Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grace, not Victory, is Sufficient

2 Cor. 12:7-10 (ESV)
So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. [8] Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. [9] But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It seems so contrary to what is proclaimed as the gospel these days. Watching T.V. or checking out the “Christian” section of the book store, you would get the idea that being Christian is about overcoming weaknesses. Evidently Christ is supposed to give you the power to miraculously pick yourself up out of the gutter of addictions, to porn, alcohol, or some other vice. Granted Christians should be trying to relieve themselves of these addictions. But becoming Christian doesn’t mean the heroine addict is no longer going to want her date with Mr. Brownstone. The Alcoholic will still find a place for A.A.
Christians wrestle with weaknesses. We are sinners. We have temptations. Too many despair in their weaknesses, that is they question their salvation based on the fact that they snapped at their neighbor yesterday, because his dog did his business on the front lawn. Despair of this type is one vice Christ gives us victory over. He is our salvation, of that we have nothing to worry about. His cross accomplished your salvation, not your ability to put on a smile, and suppress your anger. We are sinners, in our sins we are weak, yet even in our weaknesses, we are strong in Christ. Recognizing our sin, recognizing our weaknesses keeps us humble, keeps us returning to Christ for forgiveness. If there is some way to show the world our living in the Gospel, it is precisely that. Nor overcoming some addiction, but returning to the Lord’s Table knowing that though we failed miserably, Christ has not abandoned us. His grace is sufficient for us.

1 comment:

steve martin said...

Amen Bror!

Knowing what are are...realizing our stuckness (?)...our sickness...being humbled before the Lord...and being forgiven.

For me, that is sufficient.