23 Aug. 2 Corinthians 3:5-18

23 Aug. Paul explains the new covenant relationship with God

"It is God who makes us able to do all that we do. He made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people."

"This new agreement is not a written law, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life."

"The law that brought death was written in words on stone. It came with God's glory, which made Moses' face so bright that the Israelites could not continue to look at it. But that glory later disappeared."

"So surely the new way that brings the Spirit has even more glory. If the law that judged people guilty of sin had glory, surely the new way that makes people right with God has much greater glory."

"That old law had glory, but it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of this new way. If that law which disappeared came with glory, then this new way which continues for ever has much greater glory..."

"We are not like Moses, who put a covering over his face so the Israelites would not see it... their minds were closed, and even today that same covering hides the meaning when they read the old agreement... But when a person changes and follows the Lord, that covering is taken away. The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

"Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings even greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

          (2 Corinthians 3:5-18)



In this section of his letter, Paul compares the new spiritual covenant agreement – the living relationship with God kept alive by the guidance of the Holy Spirit in believers – with the old Jewish covenant agreement given to Moses and written on stone tablets (see Exodus 32:15).

This older covenant was a more formal relationship where the written code of Jewish religious laws was necessary to guide people in God’s ways. Paul explains that the old covenant relationship nevertheless led to death as it was impossible for anyone to keep all the requirements of the many laws given to Moses - so it "judged people guilty of sin" (2 Corinthians 3:9).

The new covenant relationship, on the other hand, leads to life as believers rely on Jesus's sacrificial death to bring forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives to create a special kind of new life.

In the same way as Moses wore a veil when his face was reflecting the dazzling glory of God (see Exodus 34:29), unbelievers’ minds are ‘veiled’ so they cannot see the truth when reading the scriptures.

Believers, however, are not 'veiled' from the truth as their minds and understanding are guided by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit filling their lives makes them shine outwardly with the glory of God far more than the old law given to Moses could ever do.

The photo (by Roland Unger) shows Mount Sinai where Moses received the written law on tablets of stone.

You can read more from Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/1…/christs-victory-parade/

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