Why did God save me?
That’s a tough one to answer. As I’ve grown in my faith — particularly over the last few months — I’ve begun to realize how sinful I am. It feels like every action of mine is laced and corrupted with sin. My attitude is rarely where it should be, and my motives are rarely pure. If I were God, I know that I would have given up on me long ago. So why doesn’t He do so?
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 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. 16 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. 17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
My salvation is entirely due to God’s grace. The faith and love which characterize my walk with God did not come from myself at all; they are gifts from God (v. 14). There is nothing about me or my own ability to choose God that caused Him to save me. I was neither smart enough nor righteous enough to decide that He is Lord. It was His gift of faith that caused me to believe. In fact, I was a desperate and wicked sinner — the “chief of sinners” (from vv. 15-16). Thankfully, saving sinners is Jesus’ specialty.
So why did God save me? I received His mercy in order that Jesus Christ could show His patience toward me (v. 16). Even as I sin daily against Him — far more than against anyone else! — He loves, forgives, and blesses me. I know I can’t possibly be that patient.
God is glorified through His patience toward me (v. 17). It’s tempting (and foolish) to believe that because God has His glory in mind first and foremost, that we are just incidental to Him. But in fact, God’s love, mercy, and patience toward us is all wrapped up in His glory. I can have full confidence that He will never give up on me because His patience is the very thing He’s working to display.
I’m praying that God will never let me lose sight of His mercy and patience. Truly He is “the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God” (v. 17).