1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain…
St. Paul does not say, "By creative power," nor "By providence"; but. "By the grace of God I am," etc., and adding, "And the grace which," etc. Consider —
I. WHAT THE GRACE OF GOD IS. The free favour of God shown in enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting influence of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:29; Hebrews 12:28; Hebrews 13:9; etc.).
II. HOW THIS GRACE IS BESTOWED.
1. Through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:4).
2. Freely — implied in the word "grace" (Romans 11:5).
3. In use of means — sacraments, Scriptures, prayer.
4. So as not to be distinguishable from working of human mind.
5. Continuously, from moment to moment.
III. THE EFFECTS OF THIS GRACE.
1. Transition from state of sin and death into state of life and holiness.
2. Progressive sanctification.
3. Desire to promote spiritual welfare of others.
4. Confidence in God as loving Father.
5. Cheerful submission to will of God.
6. Joyful expectation of future glory.
IV. PRACTICAL USE OF TEXT.
1. First clause suggests question, "Can I say?" etc.
(1) Every one of us may say, By the creative power of God I am, etc. — a man endowed with reason and human affections, capable not only of sensual, but also of intellectual and social enjoyment.
(2) And, By the providence of God I am. etc.
(3) But can every one say, By the grace of God I am what I am — a Christian? Do my daily habits of life, objects of pursuit, etc., afford evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit upon my soul? Whosoever is absorbed with cares, etc., of world, or is addicted to uncleanness, Sabbath-breaking, or intemperance, cannot say, By the grace of God, etc.
2. To those who can say with the apostle, By the grace, etc., the second clause suggests another question: Has the grace bestowed produced its due effects? Exhortation to self-examination as to particulars, and to diligence lest we fail of, or fall from, the grace of God.
3. Do we habitually ascribe every good thought, word, and deed to the grace of God? Danger lest Satan turn good works into sin by causing us to take the merit of them.
Parallel VersesKJV: But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.