FAQ on the Christian Faith
No. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:15 that he was one of the "sinners of whom I am chief," recalling the days before he met Jesus. In Christian communities today, there are many who think that they are sinners even after they believe in Jesus. But it is not true.
We are all sinners before we believe in Jesus. However, once we believe in Jesus correctly according to His Word, we become righteous immediately. The Apostle Paul remembered the time before he knew Jesus and confessed that he was the chief of all sinners.
Paul, when he was called Saul, met Jesus on the road to Damascus and realized that Jesus was his Savior, so he believed in and thanked Him. Then, for the rest of his life, he witnessed that the righteousness of God, the baptism of Jesus, had taken away the sins of the world and that He had to die to blot out the world's sins.
In other words, he became a servant of God who preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, most Christians still think that the Apostle Paul was a sinner even after he met Jesus. They misunderstand this passage from the viewpoint of Christian sinners, who are not yet born again.
The truth, however, is that he was no longer a sinner after he met Jesus, but one who could face Jesus whenever he wanted. He had devoted the rest of his life to preaching the gospel of salvation, the redemption of the baptism and the blood of Jesus. Even after he passed away, his Epistles are left to us in the Bible, testifying that the gospel of the water and the Spirit was the true gospel from the early church. Hence, the confession of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 was a recollection of his old days and a thanksgiving to the Lord as well.
Was he a sinner after he believed in Jesus? No. He was a sinner before he was born again. At the moment he believed in Jesus as his Savior, the moment he realized that the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus through His baptism, the moment he believed in His atoning blood of the Cross, he became righteous.
The reason he called himself the chief of all sinners was because he was remembering the time he had persecuted the followers of Jesus and thanked God for saving him, the most hopeless sinner.
Who can call him still a sinner? Who can call someone a sinner if he/she became righteous by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus as his/her salvation? Only those unaware of the truth of the redemption of Jesus can do that.
The Apostle Paul became righteous by believing in salvation through Jesus and from that time on, as a servant of God, preached the gospel of becoming righteous by believing in Jesus Christ to everyone, the Son of God as the Savior. From then on, the Apostle Paul was not a sinner, but a righteous servant of God, a true servant who preached the gospel to the sinners of the whole world.
Can a sinner preach to others? It would never work. How can one preach to others what he himself does not have! When a person has not been saved, how can the person save others!
If a man was drowning and tried to help another drowning man near by, both would end up under water. How can a sinner save others? He/she would only take them down to hell with him/her. How can a sick man care for another sick person successfully? How can one deceived by Satan save another?
The Apostle Paul was a sinner, but became righteous when he believed in the baptism and blood of Jesus and was saved from sin. Therefore, he could become a servant of God and preach the gospel to the sinners of the world. He saved many sinners with the righteousness of God. He himself was no longer a sinner from then on.
He was born again and lived not in the righteousness of the law, but in the righteousness of God. He became a servant and preacher of the righteousness of God, and he wined countless souls to God. He was not a preacher of his own enthusiasm or the righteousness of the Law, but the righteousness of God.
Was he a sinner to the end? No. He was righteous. As a righteous man, he became the apostle of the truth of God. Do not call him a sinner because it would be an insult to God as well as a clear misunderstanding of the truth. He was righteous. We should never insult him or Jesus by thinking otherwise.
If we say he was still a sinner after he met Jesus, it is calling Jesus a liar. Jesus made him righteous, and it was Jesus who made him a servant of His righteousness.