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.
– 1st Timothy 1:15
Whenever I read this passage, the thought comes into my head: “Uh, wrong, Paul. I am the chief sinner.” And of course, I think Paul would agree – that is, he would agree that every one of us can make the same confession as he does in the passage above.
And in fact, I would argue we should. The moment we start saying, “Oh, well, I may not be the best, but there are certainly worse sinners in the world,” is the moment we allow sinful pride a foot in the door of our heart. The moment we hear someone else say “I am the worst sinner” and think, “Yeah, you are,” is the moment we begin to lose ourselves to self-righteousness and stop loving our neighbor.
Ideally, for us in the Church I think it should go like this scene from Spartacus, only replace the name “Spartacus” with “the worst sinner”.
And of course it’s true, every one of us deserves to be on the cross promised for Spartacus, er, I mean, the worst sinner. Praise be to God that He instead put that penalty on His Son Jesus Christ – Who took the sins of the entire world into Himself and as a result became: the ultimate worst sinner.
For our sake [God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
– 2nd Corinthians 5:21