How the apostolic “elites” talked

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”
— Paul, 1 Timothy 1:15

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”
— 1 Peter 3:18

“We love because he first loved us.”
— 1 John 4:19

More from Paul:

His “importance”: “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)

While stressing his apostolic legitimacy and direct authority from Jesus: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

Expressing desire to come to the Romans: “I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Romans 1:11-12)

Counting himself among the apostles: “I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:8-9)

After showing his Jewish creds: “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ.” (Philippians 3:8-9)

After boasting of his sufferings: “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 11:30)

While speaking of his ministry of proclamation: “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:29)