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Verse 9. For. A reason for the appellation which he had given to himself in 1 Co 15:8.

I am the least of the apostles. Not on account of any defect in his commission, or any want of qualification to bear witness ia what he saw; but on account of the great crime of his life, the fact that he had been a persecutor. Paul could never forget that; as a man who has been profane and a scoffer, when he becomes converted, can never forget the deep guilt of his former life. The effect will be to produce humility, and a deep sense of unworthiness, ever onward.

Am not meet to be called an apostle. Am not fit to be regarded as a follower of the Lord Jesus, and as appointed to defend his cause, and to bear his name among the Gentiles. Paul had a deep sense of his unworthiness; and the memory of his former life tended ever to keep him humble. Such should be, and such will be, the effect of the remembrance of a life of sin on those who become converted to the gospel, and especially if they are intrusted with the high office of the ministry and occupy a station of importance in the church of God.

Because I persecuted the church of God. See Ac 9. It is evident, however, that deeply as Paul might feel his unworthiness, and his unfitness to be called an apostle, yet that this did not render him an incompetent witness of what he had seen. He was unworthy; but he had no doubt that he had seen the Lord Jesus; and amidst all the expressions of his deep sense of his unfitness for his office, he never once intimates the slightest doubt that he had seen the Saviour. He felt himself fully qualified to testify to that; and with unwavering firmness he did testify to it to the end of life. A man may be deeply sensible that he is unworthy of an elevated station or office, and yet not the less qualified to be a witness. Humility does not disqualify a man to give testimony, but rather furnishes an additional qualification. There is no man to whom we listen more attentively, or whose words we more readily believe, than the modest and humble man—the man who has had abundant opportunities to observe that of which he testifies, and yet who is deeply humble. Such a man was the apostle Paul; and he evidently felt that, much as he felt his unworthiness, and ready as he was to confess it, yet his testimony on the subject of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ought to have, and would have, great weight in the church at Corinth. See Barnes "Ac 9:19".


{b} "least" Eph 3:7,8

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