Friday, April 21, 2017
Because of the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Paul was radically transformed by the vision he had of the resurrected Christ on the Damascus Road. He understood that Jesus had reached out to him by grace. The combination of grace and resurrection power had made him the man he was. “I am what I am” was the way in which he now described himself, as a person who was a partaker of the divine nature. Because of the resurrection he was a new man and his gratitude for this transformation would define the way in which he lived his life.
The grace that he received did not mean that he would be inactive, but exactly the opposite. He felt so unworthy of this grace that he wanted to give back to Christ. He certainly never thought that he could or should be considered to the disciples and was humbled to be privileged to serve Jesus in this way. Now, he wanted the Corinthian Christians to know that they too could live in the grace of God which reaches out to them from the cross and the empty tomb. Because of the resurrection, Jesus could transform their lives as well.
Paul’s life was defined by the resurrection in so many ways and he was grateful. If we were to examine our own lives the resurrection should be the defining moment. Only because of the resurrection of Christ “I am what I am.” In other words, it is our relationship with the resurrected Christ that gives us our identity. We become truly human when we are in Christ because humanity was created to be in relationship with God. When we use the excuse, “I’m only human” we get it wrong. Maybe the excuse ought to be, “I’m only a fallen human.” When we are truly human then we can declare with Paul, “I am what I am” because we are now completely new in the resurrected Lord.
Along with Paul I believe that we are challenged to live a life of gratitude because of the resurrection. Paul worked incredibly hard for the kingdom, and we are called to live in this way as well. Because of the resurrection we desire to share with others what Christ has done for us. Because of resurrection power Paul was effective in his ministry. We are not to work on our own, but within the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Because of the resurrection everything in our lives is changed. I become who I am because I am in Christ. Resurrection power spurs us on to participate in kingdom business and we give all that we have, working harder, because we have been graciously saved. The resurrection changes everything and should be the defining moment in all our lives.
Lord, I am so grateful to be living on this side of the cross. Please, help me not take it for granted and live wholeheartedly for you every day. Amen.