Paul found himself having to defend his credentials and his ministry in 1Corinthians 3. In so doing, he pointed to the same thing as both the evidence of God’s calling on His life and as the validation of the message he proclaimed. He pointed to the Corinthians themselves. “You yourselves,” wrote Paul, “are our letter of recommendation” (3:2).
That there was even a gathering of believers in Corinth validated that Paul had been “commissioned by God” to “speak in Christ” (2:17). That these human epistles weren’t the same people as they were before hearing Paul’s proclamation of the gospel, was proof that it wasn’t Paul’s good news but Another’s. Though the message might have come from Paul, it’s impact was from God. Paul may have spoken the words, but it was Another who scribed the letter.
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
(2Corinthians 3:3 ESV)
A letter from Christ. Written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. Written not on tablets of stone, as was the old covenant, but on tablets of human hearts, as promised in the new covenant (Jer. 31:33). That’s the lot of every believer. That’s the dynamic at play for all who have responded in faith to the message of the cross. And if God in His sovereign grace and determination has purposed to write a letter on my heart, then I say, “Write Away!”
The truth of the gospel isn’t found just in how well it is articulated. Nor is it true just because many have believed it. There are many religions, philosophies, and systems of man which are presented by compelling orators and received by myriads of sincere men and women. Rather, the proof of the power of the good news that Jesus came to die for sinners is found in their lives. The overwhelming preponderance of evidence not found in what believers recite but in the spiritual dynamic they reflect. The weight of testimony not found in what they know but in who they have become. Not in their autobiography but in the story imprinted by the Spirit of God on their very souls.
And though our hearts may be God’s chosen writing surface, and while it may be His heaven-sent ink alone, there is a very real sense in which we are co-authors as we submit our lives to His divine authorship. There is a sense in which we must give God the “write away!”
We acknowledge that our spiritual rebirth is a work begun by Him and for Him — for His purpose, His honor, His glory. We understand that they are no longer our lives to live, but that we have been bought with a price and now belong to the Master. We consciously cooperate with the Divine as we refuse to offer any longer our members to sin but, by His power given us, seek only to offer them to righteousness. We are aware of the battle within, the war between the old nature and the Spirit, and so we seek to walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, and live according to the Spirit. And all the while, He is writing His letter. He is imprinting Himself on our very nature.
His is to write the story, mine is to give God the “Write Away!”
Write away, Lord!
By Your grace . . . for Your glory!