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How could Paul call himself the worst of sinners?


Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16
            Paul didn’t have a poor self-esteem, but a realistic one.  He truly felt his sins were the worst sins ever committed and he was the furthest away from God as anyone.
            If Paul started ranking his sinful nature with others, saying “I was a bad sinner, but not the worst.  Others were definitely much worst than me,” then he would be judging his own sin and thinking he was better than others.
            Sin is sin and only one sin pushes us far away from God—as far as anyone could go.  There is no point system for sin.  Adam ate a fruit from a forbidden tree and changed the world.  His son Cain murdered Abel, his own brother.  Each sin had 100% effectiveness and separated the sinner from God. 
            It’s good to see ourselves as the worst of sinners, because sin is the worst thing we can do against God.  But, we cannot forget that Jesus saves the worst of sinners, showing us mercy and patience so we can receive an eternal relationship with God.  That promise is for all sinners, including us.