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…
This account which Paul gives of himself implies —
1. That a great change had been wrought in him.
2. That he was thankfully conscious of it.
3. That God was the Author of it. By the grace of God —
I. PAUL WAS NOT WHAT HE HAD BEEN. He had been the "chief of sinners"; he was now a humble Christian. "He was before a blasphemer, persecutor, injurious, but he obtained mercy." "And such were some of us, but we are washed," etc. The grace of God softens the heart, cleanseth the soul, sweetens the temper, etc. By its power the lion becomes a lamb, the vulture a dove, etc.
II. PAUL WAS WHAT HE DID NOT DESERVE TO BE. In ver. 9 he tells us he is "not meet to be called an apostle," etc. If the grace of God were more fully believed in and better understood, and the necessity for it more deeply felt by men, their works of merit Would not be set up in the place of the Saviour, as is too often the case. All whose hearts are changed, whose sins are forgiven, whose souls are redeemed, who are children of God, are great debtors to grace.
III. PAUL WAS WHAT HE NEVER EXPECTED TO BE. He did not expect to, be converted to Christ on his way to Damascus; and so "men who have come to scoff have remained to pray." He is found of some who seek Him not. Many who are now ministers, teachers, missionaries, were called, perhaps unexpectedly, to the work. Conclusion: What God by His grace did for Paul, He can do for us. In Paul's conversion "Jesus Christ shows forth all longsuffering for a pattern to them which shall hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting." The grace of God prepared Paul for life or death — it can do this for us.
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.