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This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our new mini-series, “The Purpose of the Cross.” In our last message we looked at how Jesus actually made you a child of God. You are no longer a servant or a salve, you are a son, and that makes all the difference in the world. This morning we will look at a passage in 2 Corinthians 3 that is very important to understand. Let’s get to it.
“The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses’ face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?
If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity? (2 Cor 3:7-11 Message Bible)
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Paul called the 10 Commandments the Government of Death. Paul said, “The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural.” The Apostle focuses on the fact that the glory on Moses, related to the day he received the 10 Commandments written on stone tablets, was a temporary glory that eventually faded away; and the dazzling glory we receive by God’s Living Spirit is much more glorious. But I can’t get away from Paul’s characterization of the 10 Commandments. Paul calls the 10 Commandments the Government of Death, because death is actually what the Law led to. No human could ever fully comply with the Law of Moses and by breaking God’s Law, we all deserve death.
2. Jesus delivered us from death to life. While we could never fully comply with God’s Law, Jesus did. While we are not perfect, Jesus was. While we all break God’s 10 Commandments, Jesus never did and His perfect life becomes our substitutionary payment. I don’t have to go through all the 10 Commandments. I can just ask you this question: have you ever lied? Your answer is “yes.” If you say, “no,” then you are lying right now. Just the fact that you have lied — without even getting into the other 9 Commandments — would sentence you to death. But Jesus died in your place. The Law made you guilty, Jesus and His grace make you righteous.
3. Paul called the 10 Commandments the Government of Condemnation. In another comparison, the Apostle Paul likens the 10 Commandments to the Government of Condemnation and He calls the New Covenant the Government of Affirmation. Paul says the New Covenant makes the Old look “downright dull.” There is no comparing the two. The New Covenant is much better. The Law of Moses was impossible to keep and it therefore condemned all who tried.
4. Jesus delivered us from condemnation to affirmation. While the Old Covenant (the Law of Moses) condemned us, the New Covenant (the Law of Love), affirms us. The Apostle John told us that Moses brought us the Law, but Jesus brought us grace and truth (John 1:17). Under the Law of Moses you can’t help but be wrong. But when you receive Jesus as Lord, under the Law of Love, full of grace, Jesus makes you right. In Christ Jesus you receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness so you can reign in life (Rom 5:17).
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me the Purpose of the Cross. The more I study the Law You established through Moses, the more I understand why Jesus had to die. I have broken Your Commandments more times than I want to remember. If I were judged solely by Your Law I would be unquestionably guilty. And it is my guilt that makes Jesus’ death more precious. I was clearly wrong, Jesus was clearly right, and Jesus willingly took my place. I am far from perfect, but Jesus was perfect for me. I have broken Your Law, but Jesus kept it for me. My own actions made me unrighteous, but Jesus was righteous for me. Jesus’ perfect life became the substitutionary payment for my imperfections. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord, I have been Born-Again, and with Jesus, I now receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. I am not righteous because of what I do, or because of what I fail to do. I am only righteous because of what Jesus did. I can’t earn it and I will never deserve it, but since it is a gift, I can receive. I receive the gift of righteousness and I walk in the newness of the life Christ Jesus died to give me. I enter this day forgiven, empowered, and focused on making Kingdom impact. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.