First, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Jesus did not come to make men savable. Jesus came to give His life a ransom for the elect, and to actually redeem them from sin, death, and the grave.
“We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
—Priscila Owens, 1829
Jesus came to save the Chief of all Sinners, and He did, for Saul became Paul. If the worst sinner that has ever lived has been saved, there is hope for you and for me. If we will but call upon the name of the Lord, we too shall be saved.
Second, The Desire to Be a Bishop is a Noble Task and another faithful saying. “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” (1 Tim. 3:1).
While only God can make a minister of the gospel, those who are “tapped on the shoulder,” to use an expression by Peter Marshall, should respond to the call to gospel service.
However, keep in mind, “the ministry is not something a man chooses. A young man does not look through the want ads and, not finding a position, turn to the pastorate. The New Testament church begins with a God-called man who is willing to make any sacrifice, pay any price, forsake all and build a church in the name and after the pattern of Jesus Christ who said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18).” The call of God is confirmed in part by an inward desire to be serve as a bishop (pastor, or elder). Jeremiah experienced the burning desire to preach the Word of God. Someone told him he could not preach. He responded, “But His Word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was very weary with forebearing, and I could not stay (keep quiet)” (Jer. 20:9).
Third, God is the Saviour of all men, especial of those that believe. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe” (1 Tim. 4:9, 10).
Christ is the Savior of all men in that His death is sufficient for all that will believe. However, the death of Christ is effective only for those that do believe. What are we to believe?
We are to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
We are to believe that Jesus died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He arose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures.
We are to believe that Jesus will forgive those who repent of sin, and call upon His name and ask for forgiveness.
We are to believe that Jesus will give us eternal life.
We are to believe that Jesus is coming the Second Time, according to promise.
Because we believe we are to sing a song of praise.
“My faith looks up to thee,
thou Lamb of Calvary,
now hear me while I pray,
take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
be wholly thine.”
–Ray Palmer, 1808
Fourth, Those who die with Jesus, shall live with Him. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:11-13).
Belief in eternal life is not a Greek idea imposed on the Church, as some modern-day theologians, atheists, and agnostics would have Christians believe. God has put eternity into the heart of man. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (NIV). The ancient pyramids of Egypt testify to the longing for life beyond the grave.
Those who believe in Jesus will live with Him.
W. B. Hinson was a great preacher of a past generation. He believed in Jesus and faced an untimely death with the certainty of eternal life. Shortly before he died he said this to his people.
“I remember a year ago when a doctor told me, ‘You have an illness from which you won’t recover.’ I walked out to where I live 5 miles from Portland, Oregon, and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, ‘ I may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down pulling of the material universe!’ “
Remember this faithful saying, we shall live with Him.
Fifth, in addition to the four faithful sayings found in Timothy, there is a another faithful saying given to Titus. Those who believe in God should be careful to perform good works. “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8).
There are many good works that Christians are to perform, not in order to get, or earn salvation, but because they are saved. Though believers are saved by grace through faith alone, the faith which saves is not alone for it is accompanied by good works.
Being baptized is a good work. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Being faithful to the worship services is a good work. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
Showing love to others is a good work, and it is a Royal Command. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Biblical love is performing the right action, at the right time, on behalf of someone else. The story of the Good Samaritan is an example of authentic love.
Reading the Bible is a good work. Christians are to study to shew ourselves approved unto God, a workman that never needs to not ashamed, because we correctly understand and can apply the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Seeking to win souls to Christ is a good work. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30). “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).
Being kind to others is a good work. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Rom. 12:10).
One other good work which Christians are to perform is to purge themselves from the pollution of sin. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
Self is purged by standing in self-judgment. “Examine yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). This requires a sensitive conscience, and knowing what the will of the Lord is.
Self is purged by confessing every transgression. This requires honesty.
Self is purged by repenting of sin, and walking in a new direction.
Self is purged by making no provision for the flesh.
In all these things, perform and maintain good works.