2 Corinthians 3 – November 17
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude (circling back to Corinthians in November), I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
2 Corinthians 3
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 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.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 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.
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone 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 freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Letters | Becky Newman
2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Paul is talking about how each believer is a letter of recommendation for the ministry of Jesus. God is bigger than a piece of paper and a human signature. His glory and authority can be seen in the actions that come from our hearts. The contrast in the last part of verse 3 is referencing the 10 Commandments as a letter given to us through Moses, but this letter was of the law, the Old Covenant, which did not offer life through Jesus. We are letters of the New Covenant with forgiveness and eternal rewards.
These verses for me are a perfect reflection on the last five months we’ve spent studying the letters in the New Testament, Romans through Jude, which we’ll finish at the end of this month. The letters of the Bible exude God’s love for us and show practical ways we can pour out this love on others. They also reveal how we are not showing God’s love to others. Our culture is losing letter writing as a tool of communication, in exchange for short electronic blurbs here and there that are forgotten quickly. But these verses give hope. We are the letters today, God-orchestrated beautiful letters detailing His creation that jump off the page and act in love to others. That’s a testimony to God’s love!
Lord, may my letter glorify You! Continue to remind me that my actions need to reflect You to others so that more will choose to pass through the gates of eternity. Thank You for writing Your letter on my heart!
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.