Reading for Thursday, Sept 20: 2 Cor 3
In this chapter, Paul seeks to remind the Corinthians of their identity. In addition to being the aroma of Christ (ch2), Paul draws upon another metaphor: “you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts,” (v3). The image is a beautiful one: God writing His story in us, through us, by the power of the Spirit. We are the living testimonies, the narrative breathed to life through which God demonstrates His power to save.
Paul moves on to contrast this new experience of the Spirit with what has come before in the old covenant. As “ministers of a new covenant” (v6), we bear witness to the surpassing glory of the “ministry of the Spirit” (v8). Recalling the way Moses’ face was illuminated upon receiving the first covenant, Paul argues in favor of a far greater glory now revealed in Christ. “When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit,” (v16-18).
The work of the Spirit is to liberate, to unveil our faces, in order that we might experience transformation. At the core, this is the heart of the Gospel, the power of transformation. And now, we share in this ministry, formerly reserved for one man (Moses). Such is the richness, beauty, and glory of the new covenant we enjoy.