2 Corinthians 3:4-12
Jeff Overton, lead pastor
Beulah Baptist Church, Douglasville
It has been my joy to have been blessed by the ministry of many people who have served in the positions of pastors and other church leaders. These are people who answered a specific call of God on their lives. Many have come to the wrong conclusion that only these “specifically called” people are the ministers of God. The Bible says that all believers are ministers of the gospel.
In Eph. 4:11-13 the Bible tells those that are called to specific ministries to do so to equip the saints for ministry. All believers are involved in ministry. Paul, in our text for this week, talks about our God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of the new covenant.
Ministry is not for just a few select people. Ministry is for all, and doing the work of ministry makes one a minister.
Paul tells us we all can serve with confidence in this role of minister. Paul knew this confidence came from the grace of God. He knew that God had called Him to this task.
His confidence was in seeing what the grace of God had done in his own life. This is a big change for a man who used to be confident in his opposition to the Christian faith. He would boast of all the accomplishments he had in the Jewish faith. He had considered himself a Hebrew of Hebrews.
Paul no longer draws his confidence from what he had accomplished and finds his confidence only in the power of the grace of God and what He had done in Paul’s life. This is the confidence that we also can have. We have the privilege of sharing in ministry because of the grace of God in our lives. If we have truly encountered this powerful grace, we, like Paul, can serve with confidence because of the work of God in our lives.
Paul also points out that ministers serve God by presenting His righteousness and not a righteousness of our own. In verses 7-10 Paul compares the glory of God seen in the law and in Moses coming down from the mountain with the tablets in his hands. Paul talks of the law as being a “ministry of death” because of the fact that the law alone could not save as the ministry of righteousness in Christ could. He pointed out the glory of God seen on the face of Moses had to be hidden but in the ministry of righteousness found in Christ, the veil has been taken away.
There is no doubt the glory of God was there in the giving of the law. It was seen on the face of Moses but hidden from the people. What a contrast with the fact that the faces of all who have surrendered to the glory of God, in His grace, shine with the glory of God. This does not take away from the ministry of Moses of the glory of God seen in that day. Paul does find great confidence and boldness in knowing Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. It is this ministry of grace and the righteousness of Christ of which we are to be ministers.
We honor and serve God when we tell others of His grace and righteousness. It allows us to share His glory and be faithful in the ministry to which we have been called.
Paul tells us in verses 11-12 that if the ministry of Moses, which came to an end, could present the glory of God, how much more so would the glory of God be seen in a permanent ministry such as the grace of Jesus Christ? This grace and righteousness of Christ is where our hope is anchored. Paul is not talking about a hope that says something may happen. He is talking about a great confidence he has in that the glory of God will never end in this ministry of grace.
This wonderful ministry of grace goes from glory to glory. As we share His righteousness through the gospel of grace, others come to know this wonderful glory of God. Paul says because we have this hope we are very bold. I like that – not just bold but, very bold. We can boldly be the minister we have been called to be because we know this grace. We have encountered it personally in the forgiveness of our sin. We know this glory of God because we have experienced it first-hand and this glory should shine forth in the life that we live.
When Moses came down, the glory of God shone so brightly on his face that he had to hide it. In our ministry, the glory of God should shine so brightly that others will see it. Let us take that wonderful glory of God and go boldly as His ministers to share it with a lost and dying world.
Questions to consider:
- What does it mean to serve God with confidence?
- Where does our confidence come from?
- What does it mean to be a minister of Christ?