This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
This faithful saying is worthy of acceptance because it is taught throughout the Bible, but that does not mean that it is what we would naturally or logically expect. The awesome Creator of the universe was willing to come into the physical world of men and give His life as a sacrifice for those who were His enemies!
All of us have sinned, which means we have acted in ways that were abhorrent to our Creator. Jesus knew that breaking His good and perfect law was destructive to us, and in His love He came to save us—rescue us—from our slavery to sin and from its penalty, death.
The apostle Paul did not exclude himself from the world of sinners Christ had saved. In fact, he clearly recognized his own sins of unknowingly blaspheming God and persecuting God’s Church. He humbly thought of himself as the worst offender and saw his conversion as proof that God could forgive and convert anyone willing to respond to His call.
For more about sin, forgiveness, conversion and salvation, see our section on “Change.”