Encouraged by Grace

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Last Friday, I posted the following:

Today’s post is simply an amazing Bible verse. This is the apostle Paul speaking in the midst of a conversation regarding the resurrection. There’s so much here. Would love to hear your interpretation and comments.

“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 labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

I have to say that I was greatly encouraged by the comments that some of you made in explaining this verse and grace. Most of you know that this ministry started out as an outreach to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the three years this ministry has been in existence, God has been expanding the scope of the ministry further and further, first making the emphasis of the ministry to be about grace, and then broadening the scope to include outreach to other cults, other religions, atheists, and most surprisingly, to the “Christian” denominations and individuals who are still caught in “religion.” After receiving a fuller understanding of grace and having taught it in several churches and dialoging with many Christians over that period of time, I began to become discouraged wondering if the message of grace had become lost to the Christian church. I want to personally thank those who made the comments below because you have encouraged me in grace and motivated me to continue spreading this wonderful, wonderful message. I hope this will create a hunger in each of you reading for a greater understanding and experience of God’s grace in your lives.

Michelle Lange “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Paul was confirming what Christ told us Himself. “My grace is sufficient for you.” “In your weakness you are made strong” (through Christ) — Paul is a direct resemblance of the promises Jesus gave us (first quote) and could not possibly have turned from his murdering heart if God had not called and directed him to do so.

Joe Lindberg God doing all the work.. Glory to God.. I think he realizes his depravity here. I believe he is saying that he labored more than all because the Spirit was working in him. So by the grace of God he labored more because of God’s grace. I think he is just giving God all the glory for the good works. I laboured more abundantly than they all. Because God wrought effectually in him (Galatians 2:8). The word used for “labour” implies the extreme of toil (Matthew 6:28: Philippians 2:16), etc. But the grace of God. “It is God that worketh in you” (Matthew 10:20).

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Colossians 1:29
To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.smile emoticon

Here are a few more verses just to give you an idea of where this leads. I believe that after God creates us for good works, it is Him who effectually uses us to do His will. I believe that this is part of the regeneration process, where God sanctifies us. (1 Peter 1:2) So we freely do good works because we are a new creation in Christ, but it is God that calls us, works though us, and gives us the strength and everything we need to do those good works.

Romans 14:23 says that anything not done in faith is sin. I think this says a lot. Someone can argue all day long that an atheist does good things all the time. Unfortunately people don’t realize that they are using their definition of what is good and not seeing what God’s standard is. We are granted belief Phil 1:29, repentance 2 Tim 2:25… Along with that we are created for good works? This can easily tie into total depravity and irresistable grace. God is drawing us John 6:44, and we are slowly becoming like Christ through the work that God is doing. We like to boast of the things we have done, but all that glory needs to go to God. We need to realize that on our own we can’t please God, we can’t even begin to fight against sin without Him.. We put on the armor of God when He grants us the ability. That armor of God isn’t something we put on by our own strength but by His strength alone.

Melody Nunen It’s all about God’s grace. Paul mentions it 3 times there. That everything he has is attributed to God’s grace. Just the fact that we have life is by God’s grace so anything we can do is also by his grace.

Kim Robinson I think Paul is saying that he worked hard for God but he knows that God was working THROUGH Paul and it wasn’t Paul doing it.