Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.
We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses in chapter two:
In a classic scene from the movie “Home Alone,” Kevin is insulted by his sister — in French! Here’s that short video clip:
“Les Incompetents” means “the incompetents.” To be incompetent is an adjective meaning “not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.”
Let’s notice Paul’s reference, not to his own incompetency, but to his competence . . . in Christ!
Our Competence in Christ (2 Cor.3:4-6)
>> Our world teaches us to be self-confident and self-competent. But we don’t need to commend ourselves (v. 1) or have other humans testify through letters to our commendation in our ministry. However, there ought to be results in our ministry that can be known and read by everyone (vv. 2-3)!
II. Our Competence Is Through Christ Before God (v. 4)
>> Even though other people, affected by our ministry, ought to bear witness of God’s work through us, their testimony is not the basis of our competence. Christ is.
III. Our Competence Makes Us Ministers of a New Covenant (v. 6)
>> We are now ministers of God’s new covenant! We represent this new agreement which God has put in place.
IV. Our Competence Is Not of the Letter But of the Spirit (v. 6)
>> What does Paul mean here? Apparently he is contrasting the old covenant (based on God’s laws) with the New Covenant (based on God’s grace and the working of the Spirit). This competence that we have brings not death, but life!
Today’s Challenge: Our world wants to look at us and say, “Les Incompetents!” But their definition of competence — and what’s really important in life — is skewed and twisted. Stand tall today in your competence in Christ — and speak of that new covenant that believers in Christ enjoy!