Intro: Humility is not associated with believing we are worthless; on the contrary, it is simply recognizing God’s all-powerful redemptive work alive in and for us making our lives worthy of His call to be his sons and daughters (2 Thes 1:11). We need to see ourselves from God’s perspective; from the immense love he has for us as his ‘adopted’ children (Gal 4:5). We are adopted on the basis of grace to be a part of God’s family; we are no longer children of the world (Gal 4:3-7). Therefore, we eagerly humble ourselves before the Mighty Hand of God, because what Father brings into our lives is so much better!
In our passage today from the Apostle Paul—a religious Pharisee who was at one time considered an enemy of the church—is now proclaiming the gospel message of Jesus. I can only imagine how unworthy Paul could have been feeling to be in such a position, but he is exactly the person God wanted to use. The Truth Paul earlier rejected about Christ and his followers actually prepared him to share the gospel of grace that turns the heart of people back to God and his redemption. Paul had to humble himself to become a son of God and follower of Christ. Who better than Paul to testify to the power of God’s grace to change a human perspective?
Therefore, Paul was very strategic with how he shared the gospel. First, Paul began by telling those listening about how the promises of the Old Testament have been fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ps 16:8-11; Isa 9:6-7). Second, Paul shared about God exalting Jesus by resurrecting him to be the head or Messiah of a new people with a fresh perspective—born again or adopted (Phil 2:6-11). Third, Paul, as well as all the apostles were eye witnesses to the miraculous works of Christ, so Paul shared his personal experience which was very influential (Mat 14:15-21; Acts 9:3-20). Fourth, Paul taught a true believer’s response to these things should be one of humility, repentance, and faith (Acts 20:21). Lastly, Paul affirms that God sent the Holy Spirit to move a person from sin into a life led by the Spirit (Ro 8:5-9, 14).
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 NLT The Resurrection of Christ
1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.
Prayer: Father, thank you for adopting us as your children through the work of Christ whom you sent, as well as the work of the Spirit who helps us to grow and experience salvation and life from your perspective. Teach us, guide us, and place your message on our lips, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.