” But by the Grace of God I am what I am ” – 1 Corinthians 15:10;
This extract from Paul was used to express his status in the sight of God; As he was what he was by the grace of God in a private capacity, upon a level with other Christians, being a chosen vessel of Salvation, not by works, nor on account of faith, or any holiness of his, but by grace, being regenerated, called, sanctified, justified, pardoned, and adopted by it; being a believer in Christ through faith, as a gift of God’s grace, and having a good hope of eternal Glory the same way, so he was what he was, as a minister of the Gospel, as an apostle, as in that high office purely by the grace of God, he was not made one by men, nor by education, learning and industry, nor through any merits of his own, but by the free favour and sovereign will of God, bestowing on Him gifts and grace, by which he was qualified for apostleship, and to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
” And his Grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain “
By “ Grace ” in the former clause, is meant the good will and free favor of God, from whence all the blessings of goodness arise, here the gifts of grace, particularly such as qualify for the ministry. For what qualities men for the preaching of the Gospel is not human learning, nor natural parts, nor eternal grace, neither separately, nor altogether, but peculiar gifts, which he in an understanding of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of the Gospel, and in an aptitude to explain and teach them to the edification of others and these gifts are not of nature, nor acquired by art and industry, but are of grace are gifts freely bestowed by God, and are not in vain, at least should not be; they are not to be wrapped up in a napkin, and hid in the earth. They are not to be neglected, but to be stirred up and improved by prayer, meditation, reading, constant study, and frequent use, as they were by the apostle, and by a Divine blessing were not without their use, to the good of souls and the Glory of God – Hence as what he was, so what he had, was by the grace of God.