I know we all need grace for salvation, but I have been curious about what Paul wrote in second Corinthians.
For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me — so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. (2Co 12:6-9)
Here is what Webster’s says about this verse:
Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.
My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor 12
The struggle with sin is something that Christians misunderstand. We all know that in one way or another we struggle with it, but I don’t think that we fully appreciate the struggle or what it means. We focus more on the sin and not enough on the grace
Here you have Paul tormented with a thorn in the flesh, or flesh based sin. Now the sin could be a physical act, but I think it is more of a temptation that Paul faced. It was enough of a sinful issue that Paul cried out to God three times to remove it from him, but God said no.
God’s grace was sufficient. What does that mean though?
Grace is not overcoming the sin or removing the sin, as Paul wanted but rather the covering of the sin. It does not mean that Paul would not have sinful thoughts, but rather that he was once and forever forgiven for the sins.
Now by becoming the “new man”, the sinful desires can be resisted more easily, but God did not remove those desires so that Paul could overcome them by his own power. That is why God’s grace is sufficient.