Jesus’ ministry took place at dinner tables, beachside breakfasts, hillside picnics, on long walks, in garden respites, and in quiet homes as He broke bread and spoke the Word of life. His call was “come follow me” (Matthew 4:19). It was always a ministry of life on life. He came into the world and dwelt with us, and we beheld His glory. When Jesus ascended, He passed on His ministry to His disciples, to the Church, and to us—and the call is still the same: go, and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). You shall be fishers of men.
The gospel is not a system of behavior, though it does change our behavior. Nor is it a set of rules to follow, though in it the law is fulfilled. The gospel is Christ and His work of redemption. It is His life given to us, alive in us, making us alive in Him by His Spirit. The gospel transforms people because Christ transforms people by His own life.
This life-on-life transformation is what Paul speaks of to the church at Corinth. Paul calls them his “letter,” because through his ministry they came to know Christ (2 Corinthians 3:2). We are all “Christ’s letter,” made so by the Spirit of the living God. In Him is life, and if we abide in Him, and He in us, His life is ours.
The fruit of this life is freedom and boldness because our adequacy comes from God. We are His letter, His testimony—not our own. This is the glory of the new covenant, that the glory that is His has been given to us. It’s transforming us, so that we shall one day be like Him.
He has forgiven our sins and remembers them no more. Even more, He is making us like Himself. Do you hear how great is our privilege, that we should be called the children of God, that we should be His witnesses, and live in His life? If we have already received such a great treasure, how much more should we seek to walk in this new life! We ought to make every effort to seize hold of this life, and seek its transforming power.
How do we do this?
The answer is unique to the gospel, but it is the same as it has always been: Abide in Him. The veil that once separated us from Him has been removed. When you sit in your house, as you walk by the way, as you break bread, remain in the Word, walk by the Spirit, and abide in Christ. When we see Him as He is, we are transformed. May He so transform our hearts and lives and use us as His effective letters and witnesses to a watching world.
Written by Caleb Faires