1 Tim 1:13 "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."
"If simply to believe and accept salvation is everything, then these New Testament Epistles would never have been needed, indeed, in a sense, you would not need the Church at all. People would just be saved and go on happily for the rest of their lives as Christians. But there is abundant evidence that this is not the case. These New Testament people had believed and had become Christian, and yet it was necessary for the Apostles Paul and Peter and John and others to write letters to them because they were in trouble one way or another." (Excerpt from the book I'm reading by D. Martin Lloyd Jones. In fact, all of these scripture references are found in Ch. 5)
"Work out your doctrine," he says, because the most basic problem in bringing up past sins is unbelief, alongside the attacks of satan. The Word of Truth is the sword, and our minds must be conformed to the doctrine of scripture. While it is true that only a Christian can say 'I am the chief of sinners,' (and because the nearer we get to God, the greater and clear our sin comes into view), in the final analysis there is but one "Chief sin" and that is unbelief.
Therefore, grading sins is wrong doctrine that fails to understand the sinfulness of sin.
Psalm 51:4 "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight."
It is not a particular sin or degree of sin that matters, for if we offend in any one point, we are guilty of all. (James 2:10)
And replaying past sin or feeling condemned by past sin fails to trust in Christ's perfect righteousness, imputed to us.
1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Jesus declares: "It is finished." (John 19:30)
Paul tells us we are "crucified with Christ," and we are one with Him. We have union with Christ. We are buried with Christ, and have risen with Christ, and have been seated in heavenly places in Christ. Romans 6:11 "..count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
One more... will I believe this, can I believe this? I must believe this ...
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, appointing me to his service.." 1 Tim 1:12
May we all rejoice in His super abounding grace and mercy that has covered our sin and made us His children. Though we were blind and lost, His grace, love, and mercy were more abundant and all-sufficient that it has all been forgiven. We are a new creation in Christ. Rejoice!