Essex Congregational, Remembrancer
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…
I. THE WONDERFUL GRACE WHICH THE APOSTLE HAD RECEIVED, AND WHICH CHANGED HIM FROM WHAT HE HAD BEEN TO WHAT HE NOW WAS. These words stand in close connection with ver. 9.
1. He had been an exceedingly great and atrocious sinner.
2. He became an eminent apostle of Christ.
3. Hence it was, as he here asserts, the free grace of God that caused the wonderful change (Romans 1:5).
II. THE POWERFUL EFFECT WHICH THE GRACE PAUL HAD RECEIVED HAD PRODUCED IN HIM.
1. It was not ineffectual and fruitless — "not in vain" (Isaiah 55:11; Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 6:1).
2. It produced more abundant labours in the cause of God. "I laboured more abundantly than they all." He does not say this in a way of boasting, but merely to show the powerful effects of Divine grace, and to silence the objections of those who could not allow that he was an apostle at all, and who he elsewhere says, had compelled him to glory. The other apostles were all unspeakably indebted to the grace of Christ, but none so much as Saul the persecutor; and never in any man was that observation of our Lord more remarkably verified, "To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much" (2 Corinthians 11:23, etc.). And he was none the less laborious as a private Christian in mortifying sin and in following after holiness (1 Corinthians 9:26, 27; Philippians 3:13).
III. THE CARE WHICH THE APOSTLE TAKES TO GIVE ALL THE GLORY OF HIS EXTRAORDINARY LABOURS TO GOD AND HIS GRACE.
1. He renounces the thought that he was to be considered as the performer of these labours. "I laboured; yet not I."
2. He ascribes them to the same grace of God by which he was made a Christian and an apostle. "Not I, but the grace of God which was with me."Conclusion: Learn —
1. That the wonderful grace shown to Saul the persecutor is well adapted to excite hope in the worst of sinners, and encourage them in supplicating Divine mercy. There is nothing "too hard for the Lord."
2. Wherever grace is bestowed, it effects a happy and a holy change.
3. That the doctrine of being saved by grace, instead of leading us to indulge in sin or sloth, forms the strongest argument why we should be holy and diligent.
(Essex Congregational, Remembrancer.)
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.