Summary: This wonderful passage of Scripture gives us an accreditation of ministry. It seems like there is much that opposes God’s work today just as there was opposition against the labors of the Apostle Paul in his work with Jesus Christ.
Turn your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 3:2-4
Title: Enjoying Christ’s Epistle Among Us
Theme: Christ Working In and Through Doris Stump
Series: Pillars of the Local Church
Listen as I read 2 Corinthians 3:2-4, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.” Let us pray!
Introduction: This wonderful passage of Scripture gives us an accreditation of ministry. It seems like there is much that opposes God’s work today just as there was opposition against the labors of the Apostle Paul in his work with Jesus Christ. Opposition can come from people who stand against the work of the Lord or it may be the intimidation that causes workers to question the effectiveness of their labors in the “Great Commission.” This intimidation builds its strength through a world view evaluation, that result of sin that causes workers for the Lord to determine their value through the size of the church or ministry in which they serve. The fact is regardless of the opposition, Christians must find their strength in Christ and be hungry for God’s approval in their labors with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians who attend CrossRoads and the United Methodist Church in Long Island, Kansas, can say as the Apostle Paul, “‘Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God,’ the Lord is at work among us.
The Apostle Paul realized how the false apostles would take a swipe at the creditability of his labors with the Lord Jesus Christ and try to destroy the work God was doing not only through him but through those who served sacrificially with him. Paul’s confidence would not rest in the approval of man, but in the work of the Holy Spirit, taking the words they have taught in Christ Name and writing them in the hearts of those who respond to the gospel message. His faith was in the power of God to do a great work among the people to whom he ministered to in Christ.
Interrogative Sentence: Just how can the local Body of believers enjoy God doing a work among them as the Holy Spirit anoints the children of God? It is imperative that Christians make themselves aware of and focus on the truth, God does not anoint buildings or programs, the Holy Spirit anoints obedient Christians who are sold out to the cause of Christ. The Body of Christ is not the beautiful buildings or grounds where they gather to worship, but those who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Christ. (Romans 8:10; 1 Corinthians 3:16)
Transitional Sentence: The first step to enjoying the Lord’s work among His people is to catch the truth, that God uses human vessels as instruments to proclaim the Word of God about Christ so people may believe in the Lord and be saved. The Apostle Paul told those in the Corinthian church that they were, “the results of their ministry.” The Bible says, “ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ …Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14-17)
There was one life who heard the message of Christ and came to truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, Doris Isabel Stump. Her life is a powerful testimony of the life changing work of Christ. She is an epistle worthy of reading.
There were three men who had the call of God to “preach” and teach God’s Word to Doris. God’s grace was evidently working through them as they had an influence in Doris’ life. It was through the ministry of Pastors Richard Krenz, Jerry Vincent and Ronald Scheimo that Doris grew to enjoy serving the Lord. It should be noted that other men of God and faithful servants of the Lord also planted the seeds of God’s Word into Doris’ life. However, it was the Lord working through the three pastors already mentioned that Doris got involved in long time service to both CrossRoads and the Long Island United Methodist Churches.
The purpose of this compilation of testimonials is for a memorial of Christ working in and through the life of Doris Stump as she faithfully served her Savior and Lord in these two Bodies of Christ since the early 1970’s. Both congregations speak of Doris Isabel Stump as the Apostle Paul did of the early church, “…we thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe [in Christ].” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) Doris was always very appreciative of men and women who have the gift to preach and teach God’s Word. While serving the Lord in the prime of her spiritual service she knew the difference between a Holy Spirit anointed preacher and a hireling, a true shepherd of the flock of God from a denominationally approved man.