Text: 2 Corinthians 3:1-6
From chapter 2: 17, Paul carried over his thoughts to chapter 3. Having described himself and his companions as sincere apostles who do not peddle the word of God for selfish gain. He asks them; ” Do you believe my assertion? Or are you joining others to ask for my letter of recommendation? (Even though this was the common practice and what every other disciples/apostles customarily presented to attest to his authenticity). Paul wishes to tell them that he has achieved far more among them than any letter of recommendation could commend. He came to them at first without one, and when he came, he stood before them not in eloquence of speech, as one who had been powerfully trained, but in the humility of spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). His words did not come out as high sounding principles, but in a simple, down to earth manner, he had explained the scriptures to them until their eyes were opened to receive God and his Christ. Today, they stand blameless and transformed before God as holy men and women who have been washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
So he asks them what could be a better letter of recommendation than you yourselves? What could be a better testimony or witness to my authenticity as an apostle than the changed lives you have in Christ? The word of God has been deeply enshrined in your hearts. Now, you know your left from your right because of what Jesus has done in you through us; what could be more glorious; a letter written on paper with pen, or this gloriously glaring evidence of transformed lives that you are?
Paul had set us an example. He did not sight his eloquence, certificate, letters of recommendation, qualifications, titles, or even miracles as his proof of a worthy apostle. Rather he attributed every praise to God through Christ and claimed his converts’ transformed lives in Christ as the most authentic evidence of his apostleship. It is sad that today, it is collars, titles and affiliations that usually introduce a minister. Others are testimonies of miracles, healings and financial breakthroughs. This is not what Christ is about. He only cares about how much of him is found in the new creation man.
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For we all having been saved by grace are saved unto God through Christ that we may be made conformable unto the image of his divine son. He alone is the one God has set apart as the first fruit of the new specie man that will inherit incorruption and inhabit the coming kingdom of God. What matters to God is the proliferation of this second Adam all over the face of the earth. Not necessarily miracles or fame or whatever we cherish in ministries these days. It is only those who have the earnest down payment of his spirit and have allowed that spirit yo change them completely, that will have the hope of living in the new heaven and earth promised by God.
Yet, Paul will not ascribe glory to himself. He goes on in verse 5; “not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves but our sufficiency is of God”. This is a most gladdening statement. It shows the glory of what God can do with unqualified men and women who simply yielded to God for his use. It is not of us, but God who makes us capable. He is the one who equips us. He alone knows how he manages leaking vessels like us to bring forth his tasks to completion. In verse 3 he said, “you are epistles written by us but not with ink, rather by the holy spirit”. We are just unsuitable mediums, but God uses us anyway, through the power of the holy ghost, to bring forth his intention in the lives of people.
So where is our boast? Christ alone is the one who makes us sufficient. He alone supplies the ability to do whatever we have ever been able to do. And all glory must duly be returned to him. This is also our advantage and our confidence as believers. When we stand to minister, we need not look in ourselves for ability or strength we must rather look unto him who makes us sufficient. The one who qualifies us. The one who equips us. Thank you sweet Jesus for the opportunity to be part of your great plan. Thank you for recruiting us into your service. That alone is enough. All glory to your holy name forever and ever, Amen! Amen!!