2 Corinthians 3 begins with Paul asking “are we beginning to commend ourselves again”? He is reminding the church that commendation does not come from self, but from others. And the greatest commendation of all comes from a changed life. That is what our lives should be for Jesus. “You show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of the human heart”. We are to be the letter that the world can read that shows how the love of God has changed us. It is not about anything we do – but the power of God in us to help us become like Jesus. Often we can forget that reality. At the end of the day – we don’t cause change – God does. We don’t make a difference – He does. He can use us and will if we are walking in obedience – but on our own we have nothing to take credit for.
In fact, Paul goes on to make that point very clear as he says “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God”. Have you thought about the reality of that statement before? Bottom line is that we are not the center of the universe – not even our own universe. There is only one center – and that is God Himself. None of what happens in this world is really our doing. We are part of His Creation – and can be a part of His plan – but we must never forget it is His – all His – and when we try and claim it for ourselves it won’t go well. This truth is a foundational truth that we all need to get our arms around. God owns it all. God is in control. That is a comfort and should give us much hope – the world doesn’t really ride on my back. Whether I admit that or not – it truly doesn’t. It is not my load to carry.
And that gives rise to the reality that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. So many get this wrong. They think of God as a limiting factor to what they want to do when in fact He is freedom – freedom from having to carry the load on our own because it truly is in His hands. Freedom from all the responsibility for the world around us when it is all His. Freedom to live and love His way because He gives us the strength and ability to be like His Son. He wraps the chapter with this awesome promise: “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”. We are all being transformed to glory. Have you thought of that before? God has a wonderful plan for each of us – and we are in the process. The more we cooperate and learn His ways and live in obedience – the faster that transformation occurs – but God has us on a path and we are moving down that road toward glory. What a blessing to know that the Father loves us so!