A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:8-10
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (ESV)
Our past often reminds us of years wasted. What could I have done with that time? How might my present be different if I had a better past. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones believes that meditating upon our past failures is a waste of time. “If you can't do anything about a thing,” he argues, “stop thinking about it.” The Apostle Paul was a man whose past was filled with sin. His energies were devoted to harm and destroy the Christian message. He was the last Apostle to come to Jesus. Yet, with all of his past sin, Paul does not find misery in the present. His past does not affect his new identity in Jesus Christ. Lloyd-Jones wants Christians to know that we certainly were what we once were, but now we are what we are. We must study Scripture, know who we are, and be prepared for these spiritual attacks. Bemoaning our past cripples us in the present. Listen as the Doctor encourages Christians to ruthlessly fight against this condition so that one does not behave like a fool. The fool focuses on self and seeks to change what he cannot control. The Godly man, on the other hand, is more interested in Christ, and less interested in self.