1 Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

How do you see yourself? Perhaps you think of yourself in your heart of hearts as essentially a good person. Maybe you are like so many of the celebrities or politicians that say after they have been caught in some gross sin, “This isn’t who I really am.” If that is your view of yourself, the Bible is clear that you are not a Christian.

On the other hand, maybe you think that you are so bad, you’ve committed so many sins, and you are caught up in so much sin even now, that there is no way you could ever change, and you certainly could never become a Christian. However, if that is how you see yourself, perhaps you are closer to becoming a believer than you thought.

The apostle Paul viewed himself as a righteous person before he met Christ. He was zealous for his beliefs, and he was proud of his national, family, educational and religious heritage. It was not until he met the holy and perfect Jesus that his eyes were opened to how truly sinful he was. He viewed himself as the worst of sinners, for he had even persecuted the church of God in his blindness. He was astonished that this Christ, whom he had hated, graciously forgave him all his many sins and changed his life at its very core. He was astonished that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” and he realized that that is exactly what he was.

This is grace – God choosing to reach out to the lost and save them, despite their rebellion and hatred of Him. Who does anything like this? Only God.

So, what’s keeping you back from following Him? Do you think you are “good enough” as you are? If so, it is blindness and pride that keeps you from Him. Or do you think you are too bad, and that He could never love you. If so, you are just ignorant of how great His love is towards “the worst of sinners” and how much He longs to forgive you. God’s heart is displayed in the accounts of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost (prodigal) son in Luke 15. Here he tells us that there is joy in heaven over even one sinner who repents.

What an amazing God is this gracious forgiver of our sin!

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