Paul writes to Timothy about the false doctrine – Timothy is to “charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine” (1:3) than the truth which Paul proclaimed – and about the ungodly lifestyles all around – Paul writes about “the lawless and disobedient, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane” (1:9) and names heinous sins. He also confesses his own ungodly past. But here’s the good news for Paul: “The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 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” (1:14-15).
The news that was so good for Paul is good news for us, also. Without hesitation Paul would sing, and we sing, the words penned by William Newell:
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.
O the love that drew salvation's plan!
O the grace that brought it down to man!
O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.
Mercy there was great and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me,
There my burdened soul found liberty–
At Calvary. -- William R. Newell (1895)