Mar
07

Made Sufficient

By

You can hear this message as I preached it at http://gracehouse.info/sermons/

 

MADE SUFFICIENT
by Eddie Lawrence

TEXT: 2 Cor. 3:4-6
INTRODUCTION: In the previous verses Paul shares that he did not need to namedrop or have a letter of reference regarding his apostleship. He stated to the Corinthians that they were his letter of reference. People who knew them had seen their lives changed by the spirit of life upon hearing the Gospel. Then he shares with them that what they received from him is the testimony of his apostleship but that what he had given them had come from God. He stated he had been made sufficient. Here are 5 statements to help remind us that our sufficiency is from God.

1. Keep It All Moving Through Jesus
2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

-Paul says His trust is in God working through Christ that resulted in the Corinthians being changed.
-All we do that glorifies the Lord rests upon the finished work of Christ.

-We have what we have from God through Christ alone. We give what we can give from God through Christ alone. We must also keep everything in our lives moving through Jesus.

-We must see our own lives through Christ and his finished work>

-We must see others through his finished work. This allows us to see God’s original purposes for people instead of the mess that sin, self, the world, and the devil has made in their lives.

2. Avoid the Big Head
2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

-Paul did not want to misunderstood. He clearly states that what was done through him was done by God’s grace that comes through Christ from God. He also told the Corinthians that all he did was by the grace of God.
-We must guard against thinking that Heaven would crumble and the church would fail if it were not for us. The big head can quickly get us into trouble.

-It can cause you to strut like a peacock one day and then be a feather duster the next day.

3. Don’t Forget Which Side Your Bread is Buttered
2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

-Paul knew his life like a slice of bread had two sides. One was the side when Paul went his own way. The other was the Paul who went God’s way. The buttered side is always the best side and so it is God who butters the bread for us (hope this southern phrase is not throwing any of you).

-Know like Paul did, that the sufficiency to do the will of God always comes from God. You can’t take credit for doing what you do with His grace. His grace is a gift and you can lay claim to working it up yourself.

-Don’t be like a hog who never looks up to see the tree from which the acorns he feeds on fall. Every good and perfect gift comes from our Father above.

4. Remember Moses Would Swap With You
2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

-Moses look forward to what you now have. He would swap covenants with you in a moment. Don’t live under the law, regulations and obligations that the letter of law places on you. Be led by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which has made you free from the law of sin and death.

-Too many people have a mixed theology and do not understand that they are now under grace and not law. Why live under a contract that never saved anyone. You are now cleansed through the shedding of Christ blood and his finished work. This is the new covenant he made with us.

-No flesh shall be justified by works of law, not even yours.

-The Gospel is good news. We are saved from death and destruction through the work of another. Paul wanted the Corinthians to know that God made him sufficient to share this awesome message of the new covenant with them.

-He does not grace us with His sufficiency to ministers of the Old Covenant. Why? Because He has now made a new one and that is the one he wants us to proclaim. Don’t swap your grace given ministry for Moses’ ministry. It was great for its time but now it is Christ’s time!

5. See Cell Doors Opening Not Closing
2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

-This is the picture I see. The law brings to the point of death and judgment. We are bound in a cell awaiting execution. But then Jesus came with God’s grace, died in our place and the cell doors are open and we are free.

-We must see through the finished work of Jesus that brings us into the New Covenant.

-We never take a light view of sin because it cost Jesus his life, but we do rejoice that sin no longer is to reign over us because we have the life giving Spirit of Christ dwelling in us.-Knowing who we really are in Him changes how we view ourselves and how we view others.

-He has made us sufficient. We did not make ourselves sufficient. What a grace gift to us.

Eddie Lawrence
As a husband, father, pastor, author, and web developer, Eddie lives an exciting and productive life. He holds earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees and is also the owner of Sermon Seedbed.

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Categories : Christian Living

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