Credentials of Faith

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

In the days of the early church, letters of recommendation were commonly used. If a person entered a new community, it was helpful to have a letter to introduce himself, testify to his character, and describe the work he had come to accomplish. Paul himself had secured such letters from the high priest in Jerusalem, when, as an aggressive persecutor of the church, he desired to imprison Christians in Damascus.

By contrast, if a person went to a place where he was well known, then a letter of commendation was quite unnecessary. Such was the case with Paul in Corinth. He knew these people well, but because false teachers had poisoned his reputation, he felt he needed to defend himself. He did not produce an impressive r?sum? because the Christians of Corinth themselves were his letters of commendation. They were the “result of his ministry,” living proof of his credentials as an apostle from God.?The eminent philosopher Plato once said, “The good teacher does not write his message in ink that will fade; he writes it upon men.” This is what Paul did. He wrote on hearts with the Spirit of God. May we all write letters of this kind.


Dear Father, may the lives of those we touch arouse a response of liberating faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.