Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor. 3:5-6
Have you ever considered your job title as “Minister”? Or, do you think only a full-time, seminary degreed pastor can bear this role? Paul says we as believers have been called to be ministers. That is who we are!
In Greek, the word minister, diakonos, means servant and applies to someone who is carrying out the will of God. One commentator defines the meaning as ‘to kick up dust’, implying there is a sense of urgency. No questions asked.
We often disregard the importance and honor of serving. Our competency as ministers doesn’t lie in our personal skill sets, family heritage, bank accounts, investment balances, political stances, race, social status, or age. Thank goodness…in God’s economy there is no delineation of people groups. We all are viewed the same. Black. White. Slave. Free. Rich. Poor. Male. Female. Equal. I cannot wait for that day!
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Gal. 8:28-29
It is God who gives us the competency as ministers. Read 2 Cor. 3:7-18. The ministry of the O.T. was characterized by the letter of the law, leading to death, condemnation, and things that would kill us. The new covenant is characterized by the Holy Spirit and gives us life, righteousness, and the glory of God. One gives death, and the other gives life.
In our everyday lives, God has something for us to do. In practical ways, I can reflect on the things I am doing and ask the question, “Is this activity breathing life and encouragement? Or is it bringing shame and condemnation?” The Spirit of God gives life…and when I am obedient to Christ, I will do the same.
One thing I have noticed about Paul in this book is his view of the Corinthians. He always was pouring into them. He called them Saints. Holy. Loved. Family. Paul recognized that no one measured up on their own…we are all stuck in the same boat. It is Jesus who gave us the ministry of new life, and he has extended us the offer to do the same.
What does it mean to be a minister of life? How can you practically put this into practice?