Today we continue our series entitled “GREAT FREEDOM.” I have been wanting to get to the following passage in 2 Corinthians 3 all week. The Lord gave me the ‘green light’ today. I’m excited. This is a long passage. We will be studying it for a while. I am going to call this mini-series, within the overall series, “A New Dimension of Glory!” Let’s get into it.
(2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Easy to Read Version)
7 The old agreement that brought death, written with words on stone, came with God’s glory. In fact, the face of Moses was so bright with glory (a glory that was ending) that the people of Israel could not continue looking at his face.
8 So surely the new agreement that comes from the life-giving Spirit has even more glory.
9 This is what I mean: That old agreement judged people guilty of sin, but it had glory. So surely the new agreement that makes people right with God has much greater glory.
10 That old agreement had glory. But it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of the new agreement.
11 If the agreement that was brought to an end came with glory, then the agreement that never ends has much greater glory.
12 We are so sure of this hope that we can speak very openly.
13 We are not like Moses, who put a covering over his face. He covered his face so that the people of Israel would not see it. The glory was disappearing, and Moses did not want them to see it end.
14 But their minds were closed. And even today, when those people read the writings of the old agreement, that same covering hides the meaning. That covering has not been removed for them. It is taken away only through Christ.
15 Yes, even today, when they read the Law of Moses, there is a covering over their minds.
16 But when someone changes and follows the Lord, that covering is taken away.
17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. The Old Covenant was the ministry of death and the New Covenant is the ministry of life.
The Apostle Paul called the Old Agreement, written with words on tablets of stone, “the ministry of death” (2 Cor 3:7). In verse 6 he said, “He [God] made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people. It is not an agreement of written laws, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.”
The purpose of The Law was to show man the error of our ways. It was designed to show us our need for a savior. By giving us rules that are so perfect that no human (outside of Jesus) can comply with them, the Father was bringing man to the end of himself. The goal was to show us that we are sinners outside of Him. Sinners who need to be saved from our sin. In this way, The Law is the ministry of death.
On the other hand, the New Covenant, which was ratified in Jesus’ own blood, is the ministry of life. The Old Covenant proved to us that we were wrong. Under the New Covenant, we are made right! We are not right because of what we do or what we fail to do. We are only made right because of what Jesus did. In Christ Jesus, we become the righteousness of God by faith (not by performance). And to make a good story even better, God goes a step further and FILLS us with His precious Holy Spirit when we are Born-Again. At that point, not only are we righteous (because Jesus’ righteousness was imputed to us), but we are also carriers of God. We are walking around with God Himself on the inside of us. We get to take God into every meeting, conversation, and activity we engage in on a daily basis. If we can ever get this, we will live “righteousness minded” and “God-inside minded”. When you know you have been made right with God, knowing you are not going to hell, and you also know that you have God on the inside of you, so there is nothing you can’t do, you live the remainder of your days as an emissary of heaven and a conduit of God’s love/light in this world!
2. We have a glory that does not fade.
The Apostle Paul said, “The old agreement judged people guilty of sin, but it had glory. So surely the new agreement that makes people right with God has much greater glory.” (2 Cor 3:9). Paul went on to explain how when Moses received the 10 Commandments from God, he came down from the mountain not realizing that his face was emanating the glory of God (Exodus 34:29). He had spent time in God’s presence and he left that encounter with God’s residue all over him. His face was emanating so much glory that he had to put a veil over his face in order to have normal interactions with people. However, later on, Moses realized that this glory faded away. At that point, he was able to take the veil off of his face, but He didn’t. He did not take it off, because he did not want people to know that the glory had faded. He was walking around pretending to still have a glory that was gone.
There is a lot I can say about this. I will give you just a few quick nuggets today.
a) When you spend time quality time God you will walk away from that encounter with a divine residue that people will be able to notice.
b) People should know that you are a man/woman who knows God. When people come in contact with you after you have come in contact with God, there should be something on you or about you that is noticeable. You cannot spend quality time with God and remain unchanged.
c) We have a glory that never fades. Moses had to visit God on a mountain. He only did this a few times. The Old Testament High Priests had to visit the Holy Spirit inside of the Holy of Holies, inside of the temple. They were only authorized to do this once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Under the New Covenant, we are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives INSIDE of us. We get to carry around a presence 24/7 that they could only visit. Their glory was temporary and it faded. The glory we have access to is permanent and it never fades away. Enter this day cognizant of God’s presence inside of you and aware of His glory! As you spend time with the God you have on the inside, the glory you are carrying around will be seen!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to ratify a New Agreement. The Old Agreement was the ministry of death. Under this New Agreement, I get to enjoy the ministry of life. I have been made the righteousness of God by faith. Jesus’ righteousness was imputed to me — it has been attributed to my account. I am now righteous and I am also filled with Your Spirit. I get to carry around Your presence. As I spend time with the Holy Spirit, I get to encounter You intimately. As I do, I leave those experiences changed. When people come in contact with me today, they will know that I have been with You. I walk around with a residue of Your glory all over me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!