"For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am..."
(1 Corinthians 15:9-10a)
It would be reasonable to think that Paul was so effective as an apostle because of his intellectual abilities. Surely he was superior to those backwater fishermen that made up many of the other apostles. But I think Paul was most effective because of his personal testimony. His conversion story is told three times in Scripture and is referred to by Paul often, as in this passage. Gods’ grace to Paul was most definitely “not without effect” (v. 10).
God worked mightily in this Pharisee who hated the church and Jesus until he met Him on the road to Damascus. In a moment, Paul was changed, repenting and following Christ. His impact on the world has been colossal. It is an amazing testimony which has heartened many a believer who thought his own sin was perhaps too much to forgive.
If you think you are not good enough for God, remember Paul. He described himself as “the chief of sinners,” and he was. But God’s grace is strong enough to break the hardest heart, and it is sufficient for you and me, extreme sinners, too.
It wasn't his innate abilities that made Paul a great servant of Jesus; it was God's grace in him... the same grace we have.
Bible In A Year
- Job 7-8
- Psalm 46
- Luke 9