by Stephen Charnock
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 TIM. 1:15.
I. Obs. The salvation of sinners was the main design of Christ’s coming into the world. II. God often makes the chiefest sinners objects of his choicest mercy.
For the last, that God doth so, observe,
1. God hath formerly made invitations to such. See what a black generation they were, Isa. 1 by the scroll of their sins. They were rebels, and rebels against him that had nursed them: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me,’ ver. 2. And in this respect worse than the beasts they were masters of; the stupid ox and the dull ass outstripped them in ingenuity: ‘The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider,’ ver. 3. He calls upon heaven and earth to judge between them, ver. 2. He appeals to men and angels as a jury to give their verdict, whether these people had not been the most disingenuous and ungrateful people in the world. Or if by heavens and earth he meant magistrates and people, as in the prophetic style they are usually taken, God then appeals to themselves to let their own natural consciences, and the common ingenuity their sins had left them, to judge between them. He comes to charge them ‘laden with iniquity,’ ver. 4. They had such great weights lying upon them that they were not able to stir, or laden with it, as some crabtree is of sour fruit. They had sprouted from a wicked stock; they had corrupted one another by their society and example, as rotten apples putrefy the sound ones that lie near them.
Table of Contents
PART I: The Chief of Sinners Saved
PART II: God's Regard for His Own Glory
PART III: The Fruits of Converting Grace