Are we starting to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some [false teachers], letters of recommendation to you or from you? [No!] You are our letter [of recommendation], written in our hearts, recognized and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. – 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
The Lord’s ministry through Paul was under attack by false teachers and false apostles who had come to Corinth. There is a lesson for all of us who seek to preach and teach the pure milk of His Word in season and out of season — attacks will surely come on men and women who undertake Word centred, Christ exalting, Spirit filled, God glorifying ministries! The modus operandi of Satan’s pseudo-saints has not changed much since Paul’s time – they told lies about him and sought to discredit his character and his competency as a minister so that they might usurp his authority in the church at Corinth. Paul was placed in a tenuous position for his own attempts to defend his ministry might be twisted by his enemies as an effort of self-commendation.
Christ’s work is twofold, erasure and rewriting. For the one, ‘I will blot out as a cloud their transgressions.’ None but He can remove these. For the other, ‘I will put My law into their minds and will write it on their hearts.’ He can impress all holy desires on, and can put His great love and His mighty Spirit into, our hearts. – MacLaren
Christianity: the faith of God written on the soul and in the heart is Christianity in its most legible form, in its most persuasive form, in its most meaningful form, in its most enduring form, in its divinest form, in its most heavenly form—you, you. This is the message of God—you. This is the epistle of Christ. This is the heavenly word—you, you. – W. A. Criswell
It is amazing, unbelievable, that these people would ever think that the Apostle Paul needed a letter of recommendation when he came back to them. After all, he had led these people to Christ, and yet here they more or less infer to him that the next time he came it would be very good if he brought some letters from John, or Peter, or James, or one of the real apostles. Paul is asking them, “Do you really mean that? Don’t you understand? You are our letter of recommendation. Christ has written it on your hearts. He didn’t use paper, or deliver it on stones, as he did with Moses on Mount Sinai. He wrote it on your hearts, and the ink he used was the Holy Spirit. As for me, I’m nothing but the postman; I just delivered the letter. God did the work.” Paul wants these Corinthians to understand that the changes that had occurred in their lives, the freedom they were experiencing, the deliverance from evil habits such as immorality, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, thievery — “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11a RSV), he said — all happened because Christ had changed them. – Ray Steadman