“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 3:3).
Generally speaking, our life is a series of responses to particular situations/real life situations. Christians respond to real life situations in a Christian way: guided by God’s Spirit and His Word. As we become aware of a need, we comfort, we help, we pray.
The Christian church was constantly in danger from those pretending to be teachers/apostles. These men were spreading false/un-orthodox teachings in the Christian community. Their work was driven by the desire to earn an easy/honest living (2 Cor 2:17) or to create a name for themselves. A real challenge for the early church (even today) was posed by teachers/apostles who were claiming authority based upon certain “letters of recommendation”.
2 Cor 3:1-3, Paul’s response to the situation, gravitates around the practice of “letters of recommendation”.
We will note the way Paul responds; the theological revelations given to him as he responds, and then some practical implications for us.
Defending his credentials, that he did not need such letters of recommendation, in his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote: “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody” (2 Cor 3:2). The very existence of the church was a “letter of recommendation” for Paul and his fellow workers.The church in Corinth, a result of Paul’s ministry, was the best “letter of recommendation” he could have. There were other ‘apostles’ who were carrying letters of recommendation, written by, who knows who. Paul’s letter of recommendation was the Church itself.
In other words, the Church is a letter of recommendation from Christ – and about Christ. When people ‘read’ the Church, they ought to read ‘Christ’.
In that sense, we are a living evangelistic tract.