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.” (Ephesians 3:8)
I am amazed at the humility of the Apostle Paul. He said that he was “the least of all the saints.” This was no false humility, nor was it hyperbole. Paul really believed that about himself. In I Corinthians 15:9,10a, he wrote of himself — “For I am the least of the apostles and do not deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am.” Perhaps this is the reason Paul felt this way about himself. He actually persecuted God’s people for a season. But God made him “a minister according to the gift of God’s grace” (v. 7).
We see the gospel worked out in Paul’s life. The gospel says that we are a whole lot worse than we think we are, but are loved and accepted by Jesus Christ more than we could every dream or hope. Paul said, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst” (I Timothy 1:15). Paul knew how undeserving he was — worst of all sinners, least of the apostles, the very least of all the saints.
But Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners like Paul and you and me! We must not think too highly of ourselves. We must be aware of the great danger of self-righteousness. We should be willing to join Paul in stating our unworthiness. It is then that we can appreciate the gift of God’s grace — His forgiveness, His steadfast love, He unconditional acceptance. We must join Paul in saying — “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
God took a broken sinner like Paul and give him the privilege of being a minister of God’s grace to the Gentiles. When we humble ourselves before our God and accept His gracious gift of salvation, God will use us, as undeserving as we are!
Lord Jesus, I confess along with Paul that I am an unworthy sinner. I do not deserve anything from You. Yet You have poured out your love and grace on me. You died for me and gave me the gift of eternal life. All I can say is what Paul said — “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
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