Foundation for Reformed Theology


"My grace is enough." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"My dear friends, that is a very short text--only four words--I think it is the shortest on which I have ever preached. The advantage of this is that you can remember it all the better. It is, by the way, my most important concern, each time I am permitted to be here, that the word from the Bible should stick in your minds and stay with you afterwards rather than my sermon. So for today the text is: My grace is enough. The point of this text lies in its very brevity--it illustrates, as it were, what it describes. These four words are enough. Some of you have perhaps heard it said that in the last forty years I have written a great many books and that some of them are very fat ones. Let me, however, frankly and openly and even gladly confess that the four words: 'My grace is enough' say much more and say it much better that the whole pile of paper with which I have surrounded myself. They are enough--something that I am very far from being able to say about my books. Whatever might be good about my books could at best only consist in pointing out from the distance what these four words say. And when my books have long since been superseded and forgotten, and the books of the whole world with them, then these words will still shine on in all their eternal richness: My grace is enough."

"Dear Friends, today is the third time that I have been allowed to be here among you on New Year's Eve. And each time, two years ago and again last year, I presented the biblical text that it was my job to explain and expound as a sort of watchword for the way. In 1960 it was 'My time is secure in your hands'. In 1961 it was 'The word of our God shall remain for ever'. And now today, in 1962, it is to be the reverse of what we have heard this evening about what is enough for us: it is to be our answer to what the Lord said to Paul and so now to us as well: 'Your grace is enough'. My dear friends, say that to him as the last thing you do in the old year and then again as the first in the new year. Say it to him softly, shyly, modestly. Who could say it any other way to him? We are, after all, men who are apparently too proud to say a thing like that out loud. But say it to him! He hears it and is glad to hear it from you. He expects nothing more from you and from me than that we should say it to him as the echo of what he says to us: 'Yes, your grace is enough'. Amen.

Karl Barth, Call for God: New Sermons from Basel Prison (London: SCM Press, 1967), pp. 78, 83-84.

Dr. James C. Goodloe IV
Grace and Peace,

Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive Director
Foundation for Reformed Theology
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