by Charles H. Spurgeon

I Was Before
Charles H. Spurgeon
1 Timothy 1:13

I am not going to dwell at this time upon the special items of the text as to what Paul was before his conversion, because none of us have been exactly as he was. We have all gone astray like lost sheep, but each one of us has taken a distinct course from all the rest. You might have to describe your transgressions in very different words from those used by the apostle, because yours has been a different form of guilt from his. Paul said of himself that he "was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious." Saul of Tarsus was a blasphemer. He does not say that he was an unbeliever and an objector, but he uses a very strong word, though not too strong, and says that he was a blasphemer. He was a downright, thorough-going blasphemer, who also caused others to blaspheme. From blasphemy, which is a sin of the lips, Saul proceeded to persecution, which is a sin of the hands. Hating Christ, he hated His people too. He was also injurious, which I think Bengel considers to mean that he was a despiser; that eminent critic says "blasphemy was his sin toward God, persecution was his sin toward the church, and despising was his sin in his own heart." He was injurious-that is, he did all he could to damage the cause of Christ, and thereby injured himself. He kicked against the pricks, and by doing so injured his own conscience. Having sinned thus grievously Paul makes a full record of his guilt in order that he may magnify the grace which saved even the chief of sinners.

Note here, before we come to the special purpose we have in view, that godly men never think or speak lightly of their sins. When they know that they are forgiven, they repent of their iniquities even more heartily than before. They never infer from the freeness of grace, the lightness of sin, but quite the contrary; and you shall find it as one trait in the character of every true penitent that he is rather inclined to blacken himself than to whit ...

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