"His perfect patience (displayed) as an example"

Vaclav's picture

In 1Timothy 1:12-17, Paul gives us a snapshot of his testimony, and his praise to God's saving mercy to him, for our encouragement -

12 "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,
13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

It's at the throne of grace that we receive God's mercy. And we receive it not only for our sakes, but also as an example sake of those who are to believe in him for eternal life.

As Paul the Apostle, the chief, or foremost of sinners, one who sincerely believed that killing and persecuting Christians pleased the God of Abraham, has received the mercy of God, as an example. So that we sinners, may not turn away from coming to God, but instead, to see Jesus Christ displaying his "perfect patience" to us. And as a result to live by "The Expulsive power of a new affection" (Thomas Chalmers), that is born in our hearts by seeing the goodness of God to us, in the death of Jesus Christ his Son on our behalf. This new affection for Jesus drives out and away, expelling all self-centred and sinful affections.

So, let us not draw back from God, because of our great sins, but let us see in his perfect patience toward us, God's desire for extending mercy to us who come to him in faith and repentance, where the direction of our life is - turned around toward Jesus.

The eternal life, being with Jesus now and forever, is the reward.

Comments

Expulsive power.

You quote Chalmers as speaking of, "the expulsive power of a new affection." I do understand I believe what is meant by this expression, and I do not doubt that it would be tied to his and the other Puritans understanding of the doctrines of Grace. In this case that God causes to take place in the hearts of his elect the work of sanctifying, and of creating new desires against sin, and towards Christ. But how do you understand this power? Also, what is to be understood of a "believer" who has had little or none of this operation in their life?

"The expulsive power of a new affection"

Vaclav's picture

I can direct you back to my words above. That should answer your questions, at least to some extent. But simply, I find that I need constantly, to set my eyes on Christ and his death on my behalf. It is where I see God's goodness/kindness to me most clearly revealed, and the inner seeing of these things, makes me rejoice in my God, and keeps me turned toward him. This is the new direction of my heart - to love and obey the one "who loved me and gave himself for me." And more I see him, more I love him.
So, I believe it is our duty to fix our eyes on Jesus, always.

But also, as stated in 2 Corinthians 1:21that, we together as a body of believers arrive to the maturity/Godly character God has planned for his kids. As somebody said, "Christian is not an island." We need each other, as our body needs each part together to function properly and healthily.

"And they devoted themselves...to fellowship." (Acts 2:42)