This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15
Oh, the pride in us when we dispute among ourselves those last five words. Paul claimed the title of chief sinner and set off an argument that has lasted for almost 2,000 years. Even as Timothy read the words, he probably disputed in his heart with Paul, his teacher and mentor. If God announced a contest to challenge Paul for the title of chief sinner there would be a line around the world, dead folks would be getting up from the grave to join the line, and believers yet unborn would try to make their claim for the title. Oddly, I suspect that not one demon or prince of this world would be in line.
Of course we look in the wrong direction in this rather unholy contest. We need only look to God and His Sovereign omnipotence to see that there is no such thing as a most difficult case for Him. Isaiah confessed his unclean lips and God sent one of His messengers to cleanse the prophet and prepare him for holy duty. Peter might be one to challenge Paul for that dreadful title, but he too was forgiven and saved by our Lord. Every Christ-one to Christ follower to Christian has tried to make like he or she was perhaps the toughest case for the Lord's salvation and all have been saved by our Lord Jesus.
If there were some 1-10 scale of salvation difficulty, you might be a 4 and I an 8, or you might be a 9 and me a 5, and yet it would make no difference to God's saving power through His Son. Paul might be surprised to learn that he was only a 3, or God might one day confirm that Paul was indeed the only 10 while all the rest of us were both easier and quicker to be saved. It doesn't matter because the statement that He is mighty to save is based on God's all-mighty sovereign authority, and there is nothing that can stop that once a person believes in the saving grace of Christ Jesus.
Let it be so, said the lesser sinner, giving honor of place to Brother Paul who wrote for God such wonderful letters that we learn from to this day.Bucky