“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,”
– 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
From our earliest recollections, we work to prove ourselves and to feel like we belong. Belonging, connection and intimacy are some of our basic needs. In Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, John Donne wrote in Meditation XVII, the phrase “no man is an island”. This phrase has become an expression that we all are and need to be connected to others, to our surroundings and to God.
Paul expressed this same sentiment in his letter to the Christ-followers in Philippi, “That I may know Him . . .”. (Phil 3:10). In knowing Christ, He becomes our belonging and our intimacy. We no longer “measure up” based on who we know . . . but, based in Who knows us. What we have accomplished gives way to what has been accomplished for us through Christ. Our qualifications are His qualifications. Our competences are His competences. The breadth of our belonging and the depth of our intimacy is found in Christ, alone.
As Paul wrote to the troubled church in Corinth, he reminded them that his confidence was not found in his own ability, accomplishments or authority . . . but in God through Christ’s work in him.
Be encouraged that Christ is all you need . . .
He Is Our Adequacy. There’s a children’s chorus that reads, “Christ is all I need. Christ is all I need. All that I need.” Paul understood this declaration when he wrote, “but our adequacy is from God.” To the Philippians believers he wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13). As Joseph stood before Pharaoh with an impossible task of uncovering and interpreting a dream, he responded, “‘It is beyond my power to do this,’ Joseph replied. ‘But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.'” (Gen 41:16). The Incompetent became competent through the power of God.
He Is Our Anointing. In the Old Testament, kings were recognized by an anointing of olive oil to signify their appointment and approval as God’s choice to lead and confirmation of His glory. Jesus is called “The Christ” which means “The Anointed One”. Paul writes to the faithful in Colessea, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27). The disciple John writes of our connection because of this anointing, “But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27).
He Is Our Acceptance. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we have been accepted with access in our times of need, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16) Paul reminded the Ephesians, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Eph 1:6). We are accepted because Jesus paid the price for our admission to the Family.
Because of Christ we belong, we are blessed and we are beloved. Our search for significance begins and ends with our Savior.