Ministers of the New Covenant

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6

Study Guide

As Paul continues the defense of his ministry to the church at Corinth, he explains what it means to be a minister of the New Covenant. In pouring out his life as a sacrifice for others, Paul is living out the gospel of Christ, and we see that real gospel ministry will result in life change.
Application
  1. We all crave affirmation. Consider whether affirmation from God or people is more important to you. How can you move towards pouring your life out as a sacrifice for God whether or not you are affirmed by others?

  2. Are there people in your life who have experienced life change as a result of your influence? Who in your immediate context can you influence for Jesus?

  3. Have you ever experienced rejection because of your stance on a biblical or moral issue? How did that affect you? When has that happened recently, or if it hasn’t, why do you think that is?

  4. Consider your life in the context of church versus your life at work or in your day-to-day activities. Is there a disparity between the two? If so, what step can you take this week to represent Christ more fully?

Key Points
  • Paul explains to the church at Corinth that the true fruit of gospel ministry is life change—genuine transformation is rooted in the power of Jesus.

  • Even in the midst of difficulty and loss, believers can take heart in the ultimate victory of the resurrection.

  • All believers are called to live out the gospel to others—the primary purpose of our regular, daily tasks is to spread the knowledge of Christ. Some will receive it and be transformed; others will reject the truth.

  • In our culture in particular, the exclusivity of Christ can be difficult to swallow. The message of the gospel is both empathetic and hostile to humanity—we must acknowledge our sin in order to receive God’s grace.

  • Like Paul, we must serve others with the mindset that God is watching and be mindful of our motives.

  • The legitimacy of our ministry is the life change of those around us. While only the Holy Spirit can change lives, we must consistently hold out the gospel to others.