As Paul laid out the tenets of our faith to the Corinthian Church, he took a small personal detour after listing the eyewitnesses of the Risen Jesus. By his own description, Paul was the last on the list of eyewitnesses. “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.”
“But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me…” 1 Corinthians 15:9,10 NLT
It’s a wonderful thing with God– He loved the whole world and sent His Son to die in our place, that He might have mercy on all. And yet, each one of us that has had a saving encounter with Jesus Christ finds that we have personally received His special favor. His mercy, His lovingkindness reaches to all– and to each one.
Although we have not persecuted God’s church as visibly and spectacularly as Paul did, each of us knows without doubt that we are unworthy of His love and His mercy– and yet He has touched us with His special favor. We share a sense of wonder and gratitude for His gift, and it kindles in us a desire to please Him.