THE LESSON BACKGROUND.
The Apostle Paul wrote the Second Letter to the believers in Corinth while in Macedonia within a year of the first letter to the same believers. According to II Corinthians 2:17, there were preachers in Paul’s day who were “peddling” God’s Word, preaching without understanding God’s message, or caring about what happened to their listeners. They weren’t concerned about furthering God’s kingdom; they were only out for themselves (see II Corinthians 11:13-15). As a result, some in the Corinthian church had questioned Paul’s apostolic authority (see I Corinthians 9:1-2). But the fact that many Corinthians had been converted to Christ was evidence of the validity of Paul’s message. In II Corinthians3:3-6, Paul makes a comparison between the old testament or covenant which was the Law of Moses and the new covenant which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He declared that God had made him and his fellow-laborers “able ministers of the new testament” or covenant (see II Corinthians 3: 6; Jeremiah 31:31-40; Hebrew 8:6-13). He did this to answer the false teachers who greatly magnified the Law of Moses. In this week’s lesson, Paul describes what true ministry is. It means being ministers of a glorious new covenant and that Jesus Christ is the theme of that ministry (see II Corinthians 3:4-6). Our printed text begins with II Corinthians 3:7.