Great statement is this one made by the Apostle Paul about 58 A.D. BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN; I LABORED MORE ABUNDANTLY THAN THEY ALL: YET NOT I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS IN ME.” I Corinthians 15:10.
Can you say, “I am?” Not one of us can say, “I labored more abundantly than they all.” I am. Are you? I am saved by the grace of God. I didn’t labor abundantly or even for one moment to be saved by grace.
“If by grace then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.” Romans 11:6.
Perhaps you desire to “amen” this testimony: “I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I hope to be. But, by the grace of God, I am not what I once was.”
When Christ was here on earth He said to those who would get a place in the kingdom of heaven, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able Luke 13:24. “Agonize” or “labour” to get in. That certainly is not our message for today, It is in direct contrast with Romans 3:24: “Declared righteous without a cause by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” For us the great preacher of Grace had “the dispensation of the grace of God.” This differs from “the dispensation of law” and “the dispensation of the kingdom of heaven.”
Eternal life is the free gift of God. Romans 6:23. It cost God more than can ever be computed or measured or even estimated. God spared not His Own Son. With Him He shall also freely give us all things. Romans 8:34. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” “It is the Gift of God.”
“We are His workmanship created in CHRIST JESUS, unto good works that God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
Rather a unique statement: “Walk in good works.” This is the will of God concerning His children, believers who are in Christ. God demands that we must be IN CHRIST; before we can WALK IN GOOD WORKS.
In Christ we are the righteousness of God, accepted, perfect (in standing), complete and blessed with all spiritual blessings, free from condemnation. II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:6; Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 2:10; Ephesians 1:3; Romans 8:1.
We are a redeemed people zealous of good works, saved to maintain good works, labourers together with God, fishers of men, shining lights, soldiers of Jesus Christ, witnesses, ambassadors, sowers and workmen that needeth not to be ashamed.
“Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58.
Our labour is not in vain, if it is in the Lord. Neither was Paul vain or boastful when he uttered that great truth, “I laboured more abundantly than they all” for there he gave credit to the grace of God. God is “the God of all grace”. I Peter 5:10
Paul needed all the grace of the God of all grace. That all-sufficient grace was available. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8.
Paul set himself up as a pattern; and while the same illimitable grace of God is available for every member of the Body of Christ, we can never measure up to Paul’s standard. But let us do our very best to abound, by the grace of God, in good works.
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in. the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among ye shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14 and 15.
“Say not ye, There are four months and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” John 4:35 and 36.
“So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.” I Corinthians 9:24 and 28.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.