1 Corinthians 15:10 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.
We as human beings have a tendency to look for affirmation in different areas of our lives to extract a sense of security, identity of who we are, as well as our value and worth. We often look to EXTERNALS such as: our physical traits (size, shape, appearance…); experiences, training, and education; responsibilities we perform; positions and titles we hold; our family’s treatment of us; what people say about us; the place we live, clothes we wear, car we drive, and money we have. The problem with these external things is that they are always changing.
The place we should look at and extract our sense of security, identity, value, and worth from is INTERNAL: who we are IN CHRIST by the grace of God; our born again identity; who God says we are, what we have, and what we can do. We may look at all the external areas of your life and feel that we don’t amount to anything or that we don’t have anything going for us but look again at the grace of God. We are somebody by the grace of God. That is what the Apostle Paul had discovered in contrast to his past behavior, performance, and people’s opinion of him.
His identity by the grace of God also empowered and enabled him to labor more abundantly. Grace empowered his work for the Lord. This is only possible when we understand who we are by the grace of God and that God wants nothing empowered by us. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” One translation says let nothing be done through rivalry, contention, or selfish ambition. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus that good works would result but those works are to be empowered and enabled by the grace of God.
All of the truths that unveil who we are by grace, who we are IN CHRIST, are concealed (hid) with Christ in God. It is not hidden from us but for us. It is available for our discovery only by growing in the knowledge of the word of his grace. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified Acts 20:32.” I like what John Newton (1725-1807), author of the hymn “Amazing Grace said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am”