A LIVING LETTER OF CHRIST
Friday, 13 July 2018
2 Corinthians 3 : 1-14
“…being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.’ -2 Corinthians 3:3
The term ‘epistle’ is derived from the Greek word ‘epistole’ meaning letter or written message - a chief means of communication during the early days of the church. An epistle is meant to be read and there is a message that is to be conveyed. Paul reminds us that a believer is a letter of Christ. Let us understand the uniqueness of being a living epistle of Christ.
Christ the Author: Jesus Christ is the author of this living Epistle. His life, suffering and substitution substitutionary death on our behalf has bought us freedom from death and sin and His resurrection is our hope of eternal life with Him. While he wrote no book during His earthly ministry, the Great Teacher, our Saviour is daily writing a message through our lives, ones that the entire world may read. Our lives which are read should point to Christ and glorify God alone!
Holy Spirit the Agent: The living epistle is written not by ink, but by the Holy Spirit. The ministry of conversion in our lives is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives life (Vs 6) while the ministry of the Law brings death. The Spirit of God moves and works in our lives bearing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and revealing His power within us.
Our Hearts- The Tablet: God will only write on willing and submissive hearts, the message of love that He wants the world to read. While the Ten Commandments were given on tablets of stone, today He is writing on hearts of flesh. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
The Message: Probably the only gospel some people read will be you. Jesus reminds us, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) As disciples of Jesus Christ, we should have a character of integrity, portraying the love, humility, compassion, purity and holiness, just as Christ is. Every aspect of our lives should be a witnessing for the Lord and a living testimony of His grace. Is our life completely conformed to God’s Word? The messengers of the Gospel, should become the message themselves (Kenneth Boa)
All People are Readers: Our lives as believers are an open letter that all men may read. There should be no discrepancy between a Christian’s personal and public life. As men and women of integrity, our lives should be consistent and aligned with the Word of God that people may read and be lead to the Lord. Jesus commissioned us to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. Sometimes, it may not be the words we speak, but our very lives – our actions and character that will draw others to Christ.
As ministers of the New Covenant, the ultimate purpose of our lives as living letters is to reflect Christ. ‘But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Ponder on this: When people read you as ‘a living epistle’ what is the message that they receive?
To Act On: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
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