Paul wasn’t looking for endorsements from the churches where he ministered. The only verification he wanted was to be found in the lifestyle of those he taught and discipled. Their authentic selves was God’s stamp of approval.
What Paul communicated, the church substantiated. A fruitless gospel was unthinkable to him—and it should be to us.
After all, the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). Paul had seen the changes—envious people became content, deceivers got honest, the self-righteous repented, and the arrogant humbled themselves. It was all just too much to deny. The gospel hit its mark.
Paul had been on the receiving end of gospel transformation himself. Hopefully, you have too. Your life will therefore be a “letter of recommendation,” a living and breathing document that verifies the gospel’s power.
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again?
Or do we need, as some do,
letters of recommendation to you, or from you?
You yourselves are our letter of recommendation,
written on our hearts, to be known and read by all.
(2 Corinthians 3:1–2 ESV)