Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 3

Godís message in the hearts of his people

2 Corinthians 3:3

Paul used an interesting word-picture to describe Godís work in the lives of the Christians at Corinth. He compared them to the letters that churches write to recommend a Christian leader to another church.

Then Paul developed that word-picture. Christ, of course, and not Paul, had written that letter. It is only Christ who, by his death, can give a right relationship with God*. Paulís work in Corinth was as the servant of God*. So the wonderful change in the lives of people at Corinth* was not the work of Paul, but of the Holy Spirit.

Ink is not really permanent. A letter may last for a long time but, in the end, the words on the page will disappear. Job wished that he had a more permanent way to record his words*. God has a truly permanent way to work in the lives of his people. He gives his Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives will never end*.

Job thought that it was better to record a message on the rock; such a message would last for many centuries. However, there is a problem. Because stone is not a living substance, it is very hard.

When God works in peopleís lives, he replaces their stony hearts with living hearts*. The reference is not, of course, to their physical hearts, but to their inner thoughts, their true desires and their attitudes. Before they trusted God, they were unable or unwilling to change their attitudes. They were like the hardest stone, where it is extremely difficult to make a mark. Now, however, they are willing to accept Godís message; in fact, they accept it with great joy. So God places his law in the hearts of his people; or, to use the word-picture, he writes his law on their hearts*.

Next part: God works by means of his servants (3:4-5)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.