2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

4 We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ: 5 not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God. 6 He 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 produces life.

How many times do we measure our “worthiness” for God’s service based on our own skills, education, experience or “competence”?  Paul is clear in this passage that confidence in God establishes his competence for ministry.  That is, he knows that God has called him to a ministry/service and so God will make him competent to perform this task.

We note that Paul had an extensive Jewish education with some of the best teachers, but his calling was to Christian evangelism and church planting.  He was blazing new ground in a field that today would boast thousands of books on “how-to plant a church.”  There were no “how-to” books because he was doing what no one had ever done before.  The only way he could be confident in his work would be to have full confidence in God working through him.

It is in this consistent requirement of faith, this everyday walk in the Spirit, that Paul experienced real life.  If we see the Christian life as a matter of fulfilling our duties, filling in the blanks in our lives, living a reserved, safe, secure existence, we will miss the abundant life offered to those called to live uncomfortably, on the edge, without a net.  Here Christ begs us to be God-reliant, not self-reliant.  Here He invites us to find the meaning of faith.  Here is LIFE!

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