THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
II Cor. 3:4-6
February 2, 2003
INTRODUCTION: This text contrasts the "letter" (law)
and the "Spirit" (the New Covenant). By "letter" Paul
meant the Old Mosaic Covenant which was a document
externally imposed on its adherents. "Spirit"
characterizes the New Covenant which provides an
internal change wrought by the Spirit of God. (II
While Paul recognized the ministry and special
experience in the giving and the receiving of the law,
he felt that the "ministry of the Spirit' was superior
(v.8). He saw every effort to mix certain elements of
the Old Covenant with the New Covenant as a
prostituting of the gospel and an undermining of the
work of the Spirit. Instead of freedom and liberty,
he felt that it introduced condemnation and death (vv.
The Old Covenant became the religion of struggling to
impress God with one's goodness, of endless rules and
regulations governing every conceivable area of one's
life, of outward conformity and worrying about
appearance, and of spiritual pride and competition.
In this form of religion Paul insisted that he
outperformed them all and found in it death and not
Philippians 3:4, "though I also might have confidence
in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have
confidence in the flesh, I more so."
In these verses Paul gives some of the reasons for the
superiority of the MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT (New
I. THE MOTIVATION FOR THIS MINISTRY. 4
"trust" - confidence; Christ is the mediating agent of
confidence, God being the source. Paul had conviction
supplied by Christ Himself and was a confidence that
would stand up before God.
Trust carries the connation of staying power.
v.4 translates "We can believe this with such
confidence because we believe it through Christ and in
the sight of God"
Paul's confidence before God in claiming that the
Corinthians were a letter written by C ...
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