This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the worst of them all.
—1 Timothy 1:15
Paul’s teaching about sinners focuses on God’s real purpose in sending Jesus: to save those who are lost. Miserable, undone sinners are “the stuff” from which Jesus makes miracles. Often the lower a sinner sinks, the greater the glory God receives when the sinner repents.
Rahab, the prostitute in Jericho, was probably the lowest social outcast in the city (Joshua 6:17). However, God was willing to spare her and her entire family because she was repentant. In God’s sovereign choice to use her, Rahab first was spared from destruction. Then she actually became one of the four women mentioned in Matthew 1 as a direct ancestor of King David and Jesus Christ Himself (v. 5).
Can you see how God loves to take the “things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all . . . to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29)? He will run to meet any sinner who comes to his senses and returns to Him saying, “Father, I have sinned” (Luke 15:21). Let us rejoice with the angels today over even one sinner who repents!