2 Corinthians 12 … Consider His All-Sufficient Grace

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” (12:9).

You can almost hear the pain in Paul’s heart as he moves forward defending his apostolic authority, conferred upon him by the Lord.

Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord, (12:9).

And although, if any human being had bragging rights, it would most certainly be Paul. But Paul considered boasting about his supernatural encounters with the living God as a worthless endeavor towards his mission to save souls.

But in defense of his apostleship, and more importantly the gospel message, Paul is forced to fight fire with fire; fighting the fire of demonic forces behind the “super apostles” who have distorted the truth, with the all-consuming fire of Holy God.

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles,” (2 Corinthians 11:4-5 NIV).

for our God is a consuming fire, (Hebrews 12:29).

And as he proceeds in the Spirit and engages in some bragging of his own, it is God and His All-Sufficient Grace that will ultimately be recognized and receive the glory.

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong, (12:7-10).

While this beautiful word, Grace, can refer to a disposition of attitude in people, we will see Him increase as we contemplate God’s grace displayed to mankind. Take some time to carefully read the following definition from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Grace: “5485. χάρις cháris; gen. cháritos, fem. noun from chaírō (5463), to rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude. A favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor. Cháris stands in direct antithesis to érga (2041), works, the two being mutually exclusive. God’s grace affects man’s sinfulness and not only forgives the repentant sinner, but brings joy and thankfulness to him. It changes the individual to a new creature without destroying his individuality (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8, 9).”

“(I) Cháris, when received by faith, transforms man and causes him to love and to seek after the righteousness of God. Cháris is initially regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit in which spiritual life is given to man and by which his nature is brought under the dominion of righteousness. The maintenance of this condition requires an unbroken and immense supply of grace. Grace remains constant in, and basic to, a believer’s fight without against the devil and his struggle within against sin. Renewal is stimulated and impelled by God’s illuminating and strengthening of the soul, and will continue and increase so long as the soul perseveres. God’s grace insures that those who have been truly regenerated will persevere until the end of life. This entire work is called sanctification, a work of God “whereby we are renewed in the whole man and are enabled more and more to die daily unto sin and to live unto righteousness” as is stated by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10).”

Consider His All-Sufficient Grace

When Paul wrote about His Grace, he was surely thinking of the myriad of ways that His All-Sufficient Grace has been manifested.

  • His Grace is All-Sufficient to Save Us
    • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • His Grace is All-Sufficient to Sanctify Us
    •  All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved, (12:19).

Paul’s heart was not to defend himself, but rather he was resolved to build up the Corinthians in His All-Sufficient Sanctifying Grace:

  • His Sanctifying Grace that is All-Sufficient to Subdue Us
    • Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! (12:7). 
  • His Sanctifying Grace that is All-Sufficient to Strengthen Us
    • Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me, (12:8-9).
  • His Sanctifying Grace that is All-Sufficient to Sustain Us
    • Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (12:10).
  • His Sanctifying Grace that is All-Sufficient to Spur Us to Sacrifice
    • I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls… (12:15).

And His All-Sufficient Grace is really All about Him and All for Him.

  • His Grace is All-Sufficient for Christ’s Sake
    • Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; (12:10).

How do we respond to His All-Sufficient Grace?

We always have to begin at the place where His All-Sufficient Grace is first manifested in the life of any man, woman or child. Salvation.

In the close of his letter, Paul will call the Corinthians to examine their faith. We would do well to do likewise.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5).

God would never have us be unsure about our spiritual condition. He wants us to know.

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life, (1 John 5:11-13).

If you still have doubts, please seek counsel, perhaps from a pastor, a friend who is a believer, or feel free to contact me at: plantinplace@gmail.com.

But after we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, and we know we have eternal life, when we know that we have Salvation through His All-Sufficient Grace, what then?

Well, what if we really lived by faith and we grew to see all of this life through the lens of His All-Sufficient Grace? Wouldn’t our struggles present opportunities to encounter His supremacy? Wouldn’t our problems become opportunities to experience His power?

His All-Sufficient Grace will accomplish all that concerns us, accomplishing what only the work of His All-Sufficient Grace-Filled Hands can. In His All-Sufficient Grace, His perfecting power will supply His will in our weakness; His abundance in our anxiety; His consistency in our chaos; His strength in our stress; His wisdom in our worries; His triumph in our turmoil; His All-Sufficient Grace will supply His complete control in all our concerns.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands,
(Psalm 138:8).

If we will only believe what He said! Oh, let us take hold of His Truth, to take Him at His Word by faith; for His All-Sufficient Grace is able.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed, (2 Corinthians 9:8).

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” (12:9).

And as we walk by faith in what we know, His All-Sufficient Grace will provide all His divine power; empowering us to live a life that will grow in godliness and bring Him glory.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:2-3).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s