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1 Timothy 1:14 – Overwhelming and Irresistible

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

But I was shown mercy, seeing that I do it being ignorant, in unbelief. Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelms, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

With all the knowledge that Paul had acquired during his high education in Judaism, he had to look back and conclude that he was nevertheless “ignorant.” After all, with everything in him he fought the One of whom his entire Hebrew Bible testified: Israel’s Messiah. It was certainly not Paul’s own choice that he became a believer, on the contrary. He says he is overwhelmed. In the Greek word he uses for this (huper-pleonazo) we recognize the elements ‘hyper’ and ‘pleonasm’. A pleonasm occurs when a word is used redundantly, such as: a round ball or wet water. Pleonasm means: abundant and hyper-pleonasm therefore means: more than abundant, in other words: overwhelming!

On the road to Damascus, Paul neither sought nor chose Christ Jesus. No, like a tsunami he was overwhelmed by grace. Paul had no choice but to fall down before this Lord, stammering to Him. It was a confrontation with what is traditionally called irresistible grace. When God calls people, not only does His voice sound, but He also opens ears and hearts!