Paul said it was by grace alone that God chose to reveal His Son in him. By grace! His revealing is not from our desire, as earnest as it may be, nor through our efforts to have it be so. It is simply God’s grace—His unmerited favor. It’s His choice to choose and His desire to reveal Christ in me. Though we can ask for it, His Life is still only expressed by His grace and choosing.
But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous grace. Then it pleased Him to reveal His Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Galatians 1:15-16 NLT
Christ in Me is by Grace Alone
Here is another kicker I’ve gleaned from this scripture. Christ’s revealing of His Life in me is for His pleasure and purpose, not mine. Living in a world infused with self-focus and self-fulfillment, this seems almost profane. “Not about ME?! Who knew!” Nope. I’m benefited, I am blessed, I am satisfied but the focus is not for me, it’s for Him.
Look at the scripture again. Paul received the exchanged life “so that” God could proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles. It wasn’t to fulfill Paul’s deep heart for fellowship and union with God. It wasn’t to satisfy Paul’s need for a purpose-driven life. And it wasn’t even for the people to whom Paul was called. It was for God’s satisfaction, for His pleasure and in His plan. Imagine, His world is for Him, not me!
So, does this mean that Paul wasn’t given deep fellowship and union with God, a purpose for his life, or a service to the people of his calling? Certainly not. The reality though is that it just wasn’t sourced in Paul’s life or under Paul’s direction. Paul’s fulfillment came from Christ’s own satisfaction. It was the grace of God to reveal His Son’s Life in Paul and in that grace was Paul’s pleasure.