Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2 Corinthians 3:12-18 Transformed by the Spirit

KEY TEXT: 2 Cor 3:16-18 But 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. 

KEY THOT: Paul equates the Lord with the Spirit three times in these three verses that “the Lord is the Spirit”, “the Spirit of the Lord” and “the Lord who is the Spirit”. In contrast with the old covenant, where Moses had to cover his face because his glory was fading, in the new covenant, the glory of the Lord upon believers is increasing. The secret of this glory is the Spirit of the Lord. In fact, it is through the Spirit, that we are being "transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." And Paul asserts that "this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." When we emphasize the ministry of the Spirit, we proclaim grace, for apart from the Spirit, we have only the "letter that kills, but the Spirit gives life" (v.6). 

And we can only be transformed from one glory to the next as we learn to behold the glory of the Lord through the Spirit: "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed...” (2 Cor 3:18). Like Moses was transformed when he spent 40 days and nights in the presence of God talking to God (Prayer) and receiving his Law (Word), so too we can now behold the glory of the Lord, not by climbing mountains, but by meditating on His Word and in Prayer daily. The more time we spend beholding Christ's face in the Word and in Prayer, the more we are being transformed into His image.

Furthermore, we begin to experience a new freedom from sin, self and Satan for "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (v.17). The more we are filled with the Spirit's glory, the greater is our experience of the repulsive power of the Spirit against sin and self, and the greater the freedom we experience in doing the things God has in store for us.

Father God, teach us to behold Your glory by setting aside time for Your Word and for Prayer. Lord, I ask that You help us become better ministers of the new covenant based not on the letter that kills but on the Spirit that gives life. Amen.

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