II Corinthians 3:5-6
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 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.
Charles Wesley reflected on this passage in his 1783 lyric “Whether the Word Be Preached or Read”:
Whether the Word be preached or read,
No saving benefit I gain
From empty sounds or letters dead;
Unprofitable all and vain,
Unless by faith Thy Word I hear
And see its heavenly character.
Unmixed with faith, the Scripture gives
No comfort, life, or light to see,
But me in darker darkness leaves,
Implunged in deeper misery,
Overwhelmed with nature’s sorest ills,
The Spirit saves, the letter kills.
If God enlighten through His Word,
I shall my kind Enlightener bless;
But void and naked of my Lord,
What are all verbal promises?
Nothing to me, till faith divine
Inspire, inspeak, and make them mine.
Jesus, the appropriating grace
’Tis Thine on sinners to bestow.
Open mine eyes to see Thy face,
Open my heart Thyself to know.
And then I through Thy Word obtain
Sure present, and eternal gain.
II Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
There are several excellent songs based on this verse listed below. One of these is Hillsong Worship’s “Where the Spirit of the Lord Is”:
Extra Mile (II Corinthians 3:3) (1992)
Jamie Soles | Popularized by Jamie Soles
All faithful teachers well do know (II Corinthians 3:4-9)
Where the Spirit of the Lord Is (II Corinthians 3:17)
Popularized by Henry and Hazel Slaughter
Whether the Word Be Preached or Read (II Corinthians 3:5-6)
I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way (II Corinthians 3:18)
Dianne Wilkinson | Popularized by Mark Trammell Quartet