Paul A Pattern     

1 Timothy 1:16


The Apostle Paul tells us that in his experience of grace he was "a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on (Christ) to life everlasting." God did not choose him because he was better than others. He acknowledged himself to be the chief of sinners. The Lord chose him to show others what the grace of God, the blood of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit can do.


Before God saved him Paul was A PATTERN OF GOD'S LONGSUFFERING GRACE. God simply would not let him go to hell. That is what the longsuffering of God is. It is God refusing to allow sinners to go to hell who fully deserve to go to hell (2 Pet. 3:9). The longsuffering of God is the salvation of his elect (2 Pet. 3:15). Because God had chosen Paul, because Christ had redeemed him, because God was determined to be gracious to him, he was longsuffering with him.


When the Lord did save him Paul was A PATTERN OF GOD'S SAVING GRACE. We all tend to think that Paul's conversion was something unusual, out of the ordinary; but it was not. His conversion was a pattern of all conversions. His salvation was a pattern of how God saves all his elect. Read the three inspired accounts of Paul's conversion in the Book of Acts (chapters 9, 22, and 26), and you will see the pattern. Paul was saved, and all of God's elect are saved by...


             - God's Sovereign Election.

             - The Merits of Christ's Blood Atonement.

             - The Holy Spirit's Distinguishing,Irresistible, Effectual call.

             - Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


After God saved him Paul was A PATTERN OF GOD'S SANCTIFYING GRACE. As soon as he received his sight he set himself apart and consecrated himself to Christ in believer's baptism (Acts 9:18). He consecrated himself to the people of God (Acts 9:26) and to the cause of Christ (Acts 20:24). Grace always sanctifies!


Has God saved you by his grace? If he has, he has saved you that you might be a pattern of his grace to your family and friends, to your brethren, and to the world. See that you represent him well.


Don Fortner