August 13th 2 Corinthians 3 (Ministry of Christ)
Do l need to be introduced?
1: Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2: Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 4: And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6: 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. 7: But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9: For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10: For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11: For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. 12: Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16: Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Paul asks the question - Are we going to introduce ourselves to you again? Maybe we need letters of introduction and recommendation to you? Maybe you could write a letter of recommendation for us? Does the evangelist need a letter of commendation from his convert? No of course not. Paul points out that you – believers are our letters of recommendation. You are read and known by everyone. Because you are our letter of recommendation which was not written with pen and ink but with the Spirit of the living God. And not on slabs of stone but written of the fleshly tablet of your hearts. And we have faith in your conversion by God. We do not think that we are clever or able to do things for God but our trust is in the almighty power of God who is able to do everything. And he has made us competent servants of the New Covenant. Not in the letter only but in the enabling of the Spirit. (because the letter destroys but the Holy Spirit is the life giver). If the Mosaic Law which brought separation from God and which was written on stones was a wonderful thing a revelation of the glory of God, So that when Moses came down from Sinai the children of Israel were unable to look in his face because of the glory of God which shone from his face. This glory was to be a fading glory. The Glory of God seen in our ministry is much more glorious. Because if the Mosaic Law which brought condemnation on sinners was glorious, how much, much more will the glory of God be seen in the Gospel which brings righteousness to the sinner. Even the Glory of the Mosaic Law pales into insignificance in comparison to the Glory of the Gospel. The Mosaic Law which is done away was glorious but the Gospel which we have now is much, more glorious. Because our ministry in the Gospel is such a wonderful hope for mankind we use very simple language. We are not like Moses who put a cloth over his face so that the children of Israel might not see the fading glory of the Mosaic Law which is now abolished. But their minds are to this day blind because even today the same cloth remains on thie eyes when they read the Old Testament. This cloth is done away in Christ. Right up until today, when the Mosaic Law is read in the Synagogues the blindfold covers their eyes to the truth of God. But when they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ the blindfold is taken away. The Spirit of the Lord takes away the blindness of the Law and brings freedom to see everything that God is able to do in the life of the sinner that believes in him. And we who see the glory of the Lord like a man looking seeing his own image in a dusty mirror and in doing so we are changed from the glory of the Law, to the glory of the Gospel and all this is accomplished by the Spirit of God.
- Did Paul need to be introduced to him converts?
- How does Paul contrast the Old Covenant with Life in Christ – in the Spirit?
- What is the difference between Old Israel and NT believers?