I occasionally get requests to provide recommendations for former students. I don’t mind as long as I can remember them. But sometimes, I get a request from a student who I can’t recall or who hardly spoke to me during their time in my class.
When questioned about his competence, Paul said that the church in Corinth would act as his letter of recommendation: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (v. 3). This language alludes to Jeremiah 31:33, where the Lord promises: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” In effect, Paul offered his critics not only a testimony that came from their own experience but one that was ultimately from God Himself!
Paul is not conceited when he contrasts the glory of his ministry with the fading glory of “the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone” (v. 7). He does not attribute the difference to himself but to the Holy Spirit. This obvious reference to the law of Moses suggests that those who opposed Paul in Corinth wanted to place the Corinthians under the yoke of the law (see Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1).
Paul’s mention of the veil over Moses’ face in verse 13 refers to an incident in Exodus 34 where Moses put a veil over his face after meeting with God. Paul saw this as a symbol of the gospel’s superiority. He also considered it to be a picture of the blindness of those who were under the law.
>> Do you feel nervous when you share the gospel? Training helps, but it is not the key to success. God makes us competent to share the good news about Jesus.
We praise You for the glory of Your righteousness! We worship You for the glory of the Spirit’s work! We thank You for the glory of Your Son’s sacrifice! May all creation join us in glorifying Your name.