How to Be a Competent Christian Minister, part 1
There’s an old saying that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” That means that you can’t really evaluate something until you try it out yourself. You have to eat the pudding to see how good or bad it is.
Paul’s main point in this passage is that the Corinthian people themselves are the “proof of the pudding.” That is, the existence of the church in Corinth and their radically changed lifestyle prove that Paul’s ministry among them was legitimate. The lives of Christians give proof to the validity of Christian ministry.
In 2 Cor 2:14, Paul begins a discussion of the privileges of Christian ministry. He continues that topic in today’s passage. And in the first few verses of chapter 3, he tells us how to be competent Christian ministers.
Every believer should think of himself as a servant of the Lord—that’s what a minister is—someone who serves God by serving God’s people. We all should be involved in Christian ministry in some way. How do we do that? How do we engage in competent Christian ministry? That’s what Paul is going to tell us in these verses.
We have two sections here (vss. 1-3, 4-6), and in each section, Paul is making comparisons. In the first section, he compares human authority with divine action. In the second section, he compares the old covenant with the new covenant.
Let’s consider how to be competent ministers of Christ.