Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:4-6)
As a minister, I have had the privilege of asking many people to consider serving in a particular ministry. Most often when I ask them, they seem reluctant. Sometimes they are excited, especially when it’s a ministry they had been desiring to engage in and hoping they would be asked to do. But most times they wonder if they will have the ability to carry out the ministry. Are they smart enough? Are they gifted enough? Do they know enough Bible? This is where looking to Paul as an example can be so helpful. Yes, Paul was an apostle appointed by God and, yes, Paul had the gifts of healing and prophecy and tongues. But none of that is where he derived his confidence to carry out the ministry that had been entrusted to him. Rather he says, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit” (emphasis added). Paul understands that it is God who made him sufficient. His sufficiency does not come from himself. There is a great lesson to be learned here. When God calls a person into a particular ministry, he will also give them the necessary gifting and ability to carry out that ministry. The gifts of healing, prophecy, and tongues are gifts of the Holy Spirit; thus, Paul did not have these gifts until after he was called and ordained to be an apostle. When it comes to God using people in ministry, using ordinary people to do extraordinary things, it has been rightly said, “God is not as concerned about your ability as he is about your availability.”
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