Updated 4 Mar 2020
- Mark 12 - The Widow's Offering
- Mark 11 - The Triumphal Entry
- Mark 10 - The Rich Young Ruler
- Mark 9 - The Transfiguration
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2 Corinthians 3
Paul has a real heart for the Christians in Corinth. He is aware that some of the leaders have questions about him but his desire is that they should know the hope that there is in the risen Christ, the freedom that there is in Christ and the glory that there is in Christ.
Letters of Recommendation
It is wise to be discerning about people who come to the church, because some can be a blessing and some can be destructive. One way of helping this process was the practice of having a letter from your church, recommending you to another church. The motive for this was good and intended to protect the church. However, it could sometimes be heavy-handed or oppressive. Paul contends that our lives should be a letter and that God's Spirit at work within us will commend us as being genuine in Christ. Paul did not need a letter of recommendation, because his life and ministry spoke powerfully of his relationship with God. He was a respected minister of the Gospel, because of God’s work in his life. He states that he is a minister of a New Covenant. The New Covenant does not ignore the law of God but rejoices in the grace of God, which means that we are accepted in Christ, even though we fall short of God's standards.
The New Covenant
The Old Covenant was engraved in letters on stone, when Moses received the Ten Commandments and the glory of God was seen on the face of Moses. This was a key moment in the life of Israel, because the Ten Commandments revealed the character of God and His standards which, if his people obeyed them, would make them very distinctive from other nations. However, this righteous law also revealed how sinful the human heart is and how desperate we are for God's mercy. Paul is writing about the New Covenant, which brings righteousness and freedom from sin. The glory which shone out of Jesus, is also able to shine out of us!
Our Position in Christ
We are able to be full of hope and to be very bold, because of what Jesus has done for us. We are able to have a personal relationship with God, we can be in His presence and we do not require a veil to cover our faces, because Christ removes every barrier which would separate us from God. The Spirit of the Lord has touched our hearts and brought us into a wonderful freedom before God. We know that we are sinners, but the grace of God means that we can enter His presence and in His presence, we are being changed and made more like Him. The glory of the believer can never come from self-effort or any human plan but, rather, it comes from Jesus himself. What Paul is presenting here is a life-changing experience. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we become like Him and, therefore, the more other people will see Jesus in us.
Points to Consider:
- What precautions do you take when welcoming new people into your church
- What qualifications are you looking for, before receiving someone as a member of your church
- What part did the Old Covenant play in God's purposes to bring us to Christ?
- How much do we enjoy the freedom that the New Covenant brings and how do we avoid legalism?
- What can we do to receive more of the glory of God in our lives, knowing that when we get to heaven, the glory will be overwhelming?
God bless you!
Bible Study: 2 Corinthians 3
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