Was Paul a super human? Did he have extra doses of godliness and blessedness that made him special? He did so many great things and accomplished so much, so was there something about him that made him extraordinary?
Some would say yes, Paul was extra special and is revered. However, Paul—along with the other Apostles—was just an ordinary man who was willing to be used by God. The Apostles’ power, greatness, or whatever you want to call it was all made possible by God and not them. This truth is evident in Paul’s humble declaration:
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
~II Corinthians 3:5-6
Yes, Paul was bold. Yes, he spoke with great authority. However, all this came from God. Paul was not being bold or authoritative on his own merits, but because God had called him to apostleship and had given him the responsibility of shepherding many churches throughout the Roman world. He was made sufficient by God.
Sufficient. Able, qualified, fit. This is what God did. He made Paul and his fellow workers qualified to do the work He set before them. They were not able or fit in and of themselves, but their qualification came from God.
This is beautiful and something we must remember. True ministers, leaders, and servants of God are not qualified by their own works, spirituality, or abilities, but their qualification comes solely from God. Their sufficiency is from God alone. Therefore, whether we are in ministry or following a great shepherd or teacher, we must remember that on our own we cannot claim anything as coming from us, but all sufficiency is from God.
Thank God that He has qualified us to participate in His work and allows us to be His hands and feet here on this earth! By ourselves we could do nothing, but with His power and grace we are made qualified, able, fit, and sufficient partakers of a life-giving covenant and heirs to an eternal inheritance.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
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