From Lesser to Greater Glory

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Two crows were in a field when they noticed a
figure that looked like a man in the distance.
“See that over there? What is that?”, says the first
crow.

The second crows takes a long look, “That’s a
scarecrow. Looks authentic, doesn’t it.”
“How can you tell it’s a scarecrow and not a
person?”, replies the first crow.
“Look at its hand. No cellphone”, says the second
crow.

Today we are going to turn our attention back to Paul’s
second letter to the Corinthian church.
Two weeks ago we looked at the first 6 verses of the third
chapter where Paul reminded them of God’s promise to
give them a new heart and a New Covenant.

Let’s see what God has to say to us today.

2 Corinthians 3:7-11

Paul contrasts the Old Covenant with the New Covenant
in a similar way as the writer of Hebrews does as he
explains how Jesus is greater than any who have come
before Him.
In these verses we see:

A Tale of Two Glories

The Lesser Glory is the glory of the Law

It is the ministry of Death
It is the ministry of Condemnation
It has a fading glory
The law was what Israel needed to help them see their
sin and turn from it.
And it was surely full of glory.
Paul describes the scene from Exodus 34:29-35.
Moses had been on the mountain with God to receive the
10 Commandments and his face was glowing. He had
been in the presence of God and His Shekinah glory.
Not only that, but God had allowed Moses to see the
backside of His glory while He covered him with His hand
in the cleft of the rock.

Paul’s point was that the law, like Moses’ glowing face,
was an example of fading glory.
The law was never intended to be a permanent solution.
God’s grace and the obedience of Jesus going to the cross
was always God’s perfect plan.

Paul isn’t saying that the Old Covenant was bad.
Quite the contrary. He said the Old Covenant came with
such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’
face because of its glory.

The Greater Glory is the glory of Grace
It is the ministry of the Spirit
It is the ministry of Righteousness
It is a permanent glory

The Judaizers knew the law for so long it was hard for
them to receive and understand grace.
They liked the guilt and being able to do something to
feel like they have earned salvation.
And they were trying to get the new believers in Corinth
to add the law to the grace they had received through
Christ.

But Grace isn’t something that can be earned.
By definition grace is unmerited favor.
It’s a gift from God that you don’t deserve.
Because of Jesus we are made righteous in God’s sight.

It’s not that the old covenant was bad,
It’s that the NT covenant is so much better.

The Superiority of the New Covenant

Paul uses three comparisons to make his point of the
superiority of the New Covenant.

Paul uses three comparisons to make his point of the
superiority of the New Covenant.

1. If the ministry of death carved on stone came with
glory then won’t the ministry of the Spirit have even
more glory?
2. If there was glory in the ministry of condemnation,
the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in
glory.
3. If what was being brought to an end came with
glory, how much more will what is permanent have
glory?

Think of it this way…
The moon is incredible when it shines at night
But when the sun is out the moon doesn’t look so bright.

2 Corinthians 3:12-16

A Tale of Two Veils

The Physical Veil of Moses
Moses put the veil over his face after he finished
speaking with the people after having met with God.
He knew the glory of the Lord would begin to fade after
being away from His presence. He didn’t want them to
see the glory fading.

It’s another reminder of the temporary nature of the law.
The law was never meant to be forever.
However, Jesus and His grace are eternal.

The Spiritual Veil of the Israelites
Paul writes about the hard hearts of Israel.

He explains that they have a veil which keeps them from
understanding the Scripture.
This is sad because these are God’s chosen people and
because of their dedication to the law they just can’t see
Jesus as the Messiah God has promised through
Scriptures. It’s amazing to me how they can read the
Scriptures that point to Jesus and not see that He is the
promised one.

Paul writes that the veil is only removed when they turn
to the LORD. Believers should be ready to share with
Jews about the truth that God has revealed to us and
help them see what has been veiled for so long.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The law brings death and bondage.
But the Spirit brings freedom.

Freedom in Christ

Romans 8:1-4 “There is therefore now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in
Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God
had done what they law, weakened by the flesh,
could not do. By sending his own Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned
sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous
requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
walk not according to the flesh but according to the
Spirit.”

Not only do we have freedom in Christ,
We can behold the Glory of the LORD.

Not only do we have freedom in Christ,
We can behold the Glory of the LORD.
We have direct access to God..

Direct Access to God

When Christ died the veil in the temple was torn in two.
Now we are in direct communication with God.
We can come into His presence anytime we want.
We can enter the Holy of Holies.
And with an unveiled face.
Isn’t that incredible that God allows us access to Him
through prayer anytime!
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw
near to the throne of grace, that we may receive
mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Again it’s the covenant of Grace.
It’s the throne of grace where we find mercy and grace to
help us in our need.

APPLICATION

God has given us this new covenant of grace through
Jesus Christ.

Be Transformed by the Spirit

God has not only transformed us at the moment of our
salvation, He is constantly making us more and more like
Him as we abide in Him daily.

How can you tell you have been transformed?

Moses reflected the glory of God.
We radiate it. God is within us.

When we are transformed we will be living for Him and
we will be doing things that bring Him glory.