The Biggest Sinner In The House


Not only did Jesus knock Paul off his horse on the road to Damascus, he knocked the self-righteous stuffing out of him as well.? The proud Pharisee came to see himself as the worst sinner he knew.

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 (1 TI 1.15).

Was Paul exaggerating for shock value?? Or was he some kind of self-loathing Eeyore who needed a big dose of self-esteem?

No. Paul realized that every sin is infinitely evil, because it is against an infinitely holy God, and requires the infinitely perfect blood of Christ to remove it.? He simply had a realistic view of his own sinfulness.

When I view myself as the foremost of sinners, it’s so much easier to forgive others, because no matter what they may do to me, I’ve done worse to God, yet he saved and forgave me.

I crucified Christ.

My sins ripped the flesh off his back, rammed the thorns into his head and hammered the spikes into his hands and feet.

I’m the biggest sinner in the house.

I’m the foremost sinner in my marriage: How can I not forgive my wife when God has forgiven me for slaughtering Jesus, the apple of his eye?

Foremost sinner in my family: How can I fume at my kids, when I?ve jilted God longer than they’ve been breathing, and still do despite all the years I’ve read the Bible, listened to sermons and received innumerable blessings?

Foremost sinner in my church:
How can I smolder against my brother’s sins, when my mountains of iniquity have been washed away by Christ’s blood?

Maybe people have hurt you deeply and you’ve suffered much.? Though it may be difficult, ask Jesus today for grace to see yourself as the foremost of sinners, and for grace to forgive, as he has forgiven you.

photo by pterantula


  • Rachael says:

    I like the more localized idea of ‘foremost’ sinner… At this point in time I don’t think I can think of myself as the ‘foremost sinner’ in the context of the whole world, though, when you can think of extremely heinous crimes. But even my sins on a seemingly smaller scale are likely equally or more disgusting in God’s eyes than those horrendous crimes of others might be in mine. Especially since I’m not a victim of those crimes, they don’t affect me incredibly deeply and long-term. Yet my sin goes deep against God.

    Makes me think of Matthew 5, when Jesus was saying how big some seemingly small sins really are.

    I also can’t imagine myself crucifying Christ. I think I’ve come across that idea before, maybe by C.J. Mahaney, but I don’t think I honestly feel that way, at least not now. My sins are with the world’s in nailing Him there, but I can’t really imagine myself actually crucifying Him. Maybe if I can learn to feel the gravity of the crucifixion more deeply, though, it would make his resurrection that more exciting, empowering, and real. I do want to feel the depth of the gospel more deeply.

  • Hi Rachael,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. In some ways, compared to others, it may seem that we’re not as bad. I think it’s so hard to fathom that every sin is an infinite offense against a holy God.

    At any rate, I appreciate your comment about “the more localized idea of ‘foremost sinner'” – that’s probably the most helpful way to think about it – I want to focus more on my sins than anyone else’s, especially because it helps me to be patient and forgiving.

    Thanks again!

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