2Corinthians Chapter Three


Paul now begins to affirm the authenticity of his own spiritual ministry to the Corinthians, not because of self justification, but because of his deep care and concern for them, that they would not grasp the power of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. He is admonishing both they and the false teachers who have come to the church and confused them about what spirituality really is. He sees those teachers as being people who trusted in their own deceitful powers of persuasion, and counters this by saying that his true ministry of the Spirit of God does not depend upon his natural know how or competence but comes by revelation from God.

Paul then makes a wonderful comparison between the Old Testament ministry of Moses and the New Testament ministry of Jesus. He stats that the Old Testament ministry of judgment was glorious because God was obviously on display through that ministry, but that the glory, or display of God in that era could not compare to the radiant display of who God is as revealed through Jesus Christ (and therefore potentially through the Church). The old glory of God was seen through the things he did FOR people, while the new glory is God on display by who he is as he lives WITHIN people. In other word, the Old Testament was an EXTERNAL display, but the New Testament is an INTERNAL experience.

The blessings of the Old Testament were external and were rewards for faithfulness and brought favor with God. That was the former glory and display of God. Now we receive God himself. That was not on offer before Jesus, and Jesus supersedes all other offers. We have favor with God and we have blessings, but the greatest blessing is a shared life with God – and then we can face tribulation – and overcome the darkness and uncertainty of this world.

Paul then speaks of people’s minds as being blinded to the truth of this internal transforming work of the Spirit. He refers to this blindness as being a ‘veil’ which is demonstrated by a self consciousness and self centered independence from God in their minds. He explains how Moses covered his face with a veil when he came down from the mountain after being with God. Moses covered his face for two reasons. Firstly it stopped the people from seeing the blinding radiance of his face from being in God’s presence, but it also stopped them from witnessing the fading away of that temporary radiance, which was a sign of the passing away of the glory of the Old Testament to be superseded by the glory of the New. That veil is still over the hearts of Israel, but it is taken away when one gets a revelation of Jesus and turns to him. This turning to Jesus brings freedom and liberty into the soul and begins to transform a person’s inner being into the likeness of Jesus.

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1. Do we have to endorse ourselves, or do we have to get letters for you to show we are credentialed like some others are doing, or get letters of recommendation from you to show we are bona fide?

2. Your lives are our letters of recommendation, written in our hearts, for everybody to observe and read and know fully what we say and what it means.

3. Your lives are to outwardly proclaim the message of Christ that has been written by us, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not written on stone or paper but written in the soft and living tissue of your hearts.

4. And we trust God for this work through Christ.

5. We don’t see our own know-how or competence achieving anything, but our ability is totally of God.

6. Who had made us capable to be ministers of the New Testament, and not just with written words of instruction, but through God’s life giving Spirit, because written instructions bring death but God’s Spirit breathes life into you.

7. But if the ministry of that death which consisted of words written down and engraved upon stone was radiantly glorious, so that the children of Israel could not even fix their gaze upon the face of Moses because of the glorious radiance of his face, which nonetheless was destined to fade away

8. Doesn’t that mean that the ministry of the life giving Spirit of God will be much more radiantly glorious?

9. Because if the ministry of judgment was glorious, how much more will the ministry

of harmony with God be so much more glorious

10. So you could say that what first had glory really had no glory whatsoever compared to what now has such excellent

excellent glory

11. Because if what had to go was glorious then what now stands in its place has to be so much more glorious.

12. Because this gives us such great expectations of  what God will do we say it loud and clear

13. Not like Moses who had to cover up his face with a veil, so that the children of Israel would not set their eyes upon something whose purpose was to one day be terminated.

14. But their minds were blinded because even today they still set their eyes upon a veil that covers what is now really there to be seen when they read the Old Testament. But the veil that covers that truth is taken away through the person of Christ

15. But even up to this day when the words of Moses are read, that veil covers their heart from believing the truth.

16. But when they turn to The Lord the veil will be taken away.

17. The Lord is that Spirit of life, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty and freedom.

18. And all of us, who don’t have any veil to stop us from seeing, are able to both see

and reflect the glory of who Jesus is, being changed into his likeness from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord

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