Glory Indeed!

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

In the previous paragraph or so, Paul has presented a contrast between the letter, and the Spirit, death and life, and the Old and the New Covenants, and with this paragraph, he draws a conclusion from that discussion− that is our context.

In drawing his conclusion, Paul uses a metaphor, that of Moses wearing a veil when he came down from the mountain to address the Israelites after his summit meeting with God. The purpose of the veil, as you will recall, was to hide the glory of God that still shone on his countenance so that it would not overwhelm the people who saw it, until it faded away. His next step is to tell them that in a sense, that veil is still there, only not on the face of Moses, but upon their hearts, for it is only through Christ Jesus that we can see God’s glory clearly. Of course, what we see of God’s glory in Christ is not a bright light, at least not in the literal and physical sense.  What we see is His Truth, His salvation; His grace. In seeing this, we come to understand the difference between the letter of the Law, and the life-giving Spirit of Almighty God working in our lives.

That is, if we care to notice.

So often we might want to rely on something more tangible like… rules, regulations… the Law, and as a result, we might well miss the Spirit in our midst. I we’re honest, we’d probably say that we’ve all had that experience.

Yet, we do not need to stay in that place, for thanks be to God, He has set us free from the regulation of Law, from the regulation of worship, and from death and separation from God.

We have the Spirit of the Lord, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, and that dear reader, is glorious indeed.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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6 Responses to Glory Indeed!

  1. Pete says:

    Ah yes, free from the law by grace. That is truly glory. Wish i could convince my Catholic Master Catechist friend of that!

  2. DWMartens says:

    “… prevent [them] from seeing the end of what was passing away.” Might this also be saying that, not only were they not seeing the glory that remained on Moses’ face, but they wouldn’t be witnessing it’s fading? There almost seems to be a reference to the imminent fading of the Old Covenant with the coming of the New.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Well Dennis, if I’m honest, I’d have to admit that I avoided that one. As you have pointed out to me on various occasions, I have my own strange little way of seeing things sometimes, and this is one of those times, I think, because it has always seemed to me that the OT text almost implies that Moses, as the narrator of the story, was anxious for the glory to fade from his face. Am I seeing something that really isn’t there? Most likely… but I can’t seem to get that thought out of my mind. If I’m right, there are lots of ramifications that lead in more than one direction… nah, it can’t be right… can it

      • DWMartens says:

        He likely was discouraged by the nuisance of having to wear the veil which would have prevented him from speaking with the people face-to-face, and even more, been frustrated that the people were unwilling to behold the Glory of God that shown on his face. His burden of being the go-between for God and the people was very, very great. So, yes, I can initially see your point, though you certainly have more in mind regarding ramifications.

        I’ve seen that the more one earnestly desires to know the hinden things, the more He reveals them. Those who see and appreciate the Lord’s message, He leads to see even more. Yet, often such insights must be “held close to the vest,” sticking to “the elementary truths of God’s word” until the Spirit indicates that the hearers are ready. Heb 5:12, 1Cor 3:2, … .

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