even though I was formerly a blasphemer [of our Lord] and a persecutor [of His church] and a shameful and outrageous and violent aggressor [toward believers]. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief.
[Even though] In the past I ·spoke against Christ [L was a blasphemer] and persecuted him and ·did all kinds of things to hurt him [was an arrogant/insolent/violent man; Acts 8:3]. But God showed me mercy, because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
In the past I spoke against Christ and persecuted him and did all kinds of things to hurt him. But God showed mercy to me because I did not know what I was doing. I did those things when I did not believe.
I am deeply grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ (to whom I owe all that I have accomplished) for trusting me enough to appoint me his minister, despite the fact that I had previously blasphemed his name, persecuted his Church and damaged his cause. I believe he was merciful to me because what I did was done in the ignorance of a man without faith, and then he poured out his grace upon me, giving me tremendous faith in, and love for, himself. This statement is completely reliable and should be universally accepted:—“Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners”. I realise that I was the worst of them all, and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to me. It was a kind of demonstration of the extent of Christ’s patience towards the worst of men, to serve as an example to all who in the future should trust him for eternal life.
even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, for I didn’t know Christ at that time.
I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus.
I used to speak evil things against Jesus. I tried to hurt his followers. I really pushed them around. But God showed me mercy anyway. I did those things without knowing any better. I wasn’t a believer.
Before He chose me, I talked bad about Christ. I made His followers suffer. I hurt them every way I could. But God had loving-kindness for me. I did not understand what I was doing for I was not a Christian then.
Previously being one guilty of Chillul Hashem gidduf (blasphemy), redifah (persecution), and [religious] terrorism, fort (nevertheless), I received rachamim (mercy), because I acted in [unregenerate] ignorance in the absence of emunah.
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