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Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., discusses Paul's gratitude for the incredible grace the Lord had shown to him.
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. (1 Corinthians 15:9–11)
Today’s big question: what should we remember when thinking about the Resurrection?
As Paul continued to write about the Resurrection, he went from focusing on those who had seen Jesus alive (which included himself) to expressing his gratefulness for what God had done for him. God’s grace is very hard to miss when thinking about the gospel and particularly the Resurrection. However, instead of writing about God’s grace in general, Paul described how God’s grace specifically affected him.
Defining God’s grace is extremely hard to do. We can use descriptions such as “good will,” “loving-kindness,” and “favor”; but none of these seem to do full justice to God’s grace. In today’s passage, Paul used his own personal experience to explain God’s grace. Not only did God save Paul, but He chose Paul to be an apostle—to be a big part of God’s plan.
Of course, Paul was no different from anyone else. He was just as much a sinner as you and I. In fact, Paul even stated he was the lowest of the apostles because he harmed believers, which ultimately was attacking God. Despite it all, God’s grace was more than enough to cover his sins and turn him into something new.
When Paul wrote about God’s grace in Ephesians, he used many adjectives and descriptive words, yet it seemed as if his writing could have endlessly continued without fully covering the extent of it. For example, see the following passages:
To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.(Ephesians 1:6–7; emphasis added)
That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:7–8; emphasis added)
Paul recognized the infinite extent of God’s grace, and his personal experiences helped him realize this truth. As we consider the Resurrection, let us, like Paul, remember God’s grace He has bestowed on us. Though, we are not worthy, God still sent His son to die in our place (John 3:16).
Today’s big idea: The Resurrection reminds us of God’s grace in sending His Son to die for our sins.
What to pray: thank God for His grace.