“ALL SUFFICIENT GRACE”
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
Every Christian is a recipient of grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Obviously, salvation is the first and most important of the portion of grace that we receive, but we are instructed to “...grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” (II Peter 3:18). Doesn’t this inform us that we can receive additional measures of grace as we mature as Christians and remain faithful to Him and His Word? We read in the book of James, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:17 that some receive “abundance of grace.” Prior to this statement, Paul speaks of being justified through the Lord Jesus, that “...we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…” (Romans 5:2). It is clear that God’s grace is sufficient to meet the needs of any person.
What exactly is grace anyway? Grace is the unmerited favor of God. That is, grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. An acronym for the word “grace” is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. We know that grace is activated by faith, i.e., believing and receiving God’s Word as the absolute authority. Does it seem that some Christians tend to handle certain situations or circumstances better than others? Perhaps it is because those individuals have been given additional grace because of their growth and maturity in Christ Jesus our Savior.
Let us return to our opening text for a moment. Paul was experiencing some type of physical infirmity (cf II Corinthians 12:9) that he sought the Lord’s help on three different occasions. We are not sure just what that infirmity was, but we know that it was satanic in origin (cf II Corinthians 12:7,8). The Savior responded to Paul by stating that His grace was sufficient for Paul. He assured Paul that he would experience more strength from the Lord when he (Paul) was at his weakest point. That is the reason Paul went on to say “...most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” The word “rest” here means, “tent upon, i.e., to hover over, abide within.” Therefore, Paul was being assured that this physical weakness was being subdued by the spiritual power that Christ was providing for him. This was not a light thing with the Apostle Paul because less than five years later, when writing to the church at Ephesus, he explains his position as the “new” voice of the “dispensation of grace” i.e., the Church Age, by stating, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power” (Ephesians 3:7). Why was Paul so effective in his ministry? He was empowered by grace that brought strength through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian, whatever your need is today, remember that His grace is sufficient for you. If sin is overwhelming you today, trust God’s Word and embrace the victorious and powerful message of Romans 5:20, “...But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”Pastor H. Preston Parker