According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”

         “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God,”
         Literally:  “according to the gospel of the glory of God”– The
Gospel  is glorious because:
1.      It is a system of Divine revelation.

2.      It makes known the will of God.
3.      It states what is duty, and accords in its great principles with the Law, or is in harmony with it.

         ACCORDING TO:  (kata)–This introduces a threefold description of the divine norm.

1.      It is “the gospel” (Grk.–to euangelion)–This word literally means, “good message” or “good news.” 
         The content of the
Gospel centers in the Person and redemptive work of Christ Jesus:  His death for sins, burial, and physical resurrection (I Cor. 15:1-4).

2.      The standard is the Gospel “of the glory of the blessed God.” 
          a.      The glory of God is the outward manifestation of His essence.
          b.     The
Gospel brings glory to God in that it displays His grace, love, mercy and forgiveness

3.      The Gospel was committed into the trusted of Paul.\

“committed to my trust.”
Literally:  “committed in trust to me”


And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”

         “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,”
         Literally:  “And I have constant gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ”–Who has given me ability or strength for this service.
Lord Jesus had called him when he was a blasphemer and a persecutor.

Christ had constrained him to leave his career of persecution and blasphemy,  and to consecrate himself to the defense and the propagation of the Gospel.  I feel myself under infinite obligation to Christ who has strengthened me, Who has given to me miraculous gifts of His Holy Spirit, and put me into the ministry

            AND:  (Grk.–kai)–This conjunction connects this verse with the previous verse.

            I THANK:  (Grk.–charin echô)–Literally:  I have gratitude to.”

            ENABLED:  (Grk.–endunô)–Literally meaning:  “to render strong,” suggesting, strength in soul and purpose. 
Paul also uses this word in Phil. 4:13–“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth
(endunô) me.”

“He counted me faithful,”

Literally:  “because He counted me faithful”–Counted him a proper person to be put into the ministry.  The basic requirement for spiritual stewardship is faithfulness.  A faithful person is trustworthy.

            COUNTED:  (Grk.–hêgeomai)–Literally meaning, “to deem, account, consider, think.”  This speaks of a belief, or appraisal, that does not rest upon one’s emotions, but upon the due consideration of external grounds, upon the weighing and comparing of facts.  It refers to a deliberate and careful judgment. God saw that this fiery, zealous, intense Pharisee would be just as fiery, zealous and intense in the proclamation of the gospel as he had been in its persecution.

“putting me into the ministry.
Literally: “putting {me} into the ministry”–Paul became a minister of the church and of the Gospel (Col. 1:23-25).  Rather, as in I Thess. 5:9, “appointing me (in His sovereign purposes of grace) unto the ministry.”  God demonstrated His confidence in Paul by putting him into the ministry.

“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious:  but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”

Paul now presents a threefold evaluation his former self.

 EVALUATION #1–He Was a Blasphemer
          “Who was before a blasphemer,”  (Grk.–blasphêmon)–Blasphemy is  “speaking evil of;   speaking abusive of, speaking reproachfully of, to revile.”  Paul had blasphemed Christ because he had denied that He was the Messiah.  Expositors note that it was against Jesus personally that Paul had acted (Acts 9:5; 22:7; 26:14), and that this brings into stronger view the kindness of Jesus to Paul.    

Regarding Jesus’ teaching regarding “blasphemy” against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:32), He meant that anyone with the evidence of His power before their eyes, and declared it to be power from Satan, exhibited a heart beyond divine illumination, and was therefore hopelessly condemned. Therefore, such an one was beyond the pale of any forgiveness.

         EVALUATION #2–He Was a Persecutor
         “and a persecutor”– (Grk.–diôktês)-He had taken every means uopen to him under Jewish law to annihilate the Christian Church.

         EVALUATION #3–He Was Injurious
         “and a persecutor”– (Grk.–hubristês)–Denotes the arrogant conduct of another, whether in words or in actions. This word indicates a kind of arrogant sadism; it describes a man   who is out to inflict pain for the sheer joy of inflicting it.

