2Co 3:4-6 “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
Paul begins this writing by addressing it to the church of God. In this particular instance he was addressing those that lived in Corinth, but the over-lying concept is that this letter is written to the church of God. In the verses above he refers to the fact that God has made us able ministers of this new testament that we are blessed with. At no time did Paul limit the idea of ministers in this to refer to those who might stand before a congregation of people to preach the word. It is to all who make up the church of God that Paul speaks of as being able ministers.
It is evident by this that all whom God adds to His church are then ministers of this wonderful new testament. The word translated here as “minister” carries with it the specific idea of one who waits on tables (or serves others). So as we have been added to the church by the will of God, He has qualified us to turn away from our self-interest and given us a desire to serve others. We understand that we are not competent in ourselves to be selfless or to be competent to serve others. We know that God is the source of our competency.
Our understanding that God is the source is the direct result of our unfeigned reliance on Jesus. He is the channel by which we receive a desire to serve God. Jesus gives us this desire to not just serve in word, but by our action. It is through Him that we learn to serve in the new testament way rather than the old testament way. What makes the difference? Serving through the spirit rather than the letter!
We may serve because we read the letter of the word and understand from a legal perspective that it’s the right thing to do. Sooner rather than later, this will become a burden to us. We will begin to murmur and complain about our lot. Eventually, legal service will kill us to the joy that is in the church of God. However, when we are looking to Christ, and through Him receive the spirit (desire, longing) to minister to His children because God has qualified us (given us a heart of love for His), then it becomes a “new and living way (Heb. 10:20).” We rejoice in service and know that the sufficiency is not of ourselves, but comes from God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!