Writing the Human Recommendation Letter with God’s Spirit
TODAY professional people like to display in their offices the diplomas they received from their college or university. These documents testify to their being qualified and cause others to have confidence in them. They might therefore be said to be printed letters of recommendation signed with pen and ink.
Although Christendom’s clergy also like to point to the diplomas they received from institutions of higher learning to prove that they are ministers, such diplomas do not prove that they are genuine Christian ministers of the true God Jehovah. One of the best Christian ministers of Jehovah was the apostle Paul, yet he had no such diploma or letter of recommendation. But he had letters of far greater merit. And what were they? He tells us:
“Do we, perhaps, like some men, need letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts and known and being read by all mankind. For you are shown to be a letter of Christ written by us as ministers, inscribed not with ink but with spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets, but on fleshly tablets, on hearts.”—2 Cor. 3:1-3, NW.*
Of course, before Paul could be such a minister he had to have the light from God shine upon him, he had to repent of his sinful course and accept God’s mercy, had to call upon God’s name and to have his sins washed away in the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice, and had to make a public confession of his faith by being baptized. What was required of Paul is also required of all who would be God’s ministers.
And how did Paul write his human recommendation letters by God’s spirit? While working as a tentmaker at Corinth he preached every sabbath in the synagogue to win over both Jews and Greeks. In time he became more “intensely occupied with the word” of God, staying in Corinth about a year and a half. When Paul left there was a Christian congregation there that was a letter of recommendation. And it was written by God’s spirit, for Paul’s preaching was done by the spirit of God through Paul.—Acts 18:1-5.
The same is true of Christian ministers today. While the governments of Christendom may refuse to recognize their Scriptural ordination, they have far better letters that they themselves have been used to write and that show their divine ordination. Yes, far better than any handwritten, typed or printed letters.
Their letters are written on human hearts by means of God’s holy spirit in that they manifest the fruitage of the spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23, NW) This fruitage of God’s spirit motivates them to go from house to house and stand on street corners in search of human “tablets” of the “hearts,” on which to write. And it causes them to call back and conduct Bible studies with all who show any likelihood of letting the spirit of God write on their hearts. And God’s spirit causes these ministers to stay with these persons, bringing them to congregational meetings and assisting them to have a share in the preaching work also.
Soon these take their stand, dedicate themselves to do Jehovah’s will and are baptized, giving public testimony that they now also are ministers of Jehovah. Thus they are read by all men, letters proving that the Christian witnesses of Jehovah are ministers.
For details see The Watchtower, November 1, 1955.