14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
Ministers of the New Covenant
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Co 2:14–3:6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Witness
We have a bias in our country and especially within the church toward those who can read. We used to write books and letters. Today we write blogs and emails. We've moved from the stone chisel, through the quill pen and typewriter, to digital texts on our phones. Through it all, the church has maintained a focus on the written word find as scripture and as witness to God at work. Little wonder that so many schools and colleges were originally founded by churches…
Corinth lived in the collision of religions that ran the gamut between the very word-based religion of the Jews and the very experiential religion of the pagan Gentiles. The Church was born right in the middle of all this and had members who had come from both sides.
Paul could have taken one side or the other. Most times Paul, who was a Jew himself, sided more with the culture of the Gentiles. Not because he thought they were better than the Jews, but because he thought God was strong enough to redeem anyone - that no one was to far for God to reach. So instead of insisting that former Gentiles learn to read Hebrew and memorize scripture the way the Jews used to do in their culture, He insists that in the new covenant, we are called to be living scripture. That God no longer writes on stone or paper, He writes on our hearts that all might come to know Him through His people.
That is a call to witness for our churches and our families. Every time I participate in a funeral, I try to recognize what scripture was written on the heart of the life we celebrate. What scripture did they live out? What scripture do you live out?
Reflection: If you were the only bible those around you would ever read, what would they read in you? What scriptures do your family live out so that others may come to know God more?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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