2 Corinthians 3:6 [God] 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.
The word translated ‘ministers’ is the word for ‘servants’, and we are ALL, as people who belong to Christ through faith and therefore empowered by his Holy Spirit, ‘servants of the new covenant’.
Church history has demonstrated that our natural inclination is towards ‘legalism’, or being more concerned about ‘rule-keeping’ than about letting the Holy Spirit express the vibrancy and enlivening influence of his sanctifying work in us as we interact with each other and with the world to whom we are called to witness. Because of this, I continually need to ask myself: “Is my life, my attitude/demeanour/behaviour, giving a clear and vibrant indication to others of the difference ‘knowing Jesus’ really makes?”
Yes, there ARE times when the troubles and concerns of this rotting world get me down, but I have a responsibility to demonstrate, with enthusiasm, that, in spite of this, “the Spirit GIVES LIFE”. It seems from Paul’s correspondence that the Christians in Corinth were infected with a very competitive spirit that put showy ‘rule-keeping’ high on the agenda, and it was ‘killing’ their fellowship through fault-finding and approval-seeking.
The stated aim of the congregation to which I belong is “To know Christ, to be like Christ, and to make Christ known”, so I need to forget myself and just make sure I am not doing/saying anything that inhibits the life-giving Spirit of Christ from just shining out from me – although I must admit I have limited success in this!
– Bruce Christian