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Living Boldly: Acknowledging and Overcoming Fear

God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 15c

July 22, 2012


After Jesus death and resurrection, He showed Himself alive, and was seen by Peter; then by the disciples; then by five hundred at one time; then by all of the apostles; "Finally," Paul said, "me. Like I was born out of due season. I'm the least of the apostles, I'm not worthy to be called one because of my persecution of the church."

Paul bore in his heart, that grief of having been a persecutor of those who believed in Jesus Christ. He stood, when Stephen was stoned, agreeing with it. He voted for his death, then he held the coats of the fellows who were stoning him. The Bible says he persecuted the church in Jerusalem and then went down to Damascus to imprison those there who were Christians. So it troubled him later on when he became a believer in Jesus Christ the fact that he had persecuted the church. "I'm not really worthy to be an apostle, but I am what I am by the grace of God."   Now, notice the place of grace in Paul's life, but also the place of works. Your works cannot bring you to a righteous standing before God. But having received the grace of God, then our response to that grace is the desire to do for God whatever we can. To work tirelessly for Him. Not to earn our salvation, not to even earn righteousness, but just to show our love and appreciation to God for that grace that we have received.  So works have their place within the believer's life They can do nothing towards your salvation or righteousness, but they do much to show your love and appreciation for the grace that you have received from God. Sometime we are doing work for God, to get God to respond to us. To obligate God to us. But this is the wrong order. God is the initiator; man is the responder. The works that I do are not to get God to respond to me. "Lord, now, I'll do this and this and this for You if You'll do this for me." And it isn't to obligate God to have to respond to me. The works that I do are in response to what God has done for me. Paul, having been the recipient of this grace, responding to that grace, labored more abundantly than all of the rest of the apostles. As Jesus said, "He who is forgiven much loves much." 

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