II Corinthians 3:1-18 deserves particular ministerial attention and at least two message preached from it. I preached the first one Sunday, 2/2/20 from verses 12-18, based on verses 1-11. The second one will be preached 2/9/20. Consider in the blogs this week how New Testament scripture teaches the life of Christ in Ministry as the fulfillment of Old Testament teaching and through the Holy Spirit to the church. Read each passage before reading the suggested interpretation.
1. Paul’s entire life proved so authentic he needed only write to be heard and believed. Jesus embodied that characteristic and shared it with his apostles. Everything in them advertised integrity and character! All of God’s preachers need such authenticity.
2. While Law is necessarily codified, God’s grace is always best when LIVED. Law, unless changed, is finalized once inscribed; grace continues expanding in every mind and heart once invited to rule, bringing increasing spiritual maturity.
3. Preaching God’s word at any level always produces results, the deeper the study the greater the results. If preachers want living spiritual epistles of their people, not dead letters of no influence, they must accustom themselves to more in-depth study of, not mere reading-of, God’s word.
4. That consistently provides disciples who mature from lower to higher levels of faith, advancing from glory to glory in the wisdom of God through Christ.
5. While Bible truth usually seems to handle us roughly by our having so little polished faith and habits, Christ’s Spirit gently but firmly caresses us with grace, not bludgeons us with Law. As the motto of Ozark Christian College says, we teach the word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ. End Part I