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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
First Corinthians 15 is like the Magna Carta on the Resurrection. It starts out telling us what the Gospel is in the most complete statement you can find.
- The Gospel is about the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:3, 43 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
It then goes on and talks about witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection, some of whom were still alive when the testimonies of eyewitnesses were being given (1 Corinthians 15:5-9) and documents that:
- The Resurrection of Jesus is not only a spiritual truth but a historical fact.
Then Paul talks about his past but then makes a powerful statement about God’s life changing grace
- His Resurrection brought our forgiveness, our justification, but also life changing grace. A new identity by the grace of God.
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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Identity is what defines who you really are. It influences how you think, view, and feel about yourself – then how you act (actions flow out from who we perceive ourselves to be). Identity can only come from ones origin and every Christian has two origins: our natural birth described in Scripture as being “in Adam;” spiritual birth described in Scripture as being “in Christ.”
God’s grace makes us who we are in Christ 1 Corinthians 15:10. This identity in Christ of who we are is to influence what we do. The order of grace is not “Do in order to Be” but “Because this is Who you really are, now Do.” This is a major emphasis in the N.T. letters (epistles) written to believers for holy living and overcoming occasional or habitual sin (Romans 6). Wrong behavior should make us realize that we are believing lies about our identity.
Identity is not a feeling but a fact.
A big part of our spiritual warfare as Christians is by faith accepting who God’s Word says we are “in Christ” versus what past experiences, people’s opinions, and what our own feelings try to tell us we are 2 Corinthians 5:17. Second Corinthians 10:3-5 says casting down, fling away; throw down; not play with, be mesmerized by, meditate on.
Our identity (who we really are) influences how we think, view, and feel about ourselves. This is so important to our spiritual well being that the N.T. is full of verses that declare our new identity in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17. False basis’ of identity is to base our identity on:
- What life’s experiences say we are.
- What people say we are.
- What our feelings say we are.
We are to get our identity from what God says we are and renew our minds to it until our belief in it starts to determine our behavior instead of our behavior determining our belief about ourselves.
IDENTIFY WITH WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST