September 08, 2011

Competent in Christ!

Regarding the Gospel of grace that is given us to preach and minister through, Paul says this:

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."  
2 Corinthians 3:4-6


My competency as a minister does not come from my diligence or internal fortitude, it comes from God.  I am commanded by Scripture to study the Word and to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to me, but that is not what gives me competence as a minister.  Without Christ and the Spirit of God living in and ministering through me, I am nothing more than a religious teacher.  My efforts are devotions that lead me into deeper dependance on Him.  If anything, it confounds me by the power of Grace, the simplicity of my part, and the faithfulness and continuity of His work in and through me.  Their is no pride in my diligent pursuit of wisdom, for in the light of His Word, I am humbled and strengthened only through absolute dependence on grace.  I bring nothing to be confident in.  His work in me and faithfulness to and through me is my confidence; because He alone is my competence. 


When we try to live by making what is supposed to be responsive fruit (study/stewardship), as our means of earning accreditation and competence, we are binding ourselves to a law which leads to death and whose glory has faded in the light of grace.  The are the very words of scripture we will look at tomorrow.


This is, by the Lord's design, completely opposite of the older covenant, in which my confidence could only be found in my competence in my fulfillment of the law in my own strength.  But the glory which that covenant revealed was fading.  The following vv. say that is was likened to "Moses wearing a veil".  The Glory of the new covenant however,  is permanent and never fading, because it is a spiritual glory born of His work in and through me.  The law covenant brought death, but this new covenant brings life.


Tomorrow I will continue through this passage in vv. 7-11. 


Are you living a ministry of confidence in the work of Christ or your own work?  If your idea of competence is tied up in your obedience and work, then you may not be living in grace.  Repent of your pride and humble yourself before God.  It is amazing how He lifts us up and uses us so powerfully when we quit trying to do His work in our own understanding and strength.

With you for His glory-