Not Sufficient But Made Sufficient

Not Sufficient But Made Sufficient

Preacher Huijun - 20 August 2022

Weekend Devotion: Not Sufficient But Made Sufficient

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One key goals of man is to be self-sufficient. We’ve heard a lot of worldly suggestions on how to achieve self-sufficiency, especially by gaining financial freedom to provide for oneself, so that one can live comfortably by certain age. The world teaches that we can be self-sufficient, we can chart the destiny of our lives and we should rely on our own self-sufficiency. However, this is directly opposite from what the Bible teaches us. The gospel teaches us that we should depend on the sufficiency of God rather than falsely think that man can be self-sufficient.

In (2 Co 3:5-6), Paul said, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” [ESV]

 

Mankind is not sufficient in ourselves.

No one will dispute that Paul was a great apostle, fruitful in his ministries. Yet, here he humbly confessed that he was not sufficient despite his grand achievements. He was clearly aware that he could not do what he did without the sufficiency from God. Paul’s attitude was unlike those who pride themselves on their self-reliance. Such people would think that Christ’s redemption is not enough, and they must add on a little of their good deeds and holiness in order to qualify for salvation. The fallen human mind likes to think that we are capable of saving ourselves or leading a holy life. However, the truth is, the fallen man does not have adequate means to do anything godly or of eternal value. On his own, man cannot be holy, nor can he save himself or others. The sufficiency to do anything God-pleasing comes from God.

 

Only God is self-sufficient.

God is sufficient in and of Himself. What this means is He does not need anyone or anything outside of Himself. (Ac 17:25) And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. God is the creator and giver of all things. No one first gives anything to God, we can only give to God what was first received from Him (cf. 1 Co 4:7). God absolutely has no need for anything that He has created, but out of His pleasure, He voluntarily chooses to seek His created mankind to form a relationship with those He loves (cf. Ep 1:4-6). He does not need us but we need Him desperately, for in Him we live and move and have our being (Ac 17:28). Some people think that God needs as many people to believe in Him as possible to add to His glory. That is only man’s own inflated view to think that man is necessary to God. The truth is, God is so self-sufficient that there is nothing we can do to add to His perfection and completeness. And even if man does not believe in God, it does not take away any bit of God’s splendour and honour.

 

We who are not sufficient can be made sufficient by God.

1) Not sufficient to be saved on our own.

We sinners will never be able to save ourselves from the penalty of sin through any of our works or merits (cf. Ep 2:1-9). And some people are so conscious of the severity of their sins that they are worried that God may not have sufficient grace to save them thoroughly. With their repeated sinning, they fear that they may use up God’s grace for them. Thankfully, the Bible assures us that God’s grace is freely given to us (Ep 1:6) and His grace is rich (Ep 1:7; 2:7). Thus, God surely has sufficient, in fact, more than enough grace to save us. His grace will never run dry. But of course, His sufficient grace is not meant for us to keep on sinning, for He saves us to make us holy. On the cross, Jesus proclaimed that His redemption work was finished (Jn 19:30). So “by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb 10:14). In other words, Christ’s one-off sacrifice is sufficient to save those who believe in Him. Nothing else need to be done for our salvation. The sufficiency of Christ’s redemption is the only basis by which we can be acceptable to God, if we put our faith in Christ.

 

2) Not sufficient to do good.

As what Paul professed, he was not sufficient but God had made him sufficient to be minister of a new covenant, to serve God and His people. The good thing about the all-sufficient God is that He also kindly shares His sufficient grace with us to make us sufficient to fulfil His purpose. Indeed, God supplies us with every grace we need to love Him, serve Him, obey Him, share the gospel, shun evil, resist temptations, and even when we go through suffering, He also gives us sufficient grace to endure it (cf. 2 Co 12:9).

 

So if we are worshipping such a self-sufficient God who also gives us sufficient grace, we should turn from relying on our own sufficiency to trust in God’s sufficiency. Although it may not feel good to be reminded of our inadequacy and insufficiency, it is a blessing to belong to the all-sufficient God and be called His beloved people. So let us honour the all-sufficient God in our hearts and rely on Him unreservedly.

Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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