into the ministry, Let us note (Ac.26:16), But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister,”
He obtained mercy because God in His infinite grace and love gave it to him, (II.Co.4:1)” “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;”
Paul obtained mercy because he promptly accepted the gift when offered to him, let us note (Ac.9:17,18) “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”
There is no other way for us to obtain mercy than by receiving it, (Titus 3:5) tells us this, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “
Paul obtained mercy through Christ Jesus. (v.15) for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasling.” There is none other name under Heaven, none other channel between Heaven and earth, through which the stream of God’s forgiving and saving mercy can flow, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Ac.10:43).
The only price by which we can obtain the mercy of God is through the precious Blood of Christ. When the Lord said to Saul, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks,” it was His merciful call to surrender his life to the Lord Jesus.
A call to the ministry is a great favour, for which those who are so called ought to give thanks to Jesus Christ: Paul stated “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath put me into the ministry.”
The mercy and the victory came when Saul answered, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” God is rich in mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The greatness of sin is no hinderance to our acceptance with God, nor to our being employed for him, Note (I.Pt 2:10), “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Paul obtained mercy that Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering in him. Not only that he might be saved from a life of rebellion and coming wrath, but that he may become a lamp through which the longsuffering, the goodness and the patience of Christ might shine forth, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (I.Tim. 6:12).
What we do ignorantly is a less crime than what we do knowingly; yet a sin of ignorance is a sin, for he that knew not his Master’s will, but did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes, (Lk 12:48).
The longsuffering of Christ was revealed to him and in him, that He might be revealed through him.
The obtaining of mercy has to do with the honour and glory of God, as well as with our own salvation, (I.Tim.2:5,6) tells us this, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” (Mt.1:21 declares “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Paul obtained mercy, that he might be a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him. Paul became an example of the grace of God, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.6:23).
The apostle Paul became an example to encourage all people who desired to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. The apostle Paul declared in (v.16) “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
With the view of obtaining mercy, we may also receive “life everlasting.” The conversion of Saul is to be taken as a example of the saving mercy of our God, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (II.Cor.9:15). Jesus was and is the Lamb of God.
What great encouragement there is for sinners of every age to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ Jesus has come into the world, He came to save sinners, blasphemers and persecutors are the chief of sinners, The chief of sinners may become the chief of saints, Those who believe on Christ believe on him to life everlasting; they believe to the saving of the soul, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul,” (Heb.10:39).
All the doorkeepers of the House of God have the same instructions. If you are seeking life, eternal life, here is mercy for you. Have you obtained it? ( Psalm 84:10) tells us “ For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. “