“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was toward me has not been without fruit, but I labored more abundantly than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”   1 Corinthians 15:10  

Paul fully acknowledges that it is because of God’s unmerited favor and kindness that he is able to stand before men and testify of his walk of faith that it is God who does, and enables him to speak boldly through the Holy Spirit.

Paul writes in the book of Ephesians 3:7 : “Of this gospel I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of His power.  This grace is given to me (who am less than the least of all saints) to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ among the nations, and to bring to light what is the fellowship of the mystery which from eternity has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ….”

A. W. Tozer wrote: “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.”

  • “But by the grace of God I am what I am”    
  • “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.”

Paul turned from ‘persecutor’ of the church to a ‘preacher’ of the church, and eventually became an apostle , by the grace of God.    Paul  was not much different than you or I today in recognizing this truth.

  • Paul had a past, and Paul’s past would become a backdrop to the grace of God.  
  • Paul recognized that he was nothing in himself.
  •  “and His grace which was toward me had not been without fruit”
  • “and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted”

That is, that the unmerited favor and kindness God has given as a gift, and the work done through Paul  could not be qualified as done to no avail, useless…not used effectively because it didn’t produce the result He wanted.

  • Isaiah 55:11“so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do.”  
  • “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
  • “So will the words that come out of My mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”

The grace of caused Paul’s perspective to change in his life.  It seemed that all the knowledge that he had learned about God wasn’t complete until he understood the character of God.

Once this transformation ocurred, he understood that God in His Soveringnty and Providence alone was why everything he spoke made sense, where it counted; in his heart and not his head!  And since it was God’s Word, His Spirit, His Power that was at work, all that Paul did in the power of the Holy Spirit would never be a waste!

  • yet not I,but the grace of God with me”

Three times Paul goes to the word “grace’ just in this small passage. 131 times in the New Testament is this word used.

  • “But by the grace of God I am what I am”
  • “and His grace which was toward me has not been without fruit”
  • “yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”

I love this acronym of the grace of God:


God gives exceedingly, abundantly, above, all we could ever ask or think, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus’

Paul’s past would today disqualify him from just about any job.  He was a persecutor of the church to the extent of killing them.  That alone would put you in jail, out of sight, out of mind.   But Paul discovered on that Damascus Road that there was more to live for than what he was doing.

Paul had knowledge of God, but not the heart for God. Jesus Christ called him, and used him as yet another example of how He reclaims what was once dead in trespasses, delivers, and makes brand new that life. Paul was one who lived “in vain” and with “superficiality”.    God’s grace transformed Paul into a man with conviction and commitment, from a murderer to a missionary.

God today, right now is able to change a life from purposelessness, having no aim or goal to people with a mission…..all because of the grace of God.

None of us should kid ourselves into thinking that we are something….it is only by the grace of God that we accomplish anything.   If God doe the doing, than God gets the credit; if we do the doing than we get the credit…..

Paul could take no credit for who he had become or what he was able to speak. It should be the same for you and I today.  It seems that humility wins out all the time. When we are humble and recognize everything we are, have, do, know all comes from a loving and kindhearted Father, we want to make sure we know, without doubt to others that it is God, and that they too can receive this wonderful gift of grace from God.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was toward me has not been without fruit, but I labored more abundantly than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”   1 Corinthians 15:10



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