Summary: As Christians #1 We are living letters, not #2 letters of death but #3 letters of hope.


• Do you remember when people would write letters?

• Even though letter writing is still a good way of communication, I would say most people do not utilize it much anymore.

• People do still send cards to celebrate different occasions but how many people truly sit down and write letters today?

• I'm not talking about business letters but personal letters; letters that tell a story about someone's life.

• Today, email, texting, facebook messages have surpassed letter writing

• Those are much quicker forms of communication and you don't have to buy a stamp to put on them so it is no wonder why this form of communication has surpassed letter writing.

• Even though traditional letter writing isn't utilized that much anymore living letters still exist!

• In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul discusses living letters.

• As Christians #1 We are living letters, not #2 letters of death but #3 letters of hope.

• Pray

We are Living Letters

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

• As I stated, writing personal letters is something that for the most part has gone by the wayside.

• However, people still write letters of recommendation or even cover letters for their resume.

• There were false teachers/apostles that had come to instruct the Corinthians and many had bought into their teachings.

• Paul refers to these false apostles previously in 2 Corinthians 2:17

• We see Paul go through this back and forth with the Corinthians correcting some of their behavior.

• When these false apostles showed up to Corinth they had brought along with them letters of recommendation.

• These letters of recommendation were used by early Christians to introduce themselves when they would enter a new town.

• We still use recommendations on resumes today as a means to get to know the person and their work that much more.

• Paul, however did not feel the need to use these letters of recommendation.

• He tells the Corinthians that you are our living letters!

• Look at v2 again

• What Paul is saying is that the Corinthians are the fruit of His ministry - His proof of being used as an Apostle by Jesus Christ.

• Why bring a letter when the proof is standing before you, living and breathing right before your very eyes!

• Did Paul change the Corinthians?

• Did Paul save them and transform them? No!

• However he was obedient to serve Jesus Christ and Christ did a mighty work through Paul.

• I wonder when people look at us, who proclaim to be Christians, I wonder what they read?

• Paul was saying that you could look at the Corinthians and read or see transformation through Jesus Christ.

• When people look at our lives can they tell that we have been transformed through salvation in Jesus Christ?

• Can they tell that He is now the Lord of our lives?

• Are you a Living Letter representing Jesus Christ?

Letters of Death

2 Corinthians 3:7-11

• Paul was preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ but there were false apostles in Corinth as well.

• Who were these false apostles?

• These false apostles can be characterized as Judaizers.

• A Judaizer was one who added an extra layer to the gospel.

• A Judaizer taught that you must obey the Law in addition to believing in Jesus Christ.

• Now we know that in order for one to be saved that person must accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

• However the Judaizers could not break loose of their traditions, their customs and most of all, the Law.

• Paul begins to explain the differences between the Law of Moses and the Grace of Jesus Christ.

• The Law is represented in the Old Testament, the Old Covenant and the Grace of Jesus Christ is represented in the New Testament, the New Covenant.

• Through the Law we discover that we are sinners.

• Have you ever read the ten commandments and felt an overwhelming sense of guilt?

• It is because the Law is given to convict sinners; it condemns

• It is through the Law that we realize that we are in a wrong relationship with God and that we need forgiveness.

• However there was more to the Law.

• The Law gave dietary regulations, a schedule of festivals, taught how to deal with unclean people, etc.

• There is so much to the Law that we do not practice today.

• Why? Jesus Christ supersedes the Law.

• Jesus Christ did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.

• We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

• We are not saved by faith in Jesus Christ plus works, plus keeping traditions, plus keeping ceremonial laws, etc.

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