Faithlife Sermons

Christ's Living Epistles

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:34:14
0 ratings
· 11 views
Files
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Text
2 Corinthians 3:1–3 NKJV
Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
Opening Questions
What makes an epistle “alive”?
When do we become “living epistles” of Christ?

Main Points

The Word of God under the New Covenant

The Word of God is written by the Spirit of God

(The comparison is with epistles written with ink on parchments.)
The original Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone
Exodus 24:12 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
Exodus 31:18 NKJV
And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.
Note: Jewish tradition says that the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets of sapphire.
Sapphire is “aluminum oxide”. When rocks that are low on silica but rich in aluminum, are heated at high temperature, sapphire crystals will form.
Deuteronomy 33:2 NKJV
And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand Came a fiery law for them.
Note: Sapphire is a gemstone that makes up the throne of God and the pavement under it.
Exodus 24:10 NKJV
and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.
Ezekiel 1:26 NKJV
And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.
The Covenant of Grace is written by the same Fire of God
It was prophesied by John
Luke 3:16 NKJV
John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
It was seen at Pentecost
Acts 2:1–3 NKJV
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

The Holy Spirit was meant to transform life.

The tablets of stone were transformed when it was touched by the Fire of God.
The Law is perfect and able to “convert” a soul
Psalm 19:7 NKJV
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The tablets of flesh - the heart - will only be changed when touched by the Holy Spirit of God.
Israel was not transformed by the Law because they did not come near God.
We are exhorted to draw near to God by a new and living way!
Hebrews 10:19–22 NKJV
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

The Word of God today is written on tablets of flesh - the heart

(The comparison is with the Old Testament written on tablets of stone)
The Old Covenant - on tablets of stone
the stone reflects the nature of the Law - firm, unchanging, unforgiving
The New Covenant - on the heart
the heart reflects the nature of Grace - loving, merciful, from the heart of God!
Ephesians 2:1–5 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Romans 5:7–8 NKJV
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 NKJV
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Note: The High Priest in the O.T. wore a breastplate of judgment, with 12 gemstones set on it.
Exodus 28:15–21 NKJV
“You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.
[SEE ILLUSTRATION - breastplate]
This meant 2 things
Israel was precious to God
Israel could have become gemstones in the heart of God had the Fire of God touched their lives.
The Word of God was written by the Fire of God in our hearts so we can become precious gemstones before God!
Note - there are no ordinary rocks in heaven, everything is made of gemstone or precious stones - they were all touched by the fire of God!

The Word of God is alive

In the O.T. the Word was hidden in the Ark, in the Most Holy Place - It was practically invisible.
They knew it was touched by fire, but no one can see it up close to gaze on the transforming power of God.
Today, the Word of God is alive and walking around in the person of every believer!
2 Corinthians 3:2 NKJV
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
God wants His Word KNOWN by all men!
God wants His Word READ by all men!
God wants the world to what happens when ordinary rock is touched by His Fire!

Conclusion

Have you been touched by the Fire of God?
Go and walk around. Display the Word of God in your life!
Related Media
Related Sermons