The Marriage of a Murderer and a Messiah

1 Timothy 1:1
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope,”

In my reading this morning the phrase “by command of God” stood out to me.

Things happen at God’s command.


From the beginning of the Bible until its end we read of it:

  • stars are formed
  • the earth is created
  • man is made
  • prophecies are given
  • healing occur
  • the dead are raised.


The first thing Paul tells Timothy in his letter is that God commanded him to be an apostle, implying also his salvation.


What a beautiful thing this is.


Think about it for a moment.


Paul was a zealous pharisee who murdered Christians. In route to murder more of them, God commands, and Paul is saved.


What basis is there for God’s command of salvation on Paul? Was he on his way to church? Was he on his way to an unreached people group? Was he going to help the sick? Was he about to go to a Bible study? Did he just finish paying his tithe?


The answer: No.


Paul hated Christianity. He didn’t just ignore it, he desired to kill the movement.


So, why does God command Paul’s salvation?


Paul writes about this extensively in his letters. To sum it up, He did so for His own glory, and for the sake of the Gentiles.


But the question still remains. What made it right for God to command a murderer to be saved? 

This is an illogical action when we attempt to understand it. And the truth is, God goes much beyond our human logic. So, what makes it right for God to do this is really God’s choosing. As boring of an answer this may sound, anything God does is right.


Paul is not saved because of who he is. Paul is saved because of who God is. Paul is saved because of God’s command.


The same is true with any Christian.


They are not saved because of their good works; they are saved in spite of them. They are saved at God’s command.


The same way God commanded Lazarus to be raised from the dead is the same way He commands spiritual life to those who are dead in sin.


If you are a Christian, praise and worship God because He has brought you into this salvation by His command.


If you are not a Christian, hear Jesus’ words in John 3:16:


“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”


His command is for our good and for His glory.


And finally, Lamentations 3:37

“Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?”