My Grace Is Sufficient

The reason God gives us grace is so that we do good works.

I know this is a giant letdown to many who have been taught and/or shown that grace is license to sin and live it up, to see God’s commands as “suggestions,” and obedience as legalistic bondage, but alas, I disappoint daily. I’m a pastor. It’s what I do.

Grace is the energy behind good works.

How does that work exactly?

Who is this person who keeps writing things in italics in my blog posts? He should cut it out.

OK. Sorry.

No problem. Now, where was I?

You were talking about how does grace get us to do good works.

Oh yeah, right. Thanks.

There are some who think that grace is power from on high that infuses you to do good works, whether you are paying attention or not. Sometimes it is linked with religious duty to receive this grace/power–baptism, communion, confession, etc.

“Means of grace” is a weird term. It’s not biblical and I never understood where it came from, other than from a bunch of church leaders who know no one wants to go to church, so they freak people into thinking you have to go to church and listen to us, or else you won’t get grace.

It was a nice theory and it works pretty well, but it’s also of the devil. The actual way in which grace enables good works is much simpler.

God’s grace is sufficient. Paul learned this when he asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh. “Nope, my grace is sufficient” God told him.

“Sufficient” is a word that means, “to avail, to be satisfactory, enough.” God directs Paul’s mind off his physical suffering and on to God’s provision. Paul, with a shifted perspective, sees that the thorn in his flesh keeps him humble and allows Christ to work through him.

Paul is then transformed to see that his problems, the stuff that makes him weak, is making room for God’s power to work through him in Christ. Paul has to be removed. Nothing like weakness to remove a person’s inflated view of self.

God, through Christ, steps in and displays power. This is why not many, mighty, not many noble, not many wise are called. If they were, people would chalk up what they did to their nobility, power and wisdom.

Instead, by God using weak people, you have to attribute what happens to God’s credit, not to the abilities of the people.

God’s grace is enough. God’s grace did not remove Paul’s problems; God’s grace allows Paul to survive his problem. Not only that, through this problem, Paul sees much spiritual good come for himself and others.

You still haven’t answered the question–how does God’s grace create good works?

Sure, I did, in part anyway. God’s grace can only work when we are honest about our weakness. When we become humbly dependent on God. That’s the first step of grace’s work in you.

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