The Lord Jesus Christ our Sufficiency
Christ is our sufficiency. This statement is true on the highest and most vital level of our lives.
Only Christ has regarded us in all of our unworthiness and unloveliness and has loved us to the uttermost, giving His life as a ransom for us. Only Christ can cleanse us of the guilt, heal us of the wounds, and deliver us from the power of our sins. Only Christ was qualified to serve as our substitutionary atonement, taking onto Himself the penalty of our sins and providing for us His perfect righteousness. We have only one Advocate who pleads prevailingly for us in heaven before the throne of God’s perfect justice, and that is Christ. Only Christ pacified the holy wrath of God that burned against us on account of our sins. Only Christ justifies, and only He has caused to be sent into the world the other Comforter, namely, the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us. Only Christ can give peace in storms and joy that is so deep and lasting and glorious that it cannot be adequately expressed in this world of shadows, limitations, and tears. Only Christ has the keys of death and hell, and only His voice will one day raise us from the dead.
With all that Christ is to us, it is no wonder that He is designated by God’s Word as the one thing necessary. Nor should we marvel that Christ Himself tells us that without Him we can do nothing. The things mentioned above that Christ is to us and has done for us are each one of greatest importance, and all together they form such a complex of grace and glory that we shall never be able fully to comprehend the magnitude and wonder of all that Christ is to us. It is this immeasurable and sublime character that can make our contemplation of Christ and His saving work to be so exceedingly challenging that we feel we might exhaust ourselves were we to try and comprehend it all. Hence, we find ourselves returning to the dull but comprehensible distractions of mundane things.
Yet Christ is our abounding sufficiency not only in things heavenly and that pertain to eternal glory, He is also our great sufficiency in matters temporal and practical. The Bible teaches us that Christ, our wisdom, is better than silver and gold. By this we should understand that we are being told not only that Christ compensates us lastingly and gloriously for all the pangs and pains we suffer in this life, not only that the entrance He gives us to heaven and the deliverance from divine condemnation shall in the end prove more valuable than all this world could offer, but also that Christ is better than silver and gold here and now. His wisdom guides us in ways where a fortune could not begin to do.
A fool can and invariably will misspend a fortune, but with the mind of Christ we are equipped with enabling power to perceive things seen and unseen that bless us and cause us to bless and praise our God whether He gives to us or takes away from us the things of this world.
Christ is the one Friend who sticks closer than a brother to us here and now in all of our trials and triumphs. He never leaves or forsakes us, whereas the loving devotion of all others in our lives has its limits. Christ is the Great Physician who alone can perfectly heal all of our wounds – whether they be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. There is no work too difficult for Him, no field of knowledge advanced beyond His capacity to master; no danger that can cause Him to faint. He knows all things and upholds and governs all things by the Word of His power and sovereign authority.
Since Christ is our sufficiency in things heavenly and earthly, in eternity and time, it is the height of folly for us to regard anything in this world or the next to be more important and vital to us than He is. There is no course we can be called to run, no temptation or trial we can suffer, no pain we can bear, no emotion we can feel – in sum, nothing in all of human experience that we can encounter where He has not preceded us in the experience of it and masterful triumph through it. Nor is He stingy with His own infinitely rich and enriching human experience and understanding. If we would but call upon Him, seek Him, trust, and rely upon Him more than we now do, our lives would possess a greater mastery over all things and would be filled with gratitude to God for and in all things. If we seek our sufficiency in anything but Christ, we shall find that we succeed only in spending ourselves for that which provides only frustration, failure, and misery.
William Harrell is Pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, Virginia.
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