Sunday, August 31, 2008

2 Corinithians 3:4-6

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (New International Version)

4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

What are your thoughts on this verse?


jeleasure said...

something I can comment on. Not more of that mushy girl stuff;)

I hope you are not looking for short answers.
I've been called a heretic for my explaination on this issue. T

From Wikipedia: "Covenant"
"...a contract,is a one-way agreement whereby the covenanter is the only party bound by the promise. A covenant may have conditions and prerequisites that qualify the undertaking, including the actions of second or third parties, but there is no inherent agreement by such other parties to fulfill those requirements. Consequentially, the only party that can break a covenant is the covenanter".

In the three verses you present here, our 'confidence' is in the covenanter to fulfill His promise to us.
Verse five, we have no ability to fulfill the Law (vs.6) which our 'covenanter' does fulfill. Jesus commands (a 'condition' defined in the above definition)that we beleive on Him and the one who sent him. He also states that love is the fulfillment of the Law. He states that all of the prophets and the law hang on the two greatest commands: Love God, Love one another. Jesus says, "As I have loved you, so, MUST you love one another".
We must understand what it means to have salvation. Salvation is defined by the Koine Greek word "dikaisune". It is investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God. You will find this word used in such passages as Romans 6:19-23.
It is the word 'righteousness' or 'justification' which we are given by God's grace in the act of believig on Christ to fulfill the Law. The Law was required to be fulfilled perfectly for a relationship with God. Jesus fulfilled it and imparts the account of His 'righteousness' to us whom have faith in Him to have fulfilled the law on our behalf. This "Saves" us from the "letter" of the Law. "The letter kills". And now buy the spirit we are given life. But we must walk in the spirit, as well. This is not a suggestion from God. It is a command.
How do we 'walk in the spirit'?
To love as Christ loved. This is part of the condition we have been given by the "covanter" when He says, "Love One Another. As I have loved you. So, MUST you love one another. By this, all men will know you are my disciples (ARE WALKING IN THE SPIRIT), if you have love for one another"
So, we are to beleive on Jesus to be the Christ, love God and love man. People try to refute that there is anything else associated with this new covenant. Yes, Grace is a free gift. MT. 25:40 tells us we are required to love in order to take our inheritance.
Salvation is the beginning of the relationship with God. Not the end of the journey.
I've been called a heretic for teaching this. But, there is nothing unsafe about fulfilling Jesus' command to love. So, I would rather be called a heretic than to keep my mouth shut and not help people to see what I am seeing in the scripture.

Stephanie said...

"we are required to love in order to take our inheritance."

Jim, that line caught my eye and I had to comment. Do you think this love is a requirement FOR salvation, or a result OF salvation?

Edie said...

Just stopped by to say Hi Angela. Hope you're week's off to a good start. Love ya!

Penn Tomassetti said...

My thoughts on that verse could extend into the next three pages... but I do believe that is a verse highlighting the absolute Sovereignty of God, especially over calling and equipping who He wants to be His chosen ministers. To understand it in its context, one would have to read chapters 2-5. But chapter three alone really makes it clear that the New Covenant is so much more glorious than the Old Covenant of works. The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant.

Penn Tomassetti said...

Again, contrasting the Spirit who gives life :), against the Law which kills ;{

jeleasure said...

The answer is, 'both'.
Respectfully, for yourself and Angela, I won't get into a debate about this. It is too time consuming. I have written an entire manuscript on this subject. entitled, Love One Another. I have spent about a year and a half researching the subject (for my understanding) and have spoken to many different schollars and teachers of different doctrinal backgrounds. And, largely, I have come to an understanding with everyone of them. One of whom is a Baptist (calvinist) author named Gwin Davis. He is a teacher and a minister. I know him because I have, on a friend's request, have done plumbing at his home. And have been invited back to have discussions with him. So, I'd say, if you need to know how I have confidence to make such a statement, please read the fourth or the seventh chapter of my manuscript.

Kathy S. said...

I'm kind of a simpleton compared to the guys, but the Spirit is revealing to me (regarding this passage)that God's grace gives us the ability to minister (proclaim, love and allure people by our fervent love for Jesus, and our contentment in this life no matter the circumstances) to the Gospel of the New Covenant available to them.

That we have all we need to love and convey the love of Jesus. To not impose the law on them that opresses, but to reveal to them the freedom found in Christ from the law.