Grace Supplies Strength for Today

1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Part 3

Principle for Bible Reading

If grace empowers us to live like Christ, how do we access that grace day after day? What does it mean to live in the strength and grace that God supplies? In this lab, John Piper continues to unpack a life marked and sustained by faith in God’s future grace, where God’s power meets our needs for his glory moment by moment.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–03:02)

In 1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Paul says that he worked harder than anyone, and he says that the grace of God accomplished any work he had done. How do we work hard in a way that relies entirely on grace?

We Died, and We Live Again (03:02–04:47)

  1. Paul uses the same “not I, but grace” language in Galatians 2:20.
  2. There is a sense in which Paul died when he became a Christian, but there’s also a way in which he still lives. (Galatians 2:20)
  3. According to Paul, the old unbelieving me no longer lives, but the new believing me lives through faith.
  4. Grace works in us and through us by faith, by us believing something about God. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

Jesus Lives in You (04:47–06:24)

  1. We live because Jesus Christ lives through us by faith. (Galatians 2:20)
  2. Paul also talks about Jesus living inside of us in Ephesians 3:17.
  3. The way Paul prays in Ephesians 3:14–17 suggests that Christ can live in greater or lesser ways in the Christian heart.

Models of Faith in Future Grace (06:24–09:56)

  1. As Paul worked, he trusted the grace of God to come and work in him and through him, so that grace would get all the credit for whatever he accomplished. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
  2. We trust grace to come and help us in whatever situation we face. That is what faith is. (Hebrews 11:1)
  3. For example, Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice because he trusted that God would fulfill his promise. (Hebrews 11:17–19)
  4. For example, Moses was mistreated in Egypt because he trusted in the promise of a future reward for his faithfulness. (Hebrews 11:24–26)
  5. Note. (1 Corinthians 15:9)

The Strength that God Supplies (09:56–13:52)

  1. The same pattern appears in 1 Peter 4:11.
  2. God’s grace supplies the strength whenever we serve, so that we can give God all the glory for any service or ministry we perform.
  3. The Giver gets the glory. (1 Peter 4:11)
  4. Grace provides the promise for us to believe, and then works in and through our faith to supply the strength we need to live for God.

Study Questions

  1. Paul says that he worked hard, but that it was not him in the end, but the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:9–10). What does that mean? How do Paul’s work and God’s grace relate to each other? Look at Galatians 2:20 and Ephesians 3:14–17 for help in filling out your answer.
  2. Read through Hebrews 11:17–26. How do Abraham and Moses live out the faith you see in 1 Corinthians 15:9–10?
  3. Now, read 1 Peter 4:11. In what ways is it similar to 1 Corinthians 15:9–10? What is the main point of what Peter is saying in 1 Peter 4:11?
Piper: “We trust in God’s ever-arriving grace, and through our faith God’s power frees us to do what he commands.”