One person was sharing his testimony and was exaggerating about his sinful life. “I was a murderer, liar, blasphemer…etc.” Few distractors were listening and got police to arrest him. They complained to police that he was confessing his murder and so catch him. Was Paul also exaggerating like this? “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (I Timothy 1:15) Paul was formerly a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. (I Timothy 1: 13) Are there Chief sinners, deputy chief sinners, junior sinners, minor sinners…etc?
Paul was talking about himself, his inner anguish. He can only know himself intimately, immensely, and deeply. His introspection using search lights of Word of God and Spirit of God made him to understand how miserable sinner he was. He will never be able to know anyone else in-depth to measure their sins. Hence as far as his knowledge and ability goes, he could know only himself as the ‘chief of sinners.’
James wrote: “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” (James 2:10) Whether a person fails in one point or one-hundred points, that is immaterial. A sinner is separated from God deserving death. Spurgeon writes: All in miry clay, but some are deeper than others. It is immaterial if they are foot-deep or knee-deep or hip-deep or stomach-deep or chest-deep or neck-deep. All those who are in miry clay cannot come out of it by their self-effort. A saviour is needed to pull any person out of the miry pit.
People in the world may argue about small sins, or great sins or nefarious sins but Bible teaches that all sinners are equal in their misery in miry clay. Only God’s hand of salvation could deliver them. Instead of comparing, it is better to be humble, seeking His hand to deliver us and place us in a broad place. (Psalms 40:2)
Have I been lifted and placed in a broad place?