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The Glory of that which Lasts

The Glory of that which Lasts

Words of Faith 9-13-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 3

   [7] Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, [8] will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? [9] If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! [10] For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. [11] And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

 

       So is this New Covenant Ministry just sort of a stop gap measure? Is it something that is not really as good as the original? No that is not what Paul is tying to get across at all. It is a little thick, but to underscore the superiority of the New Covenant to that of the Old, particularly as it was proclaimed by his opponents, Paul looked to the book of Exodus.

       His point was to show that the Old Covenant, because it came from God, was glorious. But because its fulfillment was based on human initiative, it ultimately was transitory and "fading", needing to be replaced by the New Covenant and the Spirit's ministry which is eternal. As the writer of Hebrews put it-- "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:14)

       To illustrate this, Paul contrasted the fading radiance of God's glory on the face of Moses with the ever-increasing radiance of Christians.  The Old Covenant ministry of Moses brought death to people. It was not the fault of Moses or the Law, which was "holy, righteous, and good". It was the fault of human sin. Still even this ministry of death had a glory, though transitory and fading, which was visually illustrated by the Old Covenant's intended obsolescence.

       When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, his face was so radiant that the people were afraid to approach him. While the Old Testament does not mention the fading of this radiance, Paul reveals that it did. Paul argued that this radiance faded in a way that reveals the superiority of the New Covenant.

       The ministry of the Old Covenant, by means of the commandments, condemned men. The ministry of the New, by means of the Spirit, leads men to faith in Christ and the imputation of His righteousness. Like a candle before the sun, the Old Covenant paled and passed away before the grandeur of the New, which is eternal. If the Old is glorious, how much more glorious is the New!

 

       Father God, thank You for not giving up. Thank You for revealing Your glory which lasts. Open my eyes to all of Your glory that You have for me. In Jesus' Name.