by Jack Davis
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” – II Corinthians 3:3.
Let us ever be thankful for the writings of the Lord. His faithful sayings are true and precious. Each epistle is of Christ. What a privilege is given to us. His Word sets forth quite a standard, which issues in a high calling. May this help us to be ever mindful of who we are, and what place and influence our lives are to have here, as God’s writings have the proper influence with and in us.
“Manifestly declared” tells us of that which is open to observation, inspection, and even criticism. What can Jesus Christ say or minister to others, to the world, through the testimony of our lives? Are we not current open letters?
Think of where these epistles are written – “on tables of human hearts” (Amplified Bible). Why are they written? For publication, to be read. Then consider what is being written in you and out to others. What is the gospel according to you – to Tom, to Melvin, to Betty?
What importance do we place on the written Word of God? In Jeremiah 15:16 we read – “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” In Job 23:12 – “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” In Psalm 119:11 – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” What could be more important than the Word that God has written to us? Its importance may best be seen in what He is writing in us.
The Apostle Paul requested prayer “that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified,” even as it was with the Thessalonian saints – II Thess. 3:1. He said that even though he was in bonds, “the Word of God is not bound” – II Tim. 2:9.
In Acts 19:11-20 we read of the Word of God mightily growing and prevailing. This is stated following the record of God working “special miracles by the hands of Paul.” This was also after the exorcists, who were trying to counterfeit the works of the Spirit, were put embarrassingly to flight by the demon possessed man. This also followed the great bond fire, the burning up of those books of “curious arts” (evil magical spells, taught in Satan’s writings).
Thank God, His writings in our hearts cannot be destroyed. This is also said after we read that the Name of Jesus was glorified. We praise God for any increase and victory of the outward and written Word. Thank God, this can also be true “in us” as we exalt Jesus’ dear Name, letting the Word continue to grow and prevail in us. This special work takes time and attention.
In this computer age it is amazing to me the way vast volumes of writings can be safely stored in the smallest of areas, then brought out and expanded to whatever size desired to make readable. Yet, there is something far more amazing to me than that – how a heart knowledge of the immeasurable love of Christ can be written in us; and as He increases our capacity to comprehend that love, we are “filled with all the fulness of God” – Eph. 3:19. We are somewhat (please excuse the expression) “micro chips” of God’s universe. Hallelujah! “It is written!” We do not always feel it, nor act like it, nor see it manifested; but that does not change the fact. Once recorded, it shall come to pass.
The Word, the incorruptible Seed, by which we were born again – though made flesh, lives and abides forever – I Peter 1:23. That same Word transforms us first from within – “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” – Isa. 28:10,13. This is done, making God’s good will and pleasure our will and pleasure. “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” – Rom. 7:22. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them: – Heb. 10:16. By the Holy Spirit’s writing, God’s covenant becomes a part of us. “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” – Heb. 4:12. The living powerful Word of God will put “the accuser of our brethren” to flight. Discerning “the thoughts and intents” of our hearts, not only analyses us and cuts back the flesh; but the Word cuts out that which God does not want, as we yield to that working.
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” – I Thess. 2:13. God’s Word is indeed operative, working effectually in those who believe. The good effect of the Word in us can be determined by the measure we believe. Faith comes by hearing, recording in our hearts what God has written. With hearts like tape recorders, we need to be tuned in and turned on to the Word. As we believe what God has written, we benefit by what He would work. We also are blessed by realizing His will accomplished in us and made a blessing to others.
God is writing in us today so that others might believe and live – John 20:30-31. “The world itself could not contain the books that should be written” of His three years of public ministry – John 21:25. But, praise God, epistles of Christ are still being written. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” – Col. 3:16.
“My heart is a leaf, on which He doth write
His wonderful words of love, life, and light.
My body a temple in which He doth dwell;
My wonderful Saviour, Emmanuel.”
Song by M. Turner
So, we may understand, that we may be a blessing to others as we each submit to the Holy Spirit’s writing. As He writes, the old creation nature must be judged so as not to distract from nor distort His message that He would send forth from our lives. It is no secret what God can do. The Living God by His spirit is writing LIVING EPISTLES. As what God inspired Paul to write by the Spirit found lodging in the saints’ hearts and was passed on, others were enriched and engraved with God’s writings.
“For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia the Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain” – I Thess. 1:5-10; 2:1.
I pray that this may be even more and more true in us. May what God has written in me be realized in you; and what He has written in you be realized in me. May what God has written in us be experienced in those who read us. For we are epistles, “known and read of all men” – II Cor. 3:2.