who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 NABRE
In the opening of chapter three of this second letter to the community at Corinth, Paul seems to be responding about letters of recommendations. It was common in the early church that missionaries had letters recommending them, it was a way they could be vouched to the local church. Paul claims that the community at Corinth is his letter engraved in his heart for all to see, a declaration of his love for them and that their way of living a life of love is readily available for all to see. It is this mention of heart that has Paul thinking about the passage from Ezekiel (36:26-27) where God promises to replace their stony heart with hearts of flesh and further thinking about Jeremiah’s (31:31) proclamation that God intends a new covenant written in the hearts of the people. Paul knows he is not qualified on his own to be a minister but it is through God that he acknowledges success, all qualifications come from God. Paul credits God qualifying him as a minister of the new covenant. Paul recognizes the letter as the tablets from Moses, an early covenant of Law. The Law was a covenant that moved people toward the good, but it could only identify sin and wrong doing. True transformation requires life in the Spirit, who transforms the follower to be a person who loves and cares for others. The Law can only identify death and those doing wrong, but the Spirit brings life, breathing new life into a follower.
God declared a new covenant written in our hearts. Paul is describing this covenant and recognizing in the heart of the person or the community the Spirit of life lives.
Do you let your heart shine? Do you have the Spirit of life in you?God declared a new covenant written in our hearts. Paul is describing this covenant and recognizing in the heart of the person or the community the Spirit of life lives. Click To Tweet
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