English blog

Grace = do nothing?

14-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

 

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not competent to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the ecclesia of God. Yet, in the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace, which is in me, did not come to be for naught, but more exceedingly than all of them toil I — yet not I, but the grace of God which is with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9,10

Paul was aware of the fact that it was completely undeserved that he was called to be an apostle. He was embarrassed for his past as a terrorist and persecutor of the ecclesia of God. It was pure grace that was given him when he was called, from out of heaven, on the road to Damascus. But that was not all. God changed Saul into Paul and God’s grace made him the man for which he was called. He has labored more abundantly than any of his fellow apostles. But Paul is quick to say, “yet not I, but the grace of God which is with me”. With Paul, grace is not in conflict with doing things, but with working (Rom.11:6). That is a big difference! Work means to do something to earn wages. To do things by or in grace means: do it gratuitously. Do it for the joy it gives. Let me give an example. John has an office job and sits practically all day behind his desk. When, after work he goes to play soccer, he will run a few hours and do lots of sweating. By day he sits on a chair and in the evening he does hard training. Yet, the first is work and the second is “grace”. Why? In his office, John is busy earning a living, but in the evening he plays soccer for nothing, because he enjoys it very much! Paul has put forth extraordinary effort to make the Good News for all in the world to see. But to him it was the grace of God. No obligation or merit, but a great privilege. The word “grace” (Gr. charis) literally means joy. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema

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