I Am A Sinner
Admit this, and this verse of scripture holds good news for you. Deny it knowingly, and Jesus Christ cannot help you. However, your denial may simply be the result of not knowing what the Bible defines a sinner to be.
So, what does it mean to be a sinner?
The Bible defines a sinner as one who has “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
It is easy to use the word “sinner” as a descriptor of those who fall short of our own personal standards. If this were the case, we would never know where we stood: I might measure up to John’s standard, but not Jenny’s. Am I a sinner or not? Who judges?
The Bible tells us God is the ultimate judge. It is His standard and appraisal that matters, and as we measure ourselves against a perfect and holy God, we all fall short. We are all sinners!
I Need To Be Saved
Having admitted I am a sinner, I tremble, for I know that God is righteous and just. Scripture is clear that a judgement day looms before us (Hebrews 9:27), and having admitted I am a sinner, I know the verdict on judgement day will be guilty. Indeed, the Bible tells us we are “condemned already” (John 3:18) and face eternal damnation. It’s clear! I need to be saved!
Thank God, our verse tells of a Saviour who “came into the world to save sinners”, and that includes me.
Can I Really Be Saved?
Perhaps you are saying to yourself: “You don’t know my life. I’ve done too many wicked things to be saved. I’m the worst of sinners and I don’t deserve to be saved”.
If this is how you’re thinking, consider the last phrase of our verse, where the Apostle Paul writes: “of whom I am chief”. Here is a man who thought just the same as you. Before his salvation, Saul of Tarsus (as he was previously known) was an arrogant man with innocent blood on his hands, yet he came to know the wonderful saving power of Jesus Christ.
He certainly didn’t deserve it, and he never forgot the wonder of God’s grace to him. He could later write with what, I think, was incredulity: “the Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, emphasis mine). And let me tell you – God loves you, too, no matter who you are; no matter what you’ve done!
It is out of love for guilty, hell-deserving sinners like you and me that God “gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). So we read that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”.
Jesus Christ Came To Save Me
Christ Jesus did not come into this world the way you and I did. For us, there was a moment of conception when we began to exist. The Son of God had eternally existed “at the Father’s side” (John 1:18 ESV). In John’s Gospel, He is also referred to as “the Word” who “was with God” and “was God” (John 1:1). Then, there came a glorious moment just over 2000 years ago, when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
However, while the coming into the world of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was an act of amazing grace in itself, by itself it was not enough. More amazing than His coming is the reason for it, and this is the point our verse is driving home. He came “to save sinners”.
Jesus Christ Died To Save Me
Christ’s coming reveals God to me, but cannot save me from His judgement. His miraculous power can heal the sick and raise the dead, but it cannot save me from my guilt. For salvation to be possible, the Lord Jesus Christ needed to give “Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).
God’s standard is consistent and clear: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22 ESV). Therefore, Jesus had to die on the cross.
Now I Can Be Saved
It is ironic that it was through mankind’s greatest sin – crucifying the Saviour – that salvation and forgiveness became a possibility. However, it was not the sufferings inflicted by men that brought salvation. As darkness covered the scene, “the LORD . . . laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Three hours later, Jesus went into death. Three days later, He rose again.
This is the good news for sinners. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the lives of countless sinners have been changed as they have put their trust in Him. They have come to know the joy of sins forgiven, peace with God, and a certain hope of heaven.
What about you? Are you saved?
Remember that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”.