Summary: We are living epistles that others may see and glorify our Father.
Living Epistles 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Throughout the bible we find that we as Christians have been compared to many things. We have been compared to branches. I am the true vine, ye are the “branches”. We have been compared to salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” We have been compared to lights, “Ye are the light of the world.” We have even been compared to sheep “My sheep know my voice and a stranger will they not here.”
Here in II Cor. 3:2-3 we are compared to epistles. An epistle is a letter. You and I are epistiles, or letters written with the spirit of the living God.
Letters carry messages. There are friendly letters, thank you letters, letters of congratulations, letters of sympathy, love letters and we even have “Dear John” letters. There are many kinds of letters, however, Christians are meant to be living letters of Jesus Christ, bearing a message of good tiding of great joy unto a dying world.
If it is at all possible, the United States Post Office sees to it that the mail is delivered. Rain does not stop the postman. Snow and ice does not stop him. Storm, floods and blizzards may slow him down, but the mail will eventually be delivered. You and I ought to be determined to deliver the message this morning that there is hope in Christ Jesus.
In our text, we find that there were attitudes in the Corinthian church which were hindering the delivery of the message of God. Just like we have attitudes today, not only in the world, but attitudes in this church that is hindering the delivery of the message of God. Attitudes of selfishness. Attitudes of non-commitment. Attitudes of Pride. Attitudes of Big I’s and Little U’s. Attitudes of I don’t like the way he spoke to me. Attitudes of I don’t like the way she looked at me. Did you not know that your altitude depends on your attitude. In other words, how high you can go in Christ depends on your attitude towards Christ. If you have a low attitude you will have a low altitude.
Paul told the Corinthian church that your attitudes are keeping you from showing progress in the Christian faith. Because of your attitudes, you are only spirital babies in the Christian life. You should have grown more than that. You should have matured in the faith. But because of your attitude you are still babies in Christ.
Throughout the pages of the bible God continually calls man to live a life of holiness. In Romans 12:1 “Present your body as a living sacrifice Holy and acceptable unto God.” Ephesians 1: 4 “We should be Holy and without Blame”. 1 Peter 2:5 “Be ye holy for I am holy”. In Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost”. In 1 Peter 2:9 “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation.” In Romans 16:16 “Salute one another with an Holy kiss”. In Exodus 2:5 “God even told Moses to take off his shoes because the ground that you are standing on is Holy Ground.”
Why is God so concerned with the concept of holiness? Many folk don’t like to talk about being Holy in this time and age. We are living in a time when we can talk about the weather and we can talk about news and we can talk about things that are not important at all. But nobody wants to talk about Holiness. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away and behold all things have become new. When we look at ourselves, we ought to look at ourselves through holy eyes. We can look at our hands….
In our text. Let’s look at 2 Cor. 3:2. I believe that the Apostle Paul makes an interesting statement that will help us understand one of the reasons that God puts such a big emphasis on holiness.
In Verse 2 it says “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men.
Paul says to the Corinthian converts and to the disciples that you are living letters.
Here we find Paul’s letter is personalized permanent and public. It is personalized- our epistle. It is permanent—written in our hearts; public – known and read of all men.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a letter? Have you ever thought of yourself as a living communication. Somebody said that the only Bible that some folk will see is you. The only way that some folk will ever hear about somebody who is able to save anybody is that you tell them. The only way that some folk will ever know a saviour that is able to pick them up and turn them around is that you and I introduce them to him.