In today’s reading from the New Testament (2 Corinthians 3), Paul reminds the Corinthian church that as believers in Christ, they (and all believers) are ministers of the “New Covenant”. The New Covenant may be described as a new relationship between God and mankind established by Jesus Christ for all who place their faith in the finished work that Jesus accomplished by His life, death, and resurrection, securing the forgiveness of our sins. So, all who believe participate in this New Covenant and are recipients of the many blessings of this New Covenant.

Paul also reminds the Corinthians (and us) that our ability to fulfill this ministry lies not in ourselves but in God. Paul first alluded to this in yesterday’s reading (2 Corinthians 2:16) “…Who is sufficient for these things?” (ESV) Working in cross cultural ministry for the past 30+ years, I am continually reminded of these last words and of 3:5 “our sufficiency is from God…”

As I write this blog, I am sitting at a hotel desk in the capital city of the largest country in South Asia. I am in the midst of a 2-week trip with two colleagues visiting leaders of national organizations committed to providing God’s word to all the remaining people groups of their country. This afternoon, I sat in on a presentation outlining their vision for training additional Bible Translation workers; our fellow “ministers of the New Covenant.”  Who is sufficient for these things? I am again reminded that OUR sufficiency comes from God.

But you don’t have to go halfway around the world to be a minister of the New Covenant. God has called each of us to be ministers wherever He has placed us. Paul is reminding us that our sufficiency does not come from our own strength, but from God. Take comfort and courage in this truth.

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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