Getting What He Paid For

I Corinthians 15:8-11 “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  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.  Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.”

I Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Having been discussing the post-resurrection appearances of Christ to specific individuals; Paul emphasizes our Lord’s appearance to “all the apostles” (vs.7). Having acknowledged the apostles, Paul concludes by saying, “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” Here Paul is making a reference to more than his salvation, but included his selection as an apostle, an office instituted by Christ and designates the authority which those called to the office possess. When contrasting himself to all the apostles, he does so from two perspectives, worth, “For I am the least of the apostles” and work, “but I laboured more abundantly.”

Paul declares that his untimely salvation and selection can be attributed to “the grace of God.” Paul would reemphasize that truth in Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” One writer declared that the grace of God was the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life; divine favor done without expectation of return, the absolute freeness of the loving-kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the Giver. Having acknowledged the work of grace in his life; Paul said of that work of God, “his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.” The word “vain” means empty, indicating the hollowness of something or someone, the absence or emptiness of good. Paul is saying with a confident heart; “Having been a recipient of grace and bought with a price; God got what He paid for!”

Paul’s confident expression is not the results of his accomplishments, but his association; “yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Please note the phrase, “which was with me.” The thought is that of denoting a union with or together by association as a companion and when in one’s possession it has the idea of being entrusted with. In Galatians 2:21, Paul said, “I do not frustrate the grace of God.” The word “frustrate” means to neutralize, disesteem, set aside or cast off. How did Paul remain an associate and companion to the entrusted possession of grace so as to not neutralize its work in and through his life; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatian 2:20). This is the only means where by God is “Getting What He Paid For!”