MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
2 Corinthians 3 : 1-18
“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” -2 Corinthians 3:6 [NIV]
In the second epistle to the church at Corinth, Apostle Paul addresses the problems in the church, tries to offer solutions and teaches the believers how to live for Christ in a corrupt society. The reading today is a continuation of previous chapters as the writer lays down the difference between the ministration of the gospel and the ministration of the Law.
The declaration Apostle Paul makes in the first four verses gives us more insight into the ministry which God had entrusted them. He very clearly says that they were not guilty of vain boasting; neither is any kind of recommendation/certification from humans required. The reason he says is that the members of the church are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. (2 Cor 3:2). The believers’ lives were evidence of Christ’s work through them: “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” (2 Cor. 3:3 NLT) Such was the confidence the apostle had that they were appointed by God and that He accepted their work (2 Cor 3:4)
Let us look into our key verse which clearly portrays the magnificent ministry of New Covenant in which we are now:
He has made us competent: A servant of God is to be always to be assured that the choice or the appointment of him/her is from God Himself. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16). The authority of the One who appointed us will always give us the confidence to face every situation that arises before us.
Ministers of the new covenant: As we see in Exodus that God had given laws to the children of God at Sinai; alongside, God appointed the tribe of Levi for ministering in the tabernacle and its related work. Today through Jesus Christ, He has appointed each of us and put us in great positions, responsibilities, with authority much more than the tribe of Levi handled - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1Peter 2:9). It’s a covenant of grace which we have received through Jesus Christ!
The Spirit gives life: In the Gospel is life given by the Spirit – Jesus said: The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6: 63). Contrary to the Law which shows our shortfalls, it is the Spirit of God who quickens the sinners, showing them the way of eternity through Jesus Christ. Only it can give us the hope of eternal life.
As the Apostle Paul says, the Ministry of the New Covenant is great and it’s a glorious ministry! Let us be thankful and faithful to the Lord who appointed each of us and let us work together with that confidence and with great joy!
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:17
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