By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Paul is now being fairly personal about his life: from Jesus he received grace and
Paul breaks down what Jesus has given him into two categories: grace and apostleship.
Grace is what Jesus gives to everybody – of his grace we have all received (John 1.16). When Paul talks about receiving grace He means receiving the grace that we all have access to in Him.
Grace means something you are given that you do not deserve. When we are talking about Jesus, His grace is where He gives you what you do not deserve due to His redemptive work. You deserved poverty, but He gave you riches (2 Cor. 9.8). You deserved sickness, but He healed you (Matthew 8.14-16). You deserved death and hell, but He gave you eternal life (Romans 6.23).
Apostleship is what Jesus gave to Paul only – He gave some apostles (Ephesians 4.11). This represents what Jesus gives us as individuals as our destiny – the anointings and giftings that help us assume our place in the body and fulfill our destiny. You are probably not an apostle, but you are a somebody with a destiny and with a special gift from God that no-one else has.
Can you see how wonderful this is? Jesus gives us grace – all the stuff that everyone gets, and then Jesus gives us an equipping, a mantle, a revelation, a gift that is just for us to fulfill our ministry. He is such a good God.
I have received from Christ grace and teachingship. I have got all the stuff every Christian has – health, wealth, righteousness, peace, joy; and I have some stuff only I have – the ability to expound the Word in a way that makes people think and changes lifes, the ability to release people into their destiny, and the ability to refresh an entire church at once through my words.
You have the stuff we all have, and you have stuff only you have. You should know what both those stuffs are. You should be operating in both the stuffs.
However, confusing these two things up: the general grace and the specific gifts of your destiny leads to many Christians leaving stagnant lifes.
I lay hands on the sick and see them recover not because I am a minister but because I am a believer (Mark 16.17). Many believers will never minister healing because they think it goes in the specific gifting category and never realize it is for EVERY Christian. I have been to churches that teach that speaking in tongues is only for some Christians, when it is available for all.
On the other hand, some Christians think they can be a prophet or teacher if they believe and receive. You can only believe and receive what is in the general grace, not what is a specific gift. You cannot make God make you a teacher or a prophet or an apostle. You cannot confess that you are an apostle and make it so. You cannot teach like me – just like I cannot do what you do the way you do it.
You can believe and receive for your healing because that is grace. You cannot believe and receive for an office and role in the body of Christ – you can only discover your office, not decide it.
Notice that Paul’s grace and apostleship (just like your grace and destiny) were not for him to strut about and boast, were not for goosebumps, were not for laughing and happy meetings – no, they were for obedience to faith among all nations. God has given you grace and a destiny for a reason: to make the nations obey the Word. Whatever God has given you to do, go and take that gift to the nations and convince them to obey the Word.
If you do not know your destiny, don’t sit on your backside waiting for God to write on your wall. Go and use your grace and take that to the nation. Paul was called to be an apostle when he was already preaching the gospel to the nations. If you want to know your calling, start doing the stuff every Christian is expected to do: go and heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the gospel and raise the dead. Speak in new tongues, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations. As you go, God will reveal His specific plans to you.
But don’t expect God to reveal His specific orders to someone not obeying His standing orders!
God has a destiny for you impact the world and glorify His name. If you want to know what it is, start doing all the stuff that you know to do from the Word.
Then you will know that you have grace and a destiny. You too can say with Paul:
By whom I have received grace and [my destiny], for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: