In The Word
Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-4:6
Ministers of a New Covenant
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 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.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 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.
Paul’s Apostolic Ministry
4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The apostle Paul is talking about how he does everything with the church in his mind. He doesn’t want believers to be endangered because of him. He would rather not do what he loves doing in order to protect the church. The spirit of comfort is all he is asking for the church. It is our responsibility as a church to comfort the grieving. Every single day God gives us an opportunity to serve and comfort someone that is hurting. Paul’s heart is troubled by the body of believers who are being tossed around by the enemy.
According to Paul, we must also be able to forgive sinners as the body of Christ and always look out for satan’s schemes against God’s people. God wants to use us believers to spread the good news of Christ everywhere. In 2 Corinthians 2:15, it says, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” We have not been called only for those who are saved. Luke 5:31 says, “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.’” Many times we want to stay in our circle of friends without being interrupted by non-believers.
We have been called to reach out to the perishing; it’s time we step out of our comfy boats and reach out to the multitudes of people bound by the chains of the evil one.
You have a task to fulfill today: who are you going to comfort?