“Paul was a man of incredible stature. I think it would be hard to disagree with the view that he is one of the six or seven most influential leaders in the history of the human race. One of the most influential people in history. He had enormous ballast, tremendous influence, incredible confidence. He moved ahead and nothing fazed him. And yet, in 1 Timothy, he says, ‘Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of which I am chief.’ Not I was chief, but I am chief. Or ‘I am the worst.’ This is off our maps. We are not used to someone volunteering the opinion that they are one of the worst people. We are not used to someone who is totally honest and totally aware of all sorts of moral flaws — yet has incredible poise and confidence.
… [Paul] sees all kinds of sins in himself — and all kinds of accomplishments too — but he refuses to connect them with himself or his identity. So, although he knows himself to be the chief of sinners, that fact is not going to stop him from doing the things that he is called to do.”
— Timothy Keller