1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:1-3
We have two references to hearts above – written on our hearts and tablets of human hearts – that provide some very interesting information. First however, what are the letters of recommendation Paul is writing about? To avoid false prophets or false apostles or false teachers coming to any village or town or city saying Paul sent me or Peter sent me so please support me letters of recommendation were often sent with Christian teachers as they traveled.
However, Paul or Timothy or Barnabas or Mark should not need such letters as they were the ones who went on the initial missionary trips. The trips were of such import to Paul, he would say You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. This was because they would talk about what Paul had taught them about the Gospel of Jesus to any who came into their lives. Paul’s knowledge of this made a real impression on him and effectively their love for what he taught them was written on his heart and those who had accompanied him.
Even more important to Paul was what he said next You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Their actions, the way they lived in Corinth made them an example of how Christians should live or a letter from Christ. Quick personal check: are we living in such a way so that our lives act as a letter from Christ?
Paul also said the result of his ministry was written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. This was a direct reference to Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone while the Spirit of the Living God writes on the tablets of human hearts. What Jesus has done for us is written on our hearts on tablets within our hearts by the Spirit of the Living God so we may never forget, so we may always know and the knowledge never fades. It cannot fade away as it is written on our hearts on the tablets within our hearts.
At the end of this chapter this becomes increasingly explicit when Paul writes of how a veil covers the heart until such a time as Christ is accepted as Lord and Savior.
15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18
It was not enough to have God’s Commands from Moses read, but it is sufficient to have the veil over one’s heart removed upon knowing the truth of Jesus and accepting the Gift of Grace.
It’s Monday, Christmas Eve, and tomorrow we celebrate Jesus’ birth and with good reason. He was born to die for our sins so that we might become his brothers and sisters in heaven. It should be a wonderful week as we keep this in mind.