“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”
2 Corinthians 3:2-3
The Holy Spirit has been highlighting these verses of Scripture to me for a while. What does it mean to be a ‘walking epistle’? The Lord brought to mind an event from a couple of years ago.
Jonathan and I were privileged to attend a Messianic Jewish conference where we participated in the Shabbat service on Saturday evening. After the reading of Scriptures, the Torah was held high and carried around the room while the congregation sang. These first five books of the Old Testament are foundational to the faith of the Jewish people. I appreciated their significance as these manuscripts were held above their heads and paraded around the room for all to see.
As believers in Christ, we ourselves are walking letters, available to be read by all men. Just as we could visibly see the Torah in that room, in the same way, our lives can be seen by all men. Moses was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the Torah. He spent so much time with God that his face literally shone. His words were inspired by God alone.
As walking epistles, it is important for us to spend much time in His presence, to cultivate intimacy with Him. Only as we spend time with Him can we become more like Him. We cultivate love and faith in our hearts as we study the Scriptures. Then, the words flow out of us that bring peace and encouragement and hope to others.
Our lives as Christians are constantly on display. Do others see Christ when they see us? Are we bearing the fruit of the Spirit as we live out our days? Do we show abundant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23)? Are we humble and generous and gracious? When so many are hurting and in need of a Savior, we become a light on a hill that draws people to the knowledge of the Lord.
The Jewish people carry the Torah scroll as a display of important Scripture; as walking epistles, we are the Gospel ‘with skin on it.’ May His words stored in our hearts reflect great love toward people. Frank Reich, a native of Lebanon, PA and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts says: “…if I’m intimate with God through Christ, then that should overflow in my life. It should overflow in my speech, my countenance, in the work that I do, and in my relationships with other people” (Decision Magazine July-August 2020). Let us ‘preach’ the Gospel by the way we live our lives – as WALKING EPISTLES!
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