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The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Church in Corinth, expressed gratitude on behalf of himself and his fellow ministers, to God, Whom he said, “hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” The solemn truth in view here is that preaching, even though it is biblically "letter perfect," may have a hurtful and even killing, rather than a helpful and quickening effect on those who hear it.

Preaching that is biblical in content but prepared and presented solely within the context of the flesh may excite and stir fleshly interest, emotions and physical response, but it is dangerous and even spiritually deadly preaching; in the words of the apostle, it "killeth." Why? Because the devil can work through ministry done within the framework of flesh, but not through ministry that operates within the framework of the Holy Spirit. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).

The least eloquent preacher with the simplest presentation who ministers the Word of God dependent on God's Spirit is an "able" minister of the Gospel and a blessing to those who hear him. But ministers who operate in the flesh, though they may have tons of charisma, capacity for spellbinding delivery of truth, and a knack for getting visible response to their preaching, aren't "able ministers of the New Testament" and aren't capable of bringing forth true spiritual fruit. They allow the flesh to disable them and to deprive their hearers of the spiritual profit they could otherwise have had from their ministry of God's Word.


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