Friday, July 20, 2012
Digging Deeper for understanding...
"He 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." -- 2 Corinthians 3:6
Ok, yesterday's verse was one I knew, loved and understood completely. Today's verse I was not familiar with and didn't understand. So, when I don't understand something, I read further and go looking for more to help me understand better. The internet is a blessing sometimes, since it gives us access to SO MUCH information! I found a site that had this verse in every possible translation and included many commentaries by many different Biblical scholars. After reading all this, I think I have a better idea of what Paul was saying.
He made us competent ministers -- Paul and the other disciples were preaching and spreading the word about Jesus. He is saying here that God gave them the talents, wisdom and authority to be his teachers. On their own, they could not adequately do this. God made them competent. I totally understand this, as that is the way I feel about what I write in this blog. My brother said that the words on this blog don't sound like me...I think he's right. I don't have the knowledge or authority to speak as an expert on the Bible. But, I believe God led me to start writing, and guides me as I type, giving me the words. There are days I wonder why I keep doing this...Why should anyone read and be interested in anything I say? I am no better than anyone else! But, I continue writing because I feel I am supposed to and feel God may be using my words to touch someone's heart. HE made me competent.
Not of the letter, but of the Spirit -- I have been talking this week about the 10 commandments and how we are to follow them because God gave them to us to protect us from ourselves. Solomon advises us to "fear God and keep his commands." I beleive that is true, but when we solely rely on God's commands to get to heaven, we are in big trouble. Have you ever checked out ALL the rules, regulations and laws that are written in the Old Testament? Everything from what we should eat to what we should wear to how we treat our animals...no one could live up to and keep ALL of those! Under the law, we are guilty...we are condemned when we break a law. BUT, God's plan of salvation through Jesus gives us the SPIRIT and gives us life.
Jesus took the punishment for us, so all those laws we can't keep will not result in our condemnation, but in forgiveness and salvation and life with him forever. This doesn't mean we throw out all the commands...we are still to follow God's commands as a guide to a safer and happier life, but when we grab on to the hand of Jesus, our salvation does not rely on our own actions anymore.
Even though today's verse was harder to understand, it is really like yesterday's...God renews us and saves us through the love of Jesus. When you look for meaning behind God's words, he will reveal it to you. When you seek you will find! Isn't it comforting in this chaotic life that God really is looking out for us and promises us LIFE? It might be hard to understand everything, but it feels good to believe in a God who saves!