Of this Greek root word ( hubris),  the Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “Hubris means to hurt and to grieve people, in such a way that shame comes to the man who is hurt and grieved, and that that person who inflicts the hurt and injury gain anything else in addition to what he already possesses, but simply that he may find delight in his own cruelty and in the suffering of the other person.”  This amply describes the way Paul had once been in regard to the Church.  To put it simply, Paul was a religious bully. 

         Paul Received Mercy
         “but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”
         Literally:  “but I received mercy, because being ignorant, I did {it} in unbelief.”

         BUT:  (Grk.–alla)–This shows the contrast between Paul’s unsaved life and his present saved life.

        OBTAINED MERCY:  (Grk.– êleêthên)–Literally:  “was mercied.”  All believing sinners have received divine mercy (Rom. 11:31-33; II Cor. 4:1).  This means that God withholds from man the judgment he deserves and give to him GRACE, something he does not deserve.

Paul admitted his sin (“I did it”), but he gives two reasons why God spared him.
He Did it out of ignorance

         IGNORANTLY:  (Grk.– agnoôn)–He did not deliberately reject Christ, but did so simply out of ignorance.

REASON #2–He Did it in Unbelief
         UNBELIEF:  (Grk.–apistiai)–Literally:  “without faith.”  The lack of faith is no excuse for sin, but it does explain why Paul sinned.

Paul Received Grace
VERSE 14: 
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”
The transition from verse 13 to verse 14 is from abounding sin to super-abounding grace.

         “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant”
         Literally:  “but, or not only,  the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly”–

1.      This mercy was united with grace.
2.      This grace was super abundant toward him.
3.      This grace was given with faith and love.
4.      This phrase, “exceeding abundant, super abundant” seems to be a favorite saying for Paul.
         a. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound  (super abound) (Rom. 5:20).|
        b. “Night and day, praying exceedingly (super abound)” that we might see your   face…” (I Thess. 3:10).

         c. “And to esteem them very highly (super abound) in love for their work’s sake” (I Thess. 5:13).

“with faith and love”–Not only was this grace of God freely given to Paul, but it done so with, “exceeding abundance,” and it was given with faith and love.  Grace kindles faith and love; it floods the soul with these gifts from Christ. 

VERSE 15: 
“This {is} a faithful saying:  and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whim I am chief.”

         “This is a faithful saying”
         Literally:  “faithful {is} the word”– A person can place his total confidence in such truth.

         FAITHFUL:  (Grk.–pistos)–This word stresses that the content of the statement is trustworthy.  This phrase is used five times in the N.T. by Paul in the pastoral epistles: (here; 3:1; 4:9; II Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8).

         “worthy of all acceptation”
         Literally:  “worthy of acceptance”–It should receive welcome approval by all people.  There is no reason for rejection of it.

            ALL:  (Grk.–pasês)–Describes the reception of which the saying is worthy, as complete and excluding all doubt”–Vincent’s Word Studies in the N.T.

            ACCEPTATION: (Grk.–apodochê)–From the Greek verb, (Grk.–apodochomai)–meaning, “to accept what is offered from without, to receive into the mind.” Accepted (as of a boon) into the heart, as well as the understanding, with all gladness; this is faith acting on the Gospel offer, and welcoming and appropriating it (Acts 2:41).

         “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;”–In this phrase Paul gives us three pertinent facts:

FACT #1:  He Identifies the Savior
“Christ…”–Christ Jesus Himself declared that He is the only One through whom men may come to the Father (John 14:6).
1.      Christ–as promised.
2.      Jesus-as revealed.

FACT #2:  He Pointed to the Incarnation
“came into the world”–This fact alone points to His deity, for in order to come into the world He first had to be outside of it. As God Who created the universe and all (including man) in it, He became man through the virgin conception and birth (Gal. 4:4).

