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Reflecting the Glory of God

One of the chief ways which God helps us to endure and persevere is by the supernatural support He provides through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside of all believers in Christ Jesus (John 14:16-17), and it is through the Spirit's ministry that we receive the power to do all that God wants us to do, whether it be spiritual growth, personal ministry, or bearing up under hardship. Because of the high degree of confusion among contemporary Christians regarding the Holy Spirit's ministry, it may be helpful for us to consider the exact nature of His work “on our behalf.” Writing to the heresy-prone Corinthians, Paul explores this question in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 3. “Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 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” (2 Corinthians 3:1-3).

Paul begins by criticising the Corinthian church's use of the secular practice of writing "letters of recommendation." The Corinthians were apparently being hoodwinked by a parade of traveling charlatans who carried such letters from other Christian communities and leaders. Things had degenerated to the point where the Corinthians were more impressed with these relatively unknown "dinner-circuit speakers" than with the true apostles, simply because of their "good credentials." No doubt they were good speakers too, with polished lines, and titillating rhetorical flourishes which kept the Corinthians entertained. However, this Spirit was not leading them! Does’t this sound familiar? Here, Paul is exasperated by the Corinthians' attitude, and rightly so. For they have put more emphasis in man's approval (as represented by the letters of recommendation) than in God's approval!

For the rest of the pastors notes, click here...

Chris Demetriou, 06/11/2011

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