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Beholding The Glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3 and 4)


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2 Corinthians 3

Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter of recommendation, written in our hearts, known and read by all; 3 being revealed before all that you are as it were a letter from Christ, delivered by us; written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. Not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh.
   4 And such confidence have we toward God, through Christ. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit. For the letter kills but the spirit gives life.

The old and new covenants
  7 But if that which ministered death, written, engraved on stones, came with glory (so that the children of Israel could not look continually upon the presence of Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this glory was); 8 how shall the ministry of the spirit be without glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For truly, that which has been made glorious has not been made ultimately glorious in that the other glory is simply so surpassing. 11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains permanently is yet more glorious.
   12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who put a veil upon his face so the children of Israel could not gaze to see the outcome of that which was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened. For until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, it not being revealed to them that it is made redundant through Christ. 15 But to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their heart. 16 But whenever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we, with an unveiled face and reflecting the glory of the Lord, are all transformed into his likeness from glory to glory by the Lord the Spirit.


3:2 The fact Paul had converted the Corinthians was the basis upon which he had authority with them; he didn’t need any letter from any other authority figure.

3:12 “Boldness” is a word often associated with the preaching of the Gospel in Acts. We who are naturally shy and not confident in witnessing to others can be inspired with boldness by the fact we have a sure hope. If we believe we shall live eternally in God’s Kingdom, we will find strength to share this good news with others (see 4:13).

3:13 The things of the Old Covenant (v. 14), the Law of Moses, were fading away (v. 11). They would finally finish with the destruction of the temple in AD70. This means we aren’t bound to keep the Law of Moses today- it has faded away.

3:18 When Moses spoke with the Angel, the glory on the Angel’s face became reflected onto Moses’ face, and he radiated it to others. If we are in a personal relationship with Jesus, His glory, His personality, will be reflected from our faces to others; and moreover, we will become like Him. His face will become ours. This is why we should regularly read the Gospels and meditate upon Jesus as a person; simply knowing Him will transform us.