Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
Sufficient Credentials for Life and Ministry
2 Corinthians 3:1-6
27 December 2015
The world holds self-confidence as elementary for success in life. But what about believers? In continuing his address to the Corinthian church, Paul answers this question in Second Corinthians 3:1 - 6.
First, where does a believer's credentials for life and ministry come from? What qualifies him to be a servant of God? The Apostle Paul faced this same problem when challenged by false prophets. But instead of appealing to confidence in self, he appeals to the Corinthian church, "a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God" (v. 3). This was Paul's credentials: that God had saved people through Him, and was therefore working through Him.
Christians must learn to hold to the same: that God is working because of His power, not because of an individual's talent. This, then, is the Christian's credentials and letter of approval: God's work through us, evidenced in those He chooses to save. After all, living credentials of changed lives far exceed written ones.
But what about our sufficiency and strength for these things? While the world and its culture look to qualifications, programs, and training, Paul's confidence was placed "through Christ, toward God" (v. 4). Paul's confidence in the Gospel was tightly bound to his calling by God to preach it. All Christians are called to preach the Gospel, and are made "sufficient as servants of a new covenant" (v. 6) by God, and are therefore more than equipped to go out and preach the Gospel.
As a Christian, where do your credentials come from, and what is the source of your sufficiency for life and ministry? May we look to God, and our lives be a sweet letter of Christ.