Journal 2 Cor 3 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Now, if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory (which was brought to an end), will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?
For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.
Indeed, in this case, what once had glory (the Law) has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it (Grace of the Cross). For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold. Not like Moses who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what is being brought to an end….to this day, when they read the Old Covenant that same veil remains un-lifted—because only through Christ is it taken away.
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts…. but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” 2 Cor 3:7-16
Observation: Isn’t it interesting that a church, vibrant, exciting, and growing, can still be a bit wobbly in their foundations?
Analysis: When I surrendered my life and will to Christ a few decades ago, my inclination was to gather biblical truth like putting berries in a basket—no rhyme or reason of accumulating “truth”, but just putting those Bible Berries in my Basket.
About 25 years ago I learned about organizing these Bible Berries into categories. The Psalmist in Ps 119 called them precepts, laws, and doctrines. The writer of Hebrews categorized them minimally as milk and meat; milk being what babies consume while meat is for the mature.
Well, competitive like I am, I did not want to be identified as a baby in the Lord and I started to dig in. It was the benevolence of the Holy Spirit that He brought Deb and I to a church plant that had Theology as a backbone of offerings. Changed me.
So, what about the scripture passage above? Two things: 1) The Law is powerful and has Glory, but it fades because the Law is a ministry of death. It testifies (in a particular measure of Glory) that the Law cannot be lived up to. Man will fail to live up to any Law and thus cannot live up to what God measures as Holy. Do I want to die and figure to be in His Presence? If I am only living by Law (knowing Right from Wrong—re: Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Garden of Eden), I will never see and enjoy the Presence. (By the way, the above is a necessary component of preaching the Gospel)
2) What surpasses the Law? Grace. Why Grace? Grace is such a huge word. Many shortcut the definition of Grace by saying Jesus (Glory to His Name), but there is so much to break down.
- Propitiation and Model of the Sacrificial System: Jesus is the only Sacrifice acceptable to God to Atone for Man.
- Two words to get acquainted with: Propitiation and Atonement and one subject—Sacrificial System beginning with Genesis.
- It is the Grace of the Triune God, His initiative alone on the Cross that Redeems traitors to the Throne and Saves us from His Holy and Justified Wrath towards Man (independent and rebels to His Rule and Reign).
Personally, I am struggling with life now. That is why I am reviewing the Gospel again so I can remember His Mercy towards me, my thanksgiving of all the Love shown to me, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring me point by point of confession and then repentance. Unfortunately, I know that this will be a long journey because of my innate stubbornness and how short a conviction I can muster.
Prayer: Lord God, please help me with this obstinance I have. I don’t know if it is physical or spiritual (certainly spiritual). You have given me a gift of your Grace in Debbie. Let me get back into the saddle.
Ricky Two Shoes