Many times throughout his Epistles, Paul references his own story and, through it, the goodness of Jesus. However, in 1 Timothy 1:12-17, it's so much more personal and spoken as if only between the two of them. Have you ever been at an event and watched two grown men, tears in their eyes, one toasting emotionally, the other being toasted? That's the feeling of this passage; listen to Paul's words:
I am deeply grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ (to whom I owe all that I have accomplished) for trusting me enough to appoint me his minister, despite the fact that I had previously blasphemed his name, persecuted his Church and damaged his cause. I believe he was merciful to me because what I did was done in the ignorance of a man without faith, and then he poured out his grace upon me, giving me tremendous faith in, and love for, himself. This statement is completely reliable and should be universally accepted: “Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners”. I realize that I was the worst of them all, and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to me. It was a kind of demonstration of the extent of Christ’s patience towards the worst of men, to serve as an example to all who in the future should trust him for eternal life. So to the king of all ages, the immortal, invisible, and only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever!
Cheers, Paul! Cheers to you, Jesus!
Now consider it again from our own perspective:
My friends, are we deeply grateful to Jesus Christ (to whom we owe all that we are) for trusting us enough to appoint us his ministers? For we have all blasphemed his name at times, underrepresented his Church and damaged his cause. He has been so merciful to us because what we often do is done in the ignorance of nice people living in unbelief. But - OH! - do you know how He pours out is grace upon you, and makes available to you tremendous faith in, and love for, himself? Do you daily take to heart this statement that is completely reliable and must be universally accepted: "Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners"? Do you know that we all were the worst of them all, and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to you? Your life is a kind of demonstration of the extent of Christ’s patience toward the worst of people, and is now meant to serve as an example to all who in the future, but most importantly in the Present, should trust him for eternal life! So to our King, the king of all the ages, the immortal, invisible-who-made-Himself-visible, and only God, be honor and glory through our lives for ever and ever!
May our glasses be held high today in a constant adoration and joyous thanksgiving; He has done it all for us and in us!