How privileged we are to hear from the living God through His living Word. Take your Bible, if you will, and turn to the twelfth chapter of 2 Corinthians and I want to read for you verses 7 through 10 which will provide the text for our study in the Word of God...2 Corinthians chapter 12 beginning at verse 7.
The Apostle Paul writes, "And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, to keep me from exalting myself. Concerning this, I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ's sake for when I am weak, then I am strong."
At the heart of this passage is the statement in verse 9, "My grace is sufficient for you." The word grace is a magnificent word in the New Testament, it's the Greek word charisit is used a hundred and fifty-five times. And it should be used frequently because we live in grace. It is grace below us, above us, before us, behind us and beside us. It is grace in which we stand. This marvelous word refers to divine favor, to divine blessing, to divine benefit. It refers to that which God has given to us in Christ not because we earned it or deserved it, but because He willed to give it. And all of god's gifts to His children are given by grace. Everything we have in our salvation from beginning to consummation is by grace. We do not earn our justification, it is a gift of grace. We do not earn our sanctification, it too is a gift of grace. We certainly do not earn our glorification, it is the culminating gift of grace which then allows God to show us everlasting grace through all eternity. In the book of Ephesians, both in chapter 1 and chapter 2, reference is made to the riches of His grace, even to the surpassing riches of His grace. The word surpassing, huperballon,hyper super. That is to say it is an exceeding, abundant, lavish extension of grace....