God's Holy Fire: 'Not of the Letter but of the Spirit'

Monday, September 4, 2023

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
— 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV

Key Thought

God's words in Scripture remind us of both his holiness and his holy standards for us. "The letter" — that is, legalism — kills. It leaves us afraid because of the deadly results of our sin. It leaves us full of shame when we rebel against the will of our Father in heaven. However, through Jesus' death and resurrection, we are brought to a new covenant between God and his people. Filled with the Holy Spirit, each of us is transformed and empowered to be a new person, literally a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are redeemed, saved by grace, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to find life and to live to honor and display the character and compassion of our Father (Romans 8:1-4). We are freed from fear and shame because the Spirit is the guarantee not just of our forgiveness but also of our cleansing (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and our salvation (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14).

Today's Prayer

O God, our confidence is in Christ, who died for our sins and who was raised for our righteousness and now has filled us and empowered us with the Holy Spirit. May our words, our thoughts, our hearts, and our lives show Jesus as we seek to share him with others. It is in his name, the Lord Jesus Christ, that we pray. Amen.


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Illustration of 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV —  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.