Bethany Independent Presbyterian Church


“An epistle of Christ” 2 Corinthians 3:3

“An epistle of Christ” 2 Corinthians 3:3


1. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

a) Varied

b) Vital

2. Special areas of ministry

a) Empowering

b) Enlightening

c) Encouraging



1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others,

epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?

2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God,

not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

1. The Concept of Epistles

a) Epistles are simply “letters”

b) The Apostles wrote Epistles to Churches

c) Some of these Epistles were very personal

2. The Contents of the Epistles

a) Centered in the Lord Jesus Christ

b) Concerns of the churches are addressed

c) Correction was sometimes needed

d) Challenges to live for the Lord more significantly were always found

3. The Concept of Living Epistles I

“You are our epistle written in our hearts” 2 Corinthians 3:2a

Written in the heart of the writer

a) The Corinthian Christians were in the heart of the Apostle Paul

b) The work of writing begins in the heart of the writer

c) Much depends on the knowledge and skills of the writer

3. The Concept of Living Epistles II

“Known and read by all men” 2 Corinthians 3:2b

a) What is written in our hearts and minds would be easily read by people

b) The contents written in our hearts would become obvious

c) People would see and appreciate the work put into our lives



1. The concept of being an Epistle of the Lord Jesus analysed

a) Ministered by human hands

b) Written by the Holy Spirit

c) Written on the heart

2. Both Divine and human work must be done

a) There is the work of the human writer

i) The work of a mentor

ii) The work of a spiritual leader

b) There is the work of the Holy Spirit as well

i) He works through the human agency

ii) He does the deeper work



4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God.

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,

not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

1. The work of writing Living Epistles

a) It is a New Covenant Ministry

b) The sufficiency to do such a piece of work comes God

c) It is He who makes us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant

2. A deeper appreciation

a) It is not a superficial ministry

b) It is a spiritual ministry

c) It is a ministry closely associated with the Holy Spirit



19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.

20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.

21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.

22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Philippians 2:19-22

1. Like-mindedness

2. Sincere care

3. Seeking only that which is of the Lord Jesus Christ

4. A proven character

5. “Like father like son”



1. To desire this deep spiritual work of the New Covenant in our midst

2. To yield ourselves to become Living Epistles

3. To deeply appreciate that this work is even possible in our life