Summary: A sermon from 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 for the start of the Christmas season
It’s that time of the year to get our Christmas cards and letters in the mail. I am all for Christmas cards and I enjoy receiving them but Christmas letters can be difficult to make and difficult to receive. Some problems with a detailed Christmas letter outlining our lives over the last year.
We give our activities over the past year like a shopping list. No commentary, boring.
We try to make ourselves and the past year sound better than humanly possible. People grow sick of our self promotion.
We are painful honest but suck all the joy out of the holidays and the past year.
Family members get upset because we say unflattering things about them or they misunderstand what we say about them.
Leave some family member or friend out of the letter and they are upset.
Paul knew the dangers of writing a Christmas letter or of posting things on Facebook or Twitter. Therefore, he did not do that in these verses. Yes he did but not with ink or paper or keyboard.
Thesis: Let’s talk about Paul’s (and every Christian’s) letter.
We are the letter (Vs. 3- You show that you are a letter)
Not that Paul never wrote a letter, he did because 2 Corithians is a letter. However, he is saying that the most important letters are the ones written by our lives.
Dead Poets Society- the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Our letter is dictated by Christ (vs. 3- from Christ)
The greatest of all, Jesus Christ- the Son of Man and the Son of God, wrote nothing (yes, John 8 says that he wrote on the ground with his finger but we don’t know what he wrote)
John describes him as the Word. The Word come down from heaven. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” 1 John 1:1, NIV. Jesus was the ultimate Word or letter sent from God.
In the same vein, we are to be letters dictated by Christ. Christians, little Christ’s.
Our letter is written not with pen and ink or with a keyboard but with the Spirit of the living God (Vs. 3)
The Holy Spirit through the Word of God, the Bible, convicts us of our sins. When we are convicted of our sins, we respond to the gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by belief, repentance, confession, and baptism. Acts 2:38 says that we receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives within us. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”” Galatians 4:6, NIV. What does He do within us beside this?
Helps us to live the Christian life. We want to please the Lord by following His commands. When God gave the OT Law, He wrote it on tablets of stone. In the OT sense the law is external thing, and we need something within us to be enabled to do those commands.
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18, NIV. We need something inside of us
Our letter is written not on paper or on an electronic gadget but on the heart (Vs. 3- Not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts)
““This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”” Hebrews 10:16, NIV.
The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life- 2 Corinthians 3:6
This letter is known and read by everybody (Vs. 2)
Everybody that we come in contact with reads us. Every Christian should let his Christianity be visible before the world. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16, NIV.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one anyday. Christians' lives are the only Christian books the world reads. IGNATIUS wrote, "Give unbelievers the chance of believing through you.”
A NEW CONVERT TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD BEEN SAVED BY READING A COPY OF THE FIFTH GOSPEL. No, it wasn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. It was the Gospel according to Mike the butcher. Mike was an earnest Christian whose godly life and testimony had been used of God to save this man.
This letter is meaningful to others (Vs. 2- Written on our hearts)