Ministers of a New Covenant

“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 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. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He 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.” – 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

I love this passage of Scripture – a favorite of mine really as a pastor and minister of this glorious gospel! What I am writing about today really concerns me – it concerns me because what happens in our church leadership today really matters. There is a calling we have; we aren’t selling shorts, we are doing eternal work friends. We’ve been entrusted with the gospel of Christ, and we’ve been chosen before the foundation of the world not because of us but because of His sovereign choice for us to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ!

And I must remind us again: we will all stand at the judgment seat of Christ and the quality of our work will be reviewed. Why are the sound guys doing what they do? Why are the leaders leading? Are we doing it for a buck or to be noticed or is it service for the Lord? God will review our motives. Why is Craig Mosgrove preaching? What kind of preparation goes into his messages? What’s his relationship with ELEVATION?

And you will not be reviewed by your peers. It won’t matter who you get to shout out your name on twitter or who thinks you’re the hot preacher. Your popularity won’t matter a bit. It will not matter if your church was in outreach magazine or your name was on a conference graphic. We, as ministers, are not called to impress people but to influence their decision-making for Christ. And God is not looking for your talent, but rather your availability. He is not looking for genuises; He knows it all already. He is looking for someone He can break, mold, use, and fill for His glory.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians that we are competent ministers of a new covenant. Many people I know today preach Old Testament Christianity or New Testament legalism. Let me explain.

I will go ahead and say it: the greatest need in America today is for a revival to hit the Church so we would become competent ministers of the New Covenant!

In other words, Paul is implying to us that it is possible to be an incompetent minister. These are those who preach OT Christianity. They say things like ‘how many people today will come and promise you will do this spiritual discipline this week?’ ‘Promise that you will keep it now!’ That is not Christianity – Christianity is not a commitment religion. It’s not a promise religion – it’s a supernatural religion – Christ in us the hope of glory! It is “God working in us to will and to do according to His good purpose (Phil 2:13).” It is not about trying, it’s all about trusting! We don’t lead people to walk by commitment, but rather by faith!

I know, I know. Craig just calm down a bit. Lighten up, just lighten up. NO! I believe there is a true stirring in the Bride in this generation. A people that do not want “5 Steps to a Better Me” but instead live by the principles and precepts of God and you’ll look like Him! If you are truly moved by the Spirit of God in this generation, you won’t be satisfied with a 3-point powerpoint sermon and no power. You will have a longing! I believe there is a simple, apostolic yearning for true Biblical revival in our day!

And we are the ministers! I see less mention of sin from pastors to accommodate the lowest carnal denominator because you can’t dare offend people. We’ve tried to take the supernatural out of salvation and yet it is a supernatural work of God! Your work and mine will be reviewed by the King of Kings and we can’t compromise!

The testimonies that we hear from believers these days are pitiful to say the least. In churches around the country, we hear people testify how God gave them promotions, new houses, new cars, and new clothes, yet they don’t realize that material blessings are nothing in comparison to victory over sin. Where are the testimonies of men and women who say that they have defeated anger and depression? Where are the testimonies of those who say that they have learned the secret of contentment? Where are the testimonies of those who say that they have victory over the fear of man? The gospel of prosperity is a repetition of the Old Covenant way of life: a life of material blessings without victory over sin. It is a gospel that washes the externalities of man while leaving the inner man dead. And folks it is everywhere! This is the reality of many churches around; many do not examine their spiritual lives because their focus on wealth has blinded them. They do not realize that although they are materially well-off, they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked internally.

And the worst part: it continues on because we have incompetent ministers that have risen up to plague us.

We must disciple leaders today who care more about quantity than quality. The Church in America today has been invaded by technicians, instead of men and women of prayer and the Scriptures. There are clever people everywhere but very little power anywhere. It has been invaded with people who are better with computers than they are with the Word of God. Lord we pray raise up a mighty army of competent ministers, flames of fire, men and women of your Word!

Let’s pray, pray, pray and train, train, train this next generation of leaders!