I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;” (1 Timothy 1:12–13, NASB95)

Paul’s qualifications for Christian service:

  • Blasphemer
  • Persecutor
  • Violent aggressor

It’s not a very flattering resume is it, dear reader?

Ah…but that is not the end of the story.  God took Paul’s resume and made something incredible/magnificent/unbelievable/ of it.  And so Paul was put into service.

I’m wondering, how does your own resume compare with Paul’s?  Better?  Worse?  Do you think it matters to God what your resume is?  In light of Paul’s life before Christ and what God accomplished in and through him, I’m thinking it doesn’t matter.  You are a good person?  God can use you in spite of your legalism?  You are worse than Paul?  Here is some hope for you, it seems like God turns the worst sinners into his most faithful servants.  Cheers my brother or sister!  God is going to do something incredible/magnificent/unbelievable through and in you.

Throughout the OT and NT and church history, the greatest sinners have often become most notable saints (Moses, Rahab, David, Photini—the woman at the well, Matthew, Paul, St. Mary of Egypt). – Orthodox Study Bible

Praise Him, legalist.  Praise Him, worst of sinners.  God can put you both into service.