What Does Sufficient Grace Mean in 2 Cor. 12:9?

What Does Sufficient Grace Mean in 2 Cor. 12:9?

2 Corinthians was written by Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9? One of the interesting scriptures in the New Testament which people normally quote is 2 Cor. 12:9. The question then is do you understand what the Bible means by the term sufficient grace?

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth and everything in its perfect state. Man was living in the state of sufficiency when he was created. However, the Bible makes it clear that “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) as a result of the wages of sin leading to death (Rom. 6:23).

The power of sin translated man from the state of perfectness into weakness. At the time Paul was talking about the grace of God being sufficient for him, he was talking from the point of weakness. Paul had suffered from weakness or afflictions so many times and had prayed for God to take away such weaknesses and the LORD replied him saying, “My grace is sufficient for you”. God is a prayer answering God but this time, He answered Paul but not the kind of answer that Paul was expecting. God’s answer to Paul implies that He was not going to remove the weakness or the torn in his flesh but gave him the ability to endure it and this ability is sufficient grace.

Sufficient grace gives you the ability to stand any tormenting lasting situations in life. Paul, in his response to the stand of God by not removing the torn in his flesh said: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

The moment sin was introduced into the human race, our fullness, completeness, perfectness or sufficiency was replaced with insufficiencies manifesting in so many bodily weaknesses. John testified about Jesus Christ saying in Christ, we have received His fullness and not just fullness but we also received grace upon grace (John 1:16).


Grace can be defined as an “undeserved favour” or an “unmerited favour”. Grace is one of the attributes of God (Exodus 34:6); for God is full of grace and mercies. God in His sovereignty granted mankind grace to crossover from receiving punishment resulting from the fall to receiving salvation and set free. Whenever the grace of God speaks in the affairs of men, His love is also activated. For mankind to be free from the penalty of sin, the love of God brought Christ to earth to die for man. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It is important to note that grace walks with favour and love; they work together in the affairs of men. Wherever there is grace, you will find favour and love working together.

The word sufficient means “adequate”, “appropriate”, “satisfactory”, or “enough.” Sufficient grace speaks of the grace of God that grants salvation, preservation, and everything else that the believer needs in this life and in the life to come. Sufficient grace therefore brings a balance between living in the perfect and imperfect state or balancing life between the sufficiency and insufficiencies of life. It is important to understand that the concept of sufficient grace is premised on the fact that the grace of God is enough, adequate and okay for us to stand and face any situation we find ourselves in life.

What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9 to you and how can we activate it in our lives? The following points discussed below will assist you to answer the question “What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9?”

How to activate the sufficient grace in our lives

Repentance and forgiveness of sins: The first step to activate and receive the sufficient grace of God working in your life is to repent from your sins and receive forgiveness of sins. Once you have salvation and Christ in your life, His grace is activated in your life. It is important to note that sufficient grace gives you the ability to endure hardship, pain and any sort of discomfort in life. Whether believers experience poverty, hardship, riches, persecution, sicknesses, pain and all sorts of nightmares in life, sufficient grace is there to make you survive such situations.

The worst and terrible situations that Christians can survive and emerge victorious may befall an unbeliever and they may not be able to stand it but commit suicide or go through other negative impacts which a Christian may just go through successfully. Sufficient grace is the anchor that holds Christians stable in the storms of life without drifting and shifting from the faith. It is a supernatural ability given to the children of God to pass through hardship and terrible experiences.

Knowledge and application of the word of God: Your knowledge of the fact that God has given you special grace to stand the storms of life alone gives you enough confidence, assurance and the hope that the problems and the weaknesses that you face in life will not overcome you. When you are faced with challenges in life, it is your knowledge of the promises of the word of God that gives you assurance and hope to stand firm in the faith. Without knowledge of the word of God, you may not be able to appropriate the promises and power of God in your life.

Are Christians totally sufficient in life?

Having read from the above and come this far, let me bother you with the question again: “What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9?” What are the realities in life as far as sufficient grace is concerned? Are you sufficient in life? Have you come across any Christian who is totally sufficient in life? If your answer is yes or no, then can you answer the question: “What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9?”

Truth be told. In reality and in life, no Christian is innately by virtue of attaining salvation or naturally sufficient in life. So long as we remain in this imperfect world, we are still subject to pain, sicknesses, hardships, persecution and other human weaknesses that make the Christian journey difficult but His grace is sufficient to keep us and sustain us to go through until we are all transformed into the incorruptible glorious body that is not subject to the weaknesses of this world.

Apostle Paul once again concluded this by saying “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). This implies that our sufficiency depends on God. We are sufficient because we depend on God for that grace. No one is sufficient on his own without total dependence on God. When we focus on the sufficient grace of God through Him alone, then we can face the challenges of life and emerge victorious.

To conclude, understand that you are insufficient in life and your insufficiency should awaken and push you into the arms of God who gives you the special sufficient grace to stand the challenges of life. What does sufficient grace mean in 2 Cor. 12:9 to you? Any thoughts and comments? Kindly share with us.

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