1 Corinthians 15:9-10
“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.”
Paul was someone that religionists could get behind, and they did. By his admission, he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, and concerning the righteousness which is in the law – blameless”(Philippians 3:5). What would possibly make him relinquish his lofty spiritual resume to humbly confess, “by the grace of God I am what I am?” It all hinged on one crucial word: grace.
Paul encountered Jesus and realized that nothing in his background or works warranted God’s unmerited favor—grace does that. Anything is possible when the gospel of grace is at work in a life. A good case in point is Peter.
As a rough fisherman, a Galilean, no one would’ve paid much attention to Peter. The intelligentsia would have scorned him as an uneducated country bumpkin. Here again, grace is the key. On the day of Pentecost, Peter’s shortcomings were inconsequential to the Holy Spirit, and by the grace of God, he went from foot-in-the-mouth Peter to a man with a powerful message.
Grace revolutionized Peter and Paul, setting each in a new direction. It is never a case of what you can or cannot accomplish but what God’s grace enables you to do.
Neither of these men considered themselves to be an isolated phenomenon. And if they were here today, they would ask, “What is your story? How has grace taken hold of you?
Awaiting His return,
– Pastor Jack
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