I received mercy (1 Tim. 1:16)

“For that very reason,

I received mercy.

Thus,

In me,

The foremost sinner,

Jesus Christ

Might display

The utmost patience,

Making me

An example

To those who would come

To believe in him

For eternal life.”

ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν, πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Paul said, “For that very reason (ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο), I received mercy (ἠλεήθην).  Thus, in me (ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ), the foremost (πρώτῳ) sinner, Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς) might display (ἐνδείξηται) the utmost patience (τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν), making me an example (πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν) to those who would come (τῶν μελλόντων) to believe (πιστεύειν) in him (ἐπ’ αὐτῷ) for eternal life (εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐνδείξηται, that means to indicate to prove or show forth, and the word μακροθυμίαν, that means patience, long-suffering, or forbearance.  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word ὑποτύπωσιν, that means an outline, sketch, an example, a pattern, or a sample.  Paul explained that he had received mercy from God even though he was the foremost or worst sinner.  Thus, Jesus Christ showed his full or utmost patience towards Paul, who then became an example for others.  Paul was a sample or living example of what might happen to others who would come to believe in Jesus Christ and eternal life.  God was using Paul and his life as a road map for others to follow.  Has God been merciful to you?

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