Ministry of Condemnation

Michael Beck

“Who also 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.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

How has the ministry of the Spirit become a ministry of condemnation? How should people feel when they are told that they are not supposed to have anything wrong with them health-wise when they are walking in proper faith? What do people paralyzed by accident do with this message even after they have prayed and had others pray for them and they are not better? How about those with various afflictions who have had hands laid on them, have been anointed with oil, have asked, but have not received their request? Should they be told that they are out of the will of God? Should they be told that the devil is unnecessarily winning because they haven’t done something spiritually right? Should they be left trying to figure out how to open up some great, mysterious “combination lock” in heaven that will unleash God’s blessings upon them? Should we tell them that it is “oh so simple” and all they have to do is believe that it is already done, etc. etc.?

The hyper-faith church is embarrassed by the multitude of people who don’t conform to their ideal version of Christianity. These simply have to be told over and over again that it doesn’t matter what their experience is, all that matters is what the Word of God says. Well, the Word of God is a good sword, not an instrument that kills. It should not drive people to condemnation and despair and striving. Such is a ministry of the letter of the law; not of the Spirit who gives life.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.