by Olu Talabi (based on RLCF Bible Study on Wednesday, June 8, 2016)
‘And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness….’ – II Corinthians 12:9
‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ’- Consider this opening prayer of Paul to the churches; and not Paul only, Peter and John used a variation of the same prayer (Revelations 1:4, for example). In these prayers, grace is connected to peace. The grace of God ultimately brings peace in the heart of the believer. Consider also that Paul said this prayer before launching into his letter to all the churches: the strong churches as well as the weak ones. This shows us the importance of this cry for God’s grace (as well as His peace) regardless of our state as Christians: whether mature or not, weak or strong, we need God’s grace for our very survival. Indeed, we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) and sustained by grace (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Consider again that Jesus Christ needed grace from birth (Luke 2:40) to death (Hebrews 2:9). All that our Lord accomplished on earth was completely by the power of His Father through grace. Jesus Christ was fully a man just as we are. In Hebrews 4:15 we read that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin. The next verse adjures us to come also to God’s throne to obtain the very grace by which He prevailed. In short, we have no more excuse for sin having any hold in our lives: a man like us has prevailed; we follow Him.
Without God’s grace, it is impossible to live a victorious life as a Christian. And although we are commanded to come boldly to receive grace from God (Hebrews 4:16) there yet is one hindrance to obtaining this grace: pride. More than one time in scripture, it says God resists the proud man, but He gladly gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1Peter 5:5). So, humility must be our position to receive God’s grace. Humility in making God our first choice and source of reliance in all that we do, not falling back on Him after failing in our strength. This means we must always acknowledge how weak we are even in the simplest things; we need God’s help. Jesus Christ was the humblest man who ever lived.
Because of this, like it says of the Spirit that was given to Him (John 3:34), God’s grace was also given to him without measure. In our battle against sin, what the law could not do, grace through the Lord Jesus is now able to accomplish (Romans 6:14). We walk the way of Christ. If grace was necessary for His victory on earth, we also will need God’s grace to prevail over the many pulls of our lives. Again, we have no excuse, a man like us has prevailed. Let us be encouraged no matter the state we are in right now. God simply says to come, admit our weakness in humility and ask for His grace in faith. He will grant it. Amen.