First United Presbyterian Church

Advent Devotional: 2 Corinthians 3:5

2 Corinthians 3:5

Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God. 6He 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.

This time of year, we anticipate together the coming of Christ Jesus coming fresh into our lives again. I quickly discovered these verses raise the question How do we become better ministers of the New Covenant? My research quickly led me to realize I was taking a deep dive contrasting the Old and New Covenant.

The NIV New International Version led me to verses and notes from Exodus, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and Romans, Colossians, Hebrews, and Titus as well as 2 Corinthians. Then in William Barclay’s commentary, my favorite, I found his take comparing Old and New Covenant:

Old New
External, written document Internal, bringing the power of life-giving Spirit
Legal relationship between God and humans Relationship of love, we are sons and daughters of God
Rigid in practice Changes hearts and minds, and brings the power to become ministers of the New Covenant

My story includes the responsibility to “seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God.” This is a daily responsibility in pursuit of God’s will in everything I say and do. This often means ignoring those voices in my head that are NOT in my interest. This is my take on becoming a better minister of the New Covenant.

Contributed by Dennis Nelson

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