Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” (I Cor. 15:10)
In other words, except for the grace of God, Paul would be NOTHING.
In this short statement, Paul states what is repeated throughout the NT: All that is of value in a Christian is of Christ — received from above — but now of Christ IN US. No value is of us.
If you are born from above, you have life from above — Christ within you. And IN CHRIST — the Christ who is in us — is all that God has to give; in Christ remains all that is of any value whatsoever. Thus, anything we have, and anything that we are — anything that is of value to God — it is OF and IN Christ. We did not contribute anything from out of our old man in Adam.
Paul also said, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5 ) A reprobate is, “one who is of no use.” So again — for the believer, all that is of value is in the Christ who has come to dwell in us.
True Christianity is not about who I am, or what I have to offer God. Neither is it about God bringing out some latent greatness in me.
It is about who HE IS — even as He dwells in me NOW. This is a foundational Truth.
Today, this Truth has been pushed aside in favor of teaching about ME, MYSELF, and I. The church is filled with self-help, psychology, and with teaching about, “finding,” or, “building,” the real YOU. If we receive the grace of God, then who we are will be BY that same grace of God — we will be recipients. Paul said, “Yet not I, but Christ.” (Gal. 2:20) That one small phrase, “Yet not I, but Christ,” is the Truth — it is the ONLY place to which God will bring us in His Son.