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.
Strangely, the word “minister” has been simultaneously enlarged and diminished from its original meaning. Think about it like this: We typically hold ministers in high regard, as though they are somehow more holy than the rest of us and have special access to God that the average Christian doesn’t experience. At the same time, we limit the role of minister to those people who are called to and serving in vocational Christian ministry. However, the New Covenant given to us in Christ is meant to have implications of ministry in the life of every believer.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 isn’t meant to be self-deprecating. Instead, it’s amazing, confidence-giving fact. There is no hierarchy within the body of Christ, no one minister more adequate or responsible than the rest. God has equipped and empowered every believer to carry out His New Covenant ministry, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are believers in Christ, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and, as such, each sufficient as ministers of the gospel! Paul understood this and refused to get too high or too low regarding the ministry activities he experienced. Whether people criticized him or praised him had no bearing on God’s call on his life to be a minister of the New Covenant. It wasn’t Paul’s ministry; it was God’s. It’s not any one particular minister’s ministry; it’s God’s. It’s not your ministry; it’s God’s! This truth frees us to serve when we think we have nothing to give and gives us the right perspective when we see the fruit of His ministry.
• In what sense is every single believer in Christ a minister of the New Covenant?
• How does God equip us for ministry? What is one way God has equipped you in the past or is currently equipping you to be a minister of the New Covenant?
• Thank God for entrusting you with His New Covenant ministry. Invite Him to continue transforming and equipping you so that you might carry out the ministry He has given you with the freedom and boldness it is meant to express.