Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 3:7-13

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.”  (Ephesians 3:8,9)

Paul understood gospel humility — that we are far worse off than we ever thought we were, but more loved by God than we ever dreamed we could be because of the work of Jesus Christ.  In this passage, Paul calls himself “the least of all the saints.”  He really believed this about himself.  He knew his terrible sins.  He knew all too well how he had persecuted many of the early Christians.

This is not the only time Paul made reference to his unworthiness.  In I Timothy 1:15, he calls himself “the foremost of all sinners.”  In I Corinthians 15:9 he wrote that he was “the least of the apostles.”  Paul really believed these things abut himself.  They were not mere hyperbole to him.  To fully grasp the gospel message and to fully appreciate our salvation, we must admit our terrible sinfulness and recognize our total unworthiness.  We have to be broken people.  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise”  (Psalm 51:17).

The good news of the gospel is that God transforms broken people into trophies of His grace.  When we become broken over our sins and repent, God will use us in amazing ways.  Upon his deep repentance, David said, “Then I will teach transgressions Your ways, and sinners will return to you” (Psalm 51:13).

After Paul was broken and had received God’s grace, God used him.  God chose “the very least of all the saints” to preach the grace of God to the Gentiles.  The mystery that had been hidden for centuries was revealed to Paul, who in turn brought it to light for everyone.

Lord God, I know that I too am one of the very least of the saints.  Yet You redeemed me by the precious blood of Christ and You have used me in ministry for all these years.  Thank You for making me, an unworthy sinner, a trophy of Your grace.


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