Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 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.

Some false teachers had started carrying forged letters of recommendation to authenticate their authority. In no uncertain terms, Paul stated that he needed no such letters. The believers to whom Paul and his companions had preached were enough of a recommendation. Paul did use letters of introduction, however, many times. He wrote them on behalf of Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2) and Timothy (1 Corinthians 16:10-11). These letters helped Paul’s trusted companions and friends find a welcome in various churches.

Paul uses powerful imagery from famous Old Testament passages predicting the promised day of new hearts and new beginnings for God’s people (see Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). No human being can take credit for this process of conversion. It is the work of God’s Spirit. We do not become believers by following some manual or using some technique. Our conversion is a result of God’s implanting his Spirit in our hearts, giving us new power to live for him.

Paul was not boasting; he gave God the credit for all his accomplishments. While the false teachers boasted of their own power and success, Paul expressed his humility before God. No one can claim to be adequate without God’s help. No one is competent to carry out the responsibilities of God’s calling in his or her own str

“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” means that trying to be saved by keeping the Old Testament laws will end in death. Only by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ can a person receive eternal life through the Holy Spirit. No one but Jesus has ever fulfilled the law perfectly; thus, the whole world is condemned to death. The law makes people realize their sin, but it cannot give life. Under the new covenant, which means promise or agreement, eternal life comes from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives new life to all who believe in Christ. The moral law (Ten Commandments) still points out sin and shows us how to obey God, but forgiveness comes only through the grace and mercy of Christ

Lets Bring it Home: Without the Holy Spirit’s enabling, our natural talent can carry us only so far. As Christ’s witnesses, we need the character and special strength that only God gives.

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