Insufficient is perhaps one of the most disheartening words we have in our vocabulary.
For something to be insufficient it necessitates that some effort or investment has been made to advance toward a certain objective. If we find that investment insufficient, the result is that we have not met that objective and we have wasted the effort invested to achieve the objective.
The most tragic insufficiency
With no doubt, the most tragic thing that can be imagined is the person who has almost been persuaded to follow Jesus and takes up the trappings of a of good, well-meaning life only never to have completed that final investment of faith in grace in the Lord.
Most times they have no excuse because they have sat in church numerous times and heard the Gospel of Jesus but never grasped the urgency of committing a life in complete trust to Christ for the redemption of their souls from sin.
Everyone does not get a trophy. It is insufficient to merely participate.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 (CSB)
Has the essence of this familiar passage evaded you?
“to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God”.
Doing good and going through the motions that simulate what we consider a ‘good life’ just isn’t good enough, it is insufficient to get us to our objective. Many ‘receive’ Jesus in that they accept that He is who He says He is, has done what was said He did, and can do what He says He will do. They believe that He is able, but they haven’t moved to the knowledge and understanding of the head to the heart. The seed is planted, but it hasn’t germinated in their soul.
Sadly, these people fall into two camps.
These are the ones that profess that they have made Jesus the Lord of their lives but never have bridged the gap between belief and commitment of faith in Him.
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’
Matthew 7:22-23 (CSB)
The words you never want to hear Jesus say to you, “I never knew you. Depart from me”.
Insufficiency having the head knowledge but lacking the commitment. Their reliance on the grace of the precious Lamb of God isn’t there. As a result, millions will spend eternity separated from the creator.
They say all the things they are supposed to say, they do all the things they are supposed to do, but they have not taken advantage of the “right to be children of God”.
The right to be children of God which is only granted “to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.”
We can only make that transition from death to life when we surrender our lives to Christ Jesus and invest our faith and trust in Him. He is the only means by which we may be saved.
By doing this we are born spiritually into God’s family. We literally become one of God’s Children as a result of spiritual rebirth which results from a commitment of faith in Jesus!
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:5-6 (CSB)
Vendors of Virtuousness
The other camp of those who will be found with an insufficiency would be the ‘Vendors of Virtuousness’.
This camp is filled with people that may or may not have heard the Gospel message. Regardless they have concluded that their image of God is someone who is good. So good in every way. Good becomes god, by dropping off one of the o’s. They equate the pairing of goodness and god in their minds with godliness and therefore being good is godly.
This is even more sad than the situation we find with the ‘Proximity Professors’, because in so many cases these individuals are attempting to be ‘good’. But that goodness is only in their eyes and falls so far short of what God requires.
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
John 3:16-18 (CSB)
God sent His Son, Jesus, into this world so that we can have an eternal relationship with Him. In this life and in life eternal.
“Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.”
This ‘belief’ is more than a simple understanding who Jesus is. It is a complete and unconditional trust in who He is, and what He has done to provide a means of us escaping the punishment for which we are already condemned to, by merit of our behavior and our birth into sin and corruption.
Without that ‘being born of the Spirit’ we talked about earlier, there is no amount of good things we can do, which will sway the balance and sufficiently justify us becoming Children of God. That only happens when we acknowledge Jesus as who He is and have faith in what He has done to release us from the bondage of sin and the penalty of death which He took upon Himself in our place.
All the goodness we could ever have, isn‘t enough to become Children of God. It is insufficient to save us from the punishment we deserve. We must surrender our lives to Christ Jesus and have faith in what He has done to purchase our redemption.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (CSB)
This isn’t me
So, you say you don’t fit into either of these camps. You are not a Proximity Professor, nor are you a Vendor of Virtuousness. You have given your life to Jesus and trust in His Grace for your salvation.
If you say, ‘this isn’t me’, then you should realize your responsibility to others is to make sure they understand that being good isn’t good enough and playing the role of a disciple of Christ doesn’t make you a disciple. It requires a commitment.
And you as a disciple of Jesus having made that commitment have a responsibility. That responsibility is to ‘go’ and let all the ‘Professors’ and ‘Vendors’ know exactly what is required to become a Child of God, a son or daughter of the King.
We can’t horde the gift that was given to us, not if we’ve really committed to Him the life which He gave to us. It is that which compels us to go.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)
Anything less is “Insufficient”.
In His Grace,