In 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 it appears that some in the Corinthian church were asking Paul for a letter of recommendation in order to bolster his credentials. Paul told the Corinthians that they were his letter of recommendation since Paul founded the church in Corinth. They were the fruit of his ministry. As Paul defended his ministry in this way we can see 2 things about all ministry that we can apply to how we serve others.
1. The Fruit of Ministry
In verses 1-3 Paul described the Corinthians as a letter of recommendation. Their existence as a church was the fruit/proof of Paul’s ministry. The fruit of Paul’s ministry was people. While our ministries will never look the same as Paul’s, we too are called to minister or serve others in order to help them grow to be more like Jesus Christ. The fruit of our ministry should be people as well. Are we seeking to be used by God to make people more like Jesus?
2. The Foundation of Ministry
In verses 4-6 Paul said that the foundation or source of his ministry was the Lord’s power, not Paul’s. Paul was not sufficient for such things, but the Lord is. We can rob God of glory in ministry in one of two ways: 1) by refusing to be involved in ministry at all; 2) by being involved in ministry and then taking credit for ourselves. We are called to boldly minister to others in reliance upon the Lord. How do we minister to others while relying upon the Lord? We pray! Prayer is the fundamental way in which we rely upon the Lord’s resources and not our own. A ministry that lacks in prayer is a ministry that seeks to be accomplished without the Lord’s resources. May we all minister to one another in the power of the Holy Spirit within us!
Here are the discussion questions from Sunday: 2 Cor. 3.1-6 Notes.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan