St. Paul compares and contrasts the ministry of the old covenant with the ministry of the new covenant. The ministry of the old covenant had a great glory, but it could not lead to life and ultimately came to an end. For that reason, the ministry of the new covenant has an even greater glory, for it does lead to life and is permanent. In this hope, God’s people are bold through Christ Jesus. Only through Him is the veil that lay over Moses’ words to be removed. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, who grants us to see Christ in faith and behold His glory now and into eternity.
Rev. Matt Ulmer, pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church—Friedheim, just outside Decatur, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 2 Corinthians 3:7-18.
“A Letter of Comfort” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the epistle of 2 Corinthians. St. Paul writes again to the Christians in Corinth to bring them the ongoing comfort of the Gospel in the midst of the attacks of false doctrine from so-called “super apostles.” He seeks to give confidence to the Corinthians—and to us—that the good news of Christ crucified and risen proclaimed by His called ministers will accomplish all that He intends.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18
7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one[a] turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord[b] is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,[c] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.[d] For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org