“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:8 ~
Sufficiency necessitates purpose, goal, objective. Sufficiency is means to an end. The sufficiency spoken of in 2 Corinthians is provided by God’s abundant, all grace toward us. The sufficiency, therefore, is completely adequate, suitable for the purpose in which God’s grace supplies for. The sufficiency granted isn’t unto any purpose, but God’s eternal purpose in Christ. Therefore, this sufficiency is “all” we need for this purpose.
Those “in Christ” have a dire need to clearly understand God’s all grace provision, its subsequent provision as our supply, its immediate application in this life, and its ultimate purpose in the life to come. Each is a link in the chain of provision-use to God’s objective, God’s eternal purpose in Christ. If we don’t understand God’s eternal purpose in Christ we can be easily confused about the sufficiency, about the supply – thus we will confuse God’s all grace abounding toward us. Yet, the opposite is true as well, if we don’t understand the nature of God’s all grace abounding toward us, its sufficiency and supply for all things, then we can easily misunderstand God’s eternal purpose in Christ and our inheritance therein.
A Little Context
The context of 2 Corinthians 9:8, as well as, previous and subsequent verses set forth part of the motivation for the Corinthians to participate in a certain “experiment” (:13), a “administration of this service” (:12) that is to provide for the “poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Rom. 15:26). In other words, they were to participate in a “work” of giving their “carnal things” and possess a godly motivation to do so. This motivation is to stem from God’s provision to give and love now but to also have a “righteousness” that “remaineth for ever”. Therefore, the Corinthians were to participate in a “carnal” operation with glorious results – eternal results in the life to come. Invest-sow carnal things now, by God’s grace, to reap eternal fruit.
God’s All Grace Abounding Toward You
The dynamic of God’s all grace is His power that He abounds toward us to be our sufficiency and supply to do that which He instructs, for His eternal purpose. In this process of hearing and learning, then proving and doing we have the privilege to be “workers together with Him” and as we do work together with God the work becomes a token that we have “receive[d] not the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1); that is, God’s gracious supply for our sufficiency to work with Him and it be of Him.
Fascinating enough when Christ came to this earth during His earthly ministry John describes that “the Word was made flesh” and He was “full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Therefore, this was “grace for grace” and “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:15-16). God’s all grace toward us is – Christ. In Romans 8:32 we are to be persuaded that God “with Him [Christ] also freely give[s] us all things?”
All of Christ He gives us, but what does He really mean? How is it that Christ can be “toward us” and becomes our supply and sufficiency? How can the second member of the Godhead be “toward us” “in all things” “that..we may abound to every good work”?
It is His mind influencing our “will”, His mind, “that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). It is “the image of Christ”, “who is the image of God” shining in our hearts to “give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). It is the Spirit teaching us the deep things of God in Christ that we may know Him.
Always Having All Sufficiency
We come to know Christ by the living Word of God – by reading, studying, listening, and learning the Bible. We come to know Christ and His mind – line upon line by basking in the Word of God. It is then His mind within us that becomes “the excellency of His power” (2 Cor. 4:7) a “performance” (2 Cor. 8:11), a “to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Php. 2:13). The Word of God contains His gracious provision of the mind of Christ that it may be “God which worketh in you” (Php. 2:13). Thus Christ becomes our “all sufficiency” our “supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Php. 1:19).
Moreover, by Christ “all things were made…and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn. 1:3) and all things were made “for Him” (Col. 1:16). All things, therefore, work together for His purpose, that is, His Word in all things, for all things. Thus this “all sufficiency” is unto us, for us, and for our use “always”.
Sufficiency in all things is God’s adequate provision in all things that make all things profitable instead of vain and useful to God’s eternal purpose in Christ. All things in this life are all the various relationships, scenarios, situations, circumstances we could ever be in, to work for and toward all things in the life to come, thus fulfilling His eternal purpose in Christ.
Your marriage, your parenting, your childhood, your church, your business, your work, your supervision at work, your subjection at work, your government, your paying of taxes, your nation, your neighborhood – nothing is excluded. Our “always having all sufficiency” is to be worked “in all things” that we may: 1) abound to every good work, and 2) have such righteousness that remains forever.
Abound to Every Good Work
No thing is excluded in these lives for His grace to touch, for His grace to influence. First, He supplies His grace that we might “[have] all sufficiency”, to then bring “all things” godly profit.
Righteousness that Remains Forever
The other side of the coin of “all things” is that His sufficiency toward us “may abound to every good work” in this life, but also such “fruits of…righteousness” (2 Cor. 9:10) “remaineth for ever” (2 Cor. 9:9). These “fruits of…righteousness” are of use, suitable and profitable for His “mighty power” in the “principalities, powers, mights, thrones, and dominions” “in heavenly places” in the “life to come”.
Therefore, there is nothing that God hasn’t given to us in Christ to fulfill His eternal purpose in Christ. We have contained in the Word of God, Christ; to know Him and live His life, which is our sufficiency in all things to abound to every good work and gain the profit of being profitable for God in this life and in the life to come.
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher