Archive of Daily Bible Lessons
|There was no Bible lesson on May 19, 2004|
|Ministry of Death versus Ministry of Life - law VERSUS grace|
|There were no Bible lessons on May 21-24, 2004|
|Ministry of Condemnation VS Ministry of Righteousness|
|Free at last! Free at last!|
|Your Ministry of Mercy and Grace|
|The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious . . . how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? (2 Corinthians 3:6-8)|
Today's Bible verses give you yet another comparison between legalism and the Spirit-filled life.
The ministry of any given local church will either be characterized
as being based on legalism (a ministry of death) or as being based on grace (a ministry of life).
Take a moment right now to examine what you have been taught, and to evaluate your own Christian walk closely. Then answer, in your heart, the following questions from the Word of God...
For You to Memorize
|Dear Lord of life, convict my heart if I should ever bring to others a law-based ministry of death. Please develop in me a grace-oriented ministry of life, by the work of Your Spirit, Amen|
|For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. (2 Corinthians 3:6-8)|
Today's Bible verse shows the sharp contrast between living by the old covenant of law versus living by the new covenant of grace.
If you should attempt to live by the law, then you would put yourself in the sad position of walking in condemnation.
Moreover, you soon would discover yourself to be putting other
people -- your friends and family --- under condemnation. This is inevitable, since the law is a "ministry
On the other hand, when you live by grace, you GROW in righteousness. When you minister the message of grace to others, they also will grow in righteousness.
Does this mean that you, as a Christian, have a *license* to disregard and disobey God's holy commandments? Absolutely not! Jesus said: "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14.15)
When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, HIS righteousness was *credited* to your account -- forever.
In addition to this initial gift of righteousness (imputed, or
credited to your account in heaven), God's grace also provides you with ongoing practical righteousness for your
daily life on earth: "That the righteous requirement
of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:4)
IT IS THE SAME with your Christian walk. Yes, you will stumble and fall from time to time. But your heavenly *Dad* is right there beside you -- not to yell at you for falling, but to help you get back up and keep trying.
Don't just sit there and cry. Grab hold of Father's hand and get on with the rest of your life!
Blessed be the God and Father
|Lord God of righteousness, I have often walked in legalistic condemnation. Also, I may have pointed others -- loved ones and friends -- in that direction. Forgive me, Lord. Please teach me how to walk in the righteousness of Jesus. Please take my hand and lead me. Equip me to minister Your righteousness to others, in Jesus name, Amen.|
|Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)|
In prior lessons, you have observed that the old covenant of law
produces spiritual bondage in those who attempt to live under it.
Living by rules and regulations has a deadening, binding spiritual effect...
Rescuing you from sin and unrighteousness is the fundamental, liberating work of Jesus.
As you walk in humble dependence, the Holy Spirit imparts to you the freedom that is in Christ Jesus. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8.36)
If the servant plainly says,
|Dear God of all spiritual liberation, I praise You for setting me free from slavery to sin and self. As a free person, I willingly and joyfully come to You. Lord, *pierce my ear* that I may serve you forever! In Jesus name, Amen.|
|Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1)|
In addition to heavenly liberty, God desires to mark your life
with other spiritual characteristics. One of these is the godly encouragement that comes when you serve God.
God has appointed you to proclaim His Gospel to your unsaved friends and family. He does NOT expect you to "get them saved" -- that decision is strictly between Him and them.
As a servant of God, you will at times be subjected to great disappointments.
When the going gets tough, don't give up. Remember Jesus. "For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." (Hebrews 12:3)
As for them,
|O God of mercy and grace, You know how often discouragement rolls over me like crashing waves. Please remind me that my service unto You depends on Your mercy, Your grace, Your power -- and NOT on my capabilities or performance. Thank You, Lord!|