“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.”
Part I. YOU ARE A LETTER FROM CHRIST (1-6)
1. What problem did Paul touch in the Corinthians' attitude toward him? (1) Why do people need letters of recommendation?
2. What letter commended Paul to them? (2a) What are the characteristics of it? (2b,3) How is it different from human letters of recommendation? Why is it important to have this kind of letter in our ministry?
3. What was the source of Paul's confidence? (4) Why do we need this confidence? [Note: The word "competent" in verse 5 is also translated as "sufficient," (KJV) "adequate," (NAS) or "capable" (TEV).] Why is it important to realize that Paul's ministry came from God, not men? (2 Pe 1:3) Who makes us competent as ministers of a new covenant? (6) What does "new covenant" mean in contrast with "old covenant"? (Jer 31:31-34; Lk 22:20)
Part II. THE GLORIOUS MINISTRY OF THE NEW COVENANT (7-18)
4. In what respect was the ministry of the Law glorious? (7; Ex 34:29,30) By comparison and contrast, how is the ministry of the Spirit more glorious? (7-11) In light of this, how should we view our gospel ministry?
5. In what way does this ministry affect us? (12) Why did Moses put a veil over his face? (13) How did Paul use the metaphor of the veil to describe obstacles that prevent one from seeing the Lord's glory? Why were the minds of the Israelites made dull? (14,15)
6. When is the veil taken away? (14b,16) What blessings are given to anyone who turns to the Lord? (17-18)