God the Sufficiency of Man
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;…

Self-confidence is the great outstanding feature of the natural character. Almost all its words and actions bear this impress — "I am sufficient of myself." You will wait in vain for any recognition of the hand of God. But the self-sufficiency of fallen man is perhaps most strikingly displayed in the way in which he deals with those truths which affect the salvation of his soul and his hopes for eternity. He has his own notions of God's character and law and arrangements, and has adopted a plan of his own, which he imagines suits his case better than the one which Infinite Wisdom has appointed. Thus, .self-sufficient is every one who has not been enlightened by the Spirit of God. But how different is it with Paul in the passage before us!

I. And I remark in the first place THAT OUR SUFFICIENCY IS OF GOD IN RESPECT TO OUR TEMPORAL BLESSINGS AND EVERYDAY MERCIES. We are wholly indebted to Him for the past, and wholly dependent on Him for the future. Have we a comfortable home to live in, and does not peace reign in our household? These blessings are of the Lord's bestowing. Nor should we imagine that our sufficiency in temporal blessing is less of God in ordinary circumstances than in extraordinary occasions.


1. In respect of justifying righteousness. We are not sufficient to work out a righteousness for ourselves.

2. Our sufficiency for holiness is of God. Old principles must be forsaken, and new ones adopted. Old habits must be given up and new ones formed. New tastes are to be cultivated and new desires cherished. But are we able to perform these duties of ourselves? Assuredly not. But what then? Does our inability excuse unbelief, impenitence, or indolence? No, verily; for while we are without strength in ourselves, there is strength in God if we will take hold of it.

3. Our sufficiency is of God in respect of usefulness

(J G. Dalgliesh.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

WEB: not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;

The Power, and the Agency it Uses
Top of Page
Top of Page