Paul never shunned hard work. He even referred to the work of the ministry.
grace, and salvation - Dictionary of Bible Themes - Bible Gateway
Paul experienced incredible visions, revelations, and special demonstrations of power as he worked hard in serving God. God had declared Abram [Abraham] righteous because of his faith, not by any works Genesis In Romans 4, Paul goes on to explain that wages are earned by the worker, but are not graciously given to him as a gift. As with Abraham, Paul, and all followers of Jesus Christ, it is our faith that brings us to a place of joy regarding our salvation Romans The Greek word for joy is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for grace.
Even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him [God] will be the salvation of your souls. This was the wonderful idea of human greatness and destiny which was formed by the grace of God. The race declined from the lofty path designed for it by the Divine goodness. But as by the grace of God Christ was to be the root of our righteousness and blessedness, and as the ground and reason of our ethical and spiritual greatness were in Him, so in Christ God has revealed the root, the ground, the reason of our redemption.
We have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of God's grace. There is nothing abnormal in the forgiveness of our sin being the result of Christ's death; all our possible righteousness was to be the fruit of the perfection and energy of His eternal life. The original idea of the Divine grace, according to which we were to find all things in Christ, and Christ was to be the root of a perfection and glory surpassing all hope and all thought, was tragically asserted in the death of Christ for human salvation.
Our fortunes — shall I say it? Had we been true and loyal to the Divine idea, the energy of Christ's righteousness would have drawn us upwards to height after height of goodness and joy, until we ascended from this earthly life to the larger powers and loftier services and richer delights of other and diviner worlds; and still, through one golden age of intellectual and ethical and spiritual growth after another, we should have continued to rise towards Christ's transcendent and infinite perfection.
But we sinned; and as the union between Christ and us could not be broken without the final and irrevocable defeat of the Divine purpose, as separation from Christ meant for us eternal death, Christ was drawn down from the serene heavens to the shame and sorrow of the confused and troubled life of our race, to pain, to temptation, to anguish, to the cross and to the grave, and so the mystery of His atonement for our sin was consummated. In His sufferings and death, through the infinite grace of God, we find forgiveness, as in the power of His righteousness and as in His great glory we find the possibilities of all perfection.
Our union with Him is not dissolved. Through His death we receive forgiveness, through His death we die to the sin which brought the death upon Him; and in His resurrection and ascension we see the visible manifestation of that eternal life which we have already received, and which will some day be manifested in us as it has been manifested in Him. Ordo Salutis.
Grace vs Works
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