Grace For The Journey
Today’s blog will focus on three verses of Scripture which clearly demonstrate the depth of the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the Gospel he preached to so many. It reminds us that this is the way we all need to see ourselves if we are going to live out in our lives what we profess with our lips.
Paul understood the economy of God. He knew that the way to get is to give; the way to live is to die; and the way to go up is to go down. Let’s take a look at Paul’s Perfect Plunge. First, he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:9, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” Paul started with his call. Called by God while he was on the road to Damascus, in hot pursuit of Christians to persecute, Paul stressed how undeserving he was to be an apostle of Christ. In acknowledging his absolute unworthiness to be so called, Paul took the first of three steps in his perfect plunge.
Second, Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:8, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Here is the second step in Paul’s perfect plunge: Paul was not satisfied to describe himself as “the least of the apostles,” so he went on to identify himself as the “least of all the saints.” He does not confine his unworthiness within his fraternity of apostles – that would give him “wiggle” room to think more highly of himself that he ought to.
Finally, Paul took his third and final step on his perfect plunge into understanding his own imperfection. In 1 Timothy 1:15 he wrote, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.”
Under the probing and penetrating light of the Gospel,
Paul is demonstrating his increasing awareness of his own self-absorbed, sin-filled life.
He knew he was a sinner both by nature and by habit. Yet, as he was growing up in Christ, he was simultaneously growing up in the Gospel. In essence,
Paul was renouncing any and all trust
He might have had in his own pedigree or performance
Relying solely on the finished work of Christ for his acceptance by God.
By acknowledging himself as the “chief sinner,” saved by the grace of Christ Jesus, Paul knew there was nothing he could do to make God love him more and nothing he could do to make God love him less! Clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ, Paul knew God accepted him for Christ’s sake alone . . . or he was not accepted at all.
It is only by the grace of God that we can see ourselves as Paul saw himself. Think about this for a moment. When Paul looked out at the people he was preaching and ministering to, his understanding of the Gospel compelled him to see himself as the most sinful and depraved person on the face of the earth.
It was only when Paul fully recognized how very low his sin had brought him
That he truly understood how great was the grace that had rescued him!
This understanding compelled him to pour out his life to advance the cause of Christ.
This is what the grace of the Gospel leads to… It is worth our life and ministry!
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey
… Rest And Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth!