Confession, Experience, Acknowledgement
I Corinthians 15:10
Paul knew nothing of human merit. He knew that he did not even deserve to be considered by God. He had been before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious. "But", he wrote, "I obtained mercy... and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was exceeding abundant." For the Apostle Paul there was no confession more suitable to his own experience than this - "By the grace of God I am what I am," And it is equally appropriate to each one of us who have experienced the grace of God. As believers, you and I should gladly ascribe our entire salvation to the grace of God.
1. THIS IS OUR DOCTRINAL CONFESSION. - "By the grace of God I am what I am." If you are saved, you do not owe your salvation to anything you have done. And for those of you who are not converted, if even you are to be saved, it will not be because of any goodness in you. We must deny our own merits, or we cannot have the merits of Christ. The source of God's goodness to us lies altogether in his sovereign mercy. Everything in salvation was accomplished for us and in us by Christ alone. He chose us, redeemed us, justified us, and called us. And it is Christ alone who preserves us unto eternal glory.
2. THIS IS OUR CONSTANT EXPERIENCE. - "By the grace of God I am what I am" Being made to know something of the depravity of our own hearts, we do with weeping eyes testify that we are what we are by the grace of God. When we feel the power of lusts within us, or temptations from without; when we see others, whom we esteemed highly for their profession, fall and turn from the faith; when we have ourselves been restored to fellowship with Christ after a fall; and when we are made to rejoice in the fulness of God's blessings in Christ, we rejoice to say, "By the grace of God I am what I am."
3. THIS IS OUR GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. We realize that the only distinction between us and all other men is the distinguishing grace of God. As you read the black catalogue of human sin, do not forget? these words, "And such were some of you." But now, by the grace of God, we are washed, justified, and sanctified. Realizing what we were, we rejoice to say, "By the grace of God I am what I am."