2 Cor 3:2-3
2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2 Cor 3:2-3
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.
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.
2 Cor 3:2-3
2 The only letter I need is you yourselves!
By looking at the good change in your hearts, everyone can see that we have done a good work among you.
3 They can see that you are a letter from Christ, written by us.
It is not a letter written with pen and ink, but by the Spirit of the living God; not one carved on stone, but in human hearts.
There are different ‘kinds’ of letters
Some letters are written in bold for emphasis
Some letters are written containing italics to highlight
Some letters are short.
Some letters are long.
Some letters carry urgent messages
Some letters are just informative.
Some letters announce
Some letters demand…..(bill collectors)
SEEING THE BELEIVERS ARE ‘LIVING LETTERS’, WHAT DOES THE WORLD READ WHEN IT SEES US? ARE WE ‘LETTERS OF CHRIST’?
| Letter Writing |
| /Ron Walters / |
| Letter writing is a lost art, and it's a real shame.
Email, with its ease and speed, has become the communiqué de jour.
But the email phenomenon will never duplicate the gritty character of good ol' written letters.
Can email deliver the familiar scent of delicate perfume?
Can email contain those annoying little sparkly things that spill into your lap?
Does email allow you to emphatically pound the exclamation key so hard it bores a hole through the page?
In short, email has no attitude.
It can't strut.
\\ \\ Without fanfare, history was recorded through written letters.
It was in a letter to Queen Isabella that Christopher Columbus first broke the news of the new world.
It was in a letter to his colleagues that Galileo first revealed the secrets of his telescope.
It was in a letter to his children that Louis Pasteur first exposed the medical marvel of inoculation.
It was in a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt that pacifist Albert Einstein explained how to build, and why we needed, the atom bomb.
\\ \\ Letters often tell more about the writer than they do the subject.
Leonardo da Vinci, perhaps the world's greatest artist, wrote to the Duke of Milan applying for his dream job-that of a soldier.
William Randolph Hearst, the man who preached, "Never let the facts interfere with a good story," wrote his father with a strategy to make the San Francisco Examiner more profitable: "Let's hire naïve young men from the east who still believe there's fortune to be found in the west."
\\ \\ Sometimes letters even tell us what we don't want to know.
Edgar Allen Poe, for example, wrote dark, pornographic love letters to women.
On the other hand, Benjamin Franklin sounded like a total geek when he wrote of love.
Their writings were true reflections of their souls.
WWII introduced V(ictory)-mail: A short one-page form that was fed into a photocopier, reduced to film, and carried to military bases around the world.
The letters were then reproduced and delivered to lonely G.I.s.
Unfortunately, the technology bogged down as heavy lipstick imprints on the V-mails kept jamming the photocopiers.
\\ \\ Flashback nineteen wide centuries: Letters, especially from the Apostle Paul, the churches' chief correspondent, were the most talked about documents of their day.
They were the broadcasting system of the early church.
Each new delivery was read and reread by those who were eager to know more of their newfound faith.
His letters became the church's sermon notes and Sunday school curriculum all rolled into one.
\\ \\ So closely was letter writing associated with the church, that Paul used this metaphor when he referred to the church at Corinth as his personal "letter of endorsement."
Their changed lives validated his ministry.
The proof was in their pudding.
They were an example of what God's word can do in a person's life.
\\ \\ It's a gutsy move to allow your congregation-as Paul did-to be read as a testament of your work, for your parishioners to be living presentations of your ministry, seen and studied for the life changing effects that come from God's word.
\\ \\ But scripture is filled with living billboards whose lives took on a decidedly different tone when confronted with the truth.
\\ ~* Matthew, once a tax collector but now an Apostle.
\\ ~* Mary Magdalene, once demon possessed but now a follower of Christ.
\\ ~* Nicodemus, once a ruler of the Jews but now caring for the crucified Savior.
\\ ~* The woman at the well, once morally bankrupt but now an evangelist.
\\ \\ Each believer's life becomes a letter to the world, "known and read by all men...a letter of Christ...written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts."
\\ \\ Each week you write another chapter in their lives.
Write them well; they'll be remembered for eternity.
*3:1–6 *The false teachers in Corinth constantly attacked Paul’s competency as a minister of the gospel; these verses form his defense.
*3:1 *Because Paul did not want to allow the false teachers to accuse him of being proud, he began his defense by posing two questions rather than making any overt claims.
*Do we begin again to commend ourselves?
*The Gr. word for “commend” means “to introduce.”
Thus Paul was asking the Corinthians if he needed to reintroduce himself, as if they had never met, and prove himself once more.
The form of the question demanded a negative answer.
*/letters/ of commendation.
*The false teachers also accused Paul of not possessing the appropriate documents to prove his legitimacy.
Such letters were often used to introduce and authenticate someone to the first-century churches (cf. 1 Cor.
16:3, 10, 11).
The false teachers undoubtedly arrived in Corinth with such letters, which they may have forged (cf.
Acts 15:1, 5) or obtained under false pretenses from prominent members of the Jerusalem church.
Paul’s point was that he did not need secondhand testimony when the Corinthians had firsthand proof of his sincere and godly character, as well as the truth of his message that regenerated them.
*3:2 written in our hearts.
*An affirmation of Paul’s affection for the believers in Corinth—he held them close to his heart (cf.
*known and read by all men.
*The transformed lives of the Corinthians were Paul’s most eloquent testimonial, better than any secondhand letter.
Their changed lives were like an open letter that could be seen and read by all men as a testimony to Paul’s faithfulness and the truth of his message.
*3:3 epistle of Christ.
*The false teachers did not have a letter of commendation signed by Christ, but Paul had the Corinthian believers’ changed lives as proof that Christ had transformed them.
*written not with ink.
*Paul’s letter was no human document written with ink that can fade.
It was a living one.
*Spirit of the living God.
*Paul’s letter was alive, written by Christ’s divine, supernatural power through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor.
2:4, 5; 1 Thess.
*tablets of stone.
*A reference to the Ten Commandments (/see notes on Ex. 24:12; 25:16/).
*tablets of flesh … of the heart.
*More than just writing His law on stone, God was writing His law on the hearts of those people He transformed (cf.