FACT #3:  He States the Purpose of the Incarnation
“to save sinners”–Even such vile sinners as Saul of Tarsus.  Jesus came to save sinners, not to teach them, or to live a holy life.  This could only happen through His substitutionary death on the cross and His subsequent physical resurrection.

“of whom I am chief.”–
Literally:  “of whom I am foremost, of whom I am number”–When we see God in all His holiness, we see ourselves for what we really are:  SINNERS!

          I AM :  (Grk.–eimi ego)–Not “I was;”  but “I am”–but now he is a saved (forgiven) sinner.Paul knew that ALL of us are  sinners: “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one’” (Rom. 3:10).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
          BUT in CONTRAST:

“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered”
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD will not impute sin”  (Psalm 32:1-2).

We will always be sinners; we will always have a sin nature.  The difference is that some of us have asked for, and received, God’s forgiveness, but most people have not done so.

         CHIEF:  (Grk.–prôtos)–Literally:  “first, leading, foremost; big number one.”  If it read that Paul was “chief,” then he would have used the Greek word, (Grk.–     archôn)–Which means, “ruler, chief, leader.”

“Howbeit it for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.”

         Literally:  “but, because, moreover”–Contrasting his own conscious sinfulness with
God's gracious visitation of him in mercy.

Paul uses this to continue his thought of v. 13, and to continue to develop his expression of self-deprecation.  One expositor expresses this as:  “I was such a sinner that one might doubt whether I could even be saved or was even worth saving.  But Christ had a special object in view in extended to me His mercy.”

“for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.”
Literally:  “for an example for those being about to believe”— To be a pattern to show that even the “chief of sinners” who believe in Christ may be pardoned, sanctified, and saved.

Upon all who have ever repented and believed, God has bestowed free pardon and the blessings of heavenly GRACE; that even the chief of sinners may be encouraged to repent of their sins and embrace the Savior as he is offered in the Gospel–“that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.”

“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,
{be} honor and glory for ever and ever Amen.”

With this doxology Paul closes the digression he began back in v. 11,  and comes back to his original exposition.

“Now unto the King eternal,”|
Literally:  “Now to the King of the ages”–To this
Eternal, Incorruptible One be glory and honor unto the ages of the ages. Amen.  “King of the Agest”–God, the absolute Ruler of the Ages of time and of all that goes on in those ages.

            ETERNAL:  (Grk.–aiônion)–“Without beginning or end; that which has always been and always will be.”

            IMMORTAL:  (Grk.–aphthartos)–“Uncorrupted, no liable to corruption or decay, imperishable.”  Using the English word, “immortal,” meaning, “that which is exempt from death,”  is not a proper rendering of this Greek word.  A better rendering of this word    would say, “iuncorruptible” or, “imperishable.”

            INVISIBLE:  (Grk.–aoratos)–This word is used four times in the N.T. in referring to God (here, Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:15; Heb. 11:27), and once of created things (Col. 1:16).             

God is Spirit (John 4:24) and as such He is material, physical or corporeal.  Mankind has only seen God as He has chosen to reveal Himself through theophanies and in His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:18).  When Philip said, “show us  the Father,” Jesus said “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”

         “the only wise God”
         Literally:  “the only God.”

            WISE:  (Grk.–sophos)–This word is not in the better, and older, copies of the Greek texts which simply read, “the only God.

         {be} honor and glory for ever and ever”–This combination by itself is only found here.    

            HONOR:  (Grk.–timê)–Literally:  “a valuing, respect, recognition.”

            GLORY:  (Grk.–doxa)–Paul general uses “glory” with the article; i.e., “the glory.”  The glory of God is the outward manifestation of what He really is.

Paul here gives us four characteristics of God:
1.      He is the King eternal (Grk.–Basilei tôn aiônon).
2.      He is immortal  (Grk.–aphthartôi).
3.      He is invisible (Grk.–aoratôi).|
4.      He is unique