The Glory of Image Bearing Freedom
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
There is great hope in the permanency of the Spirit in the New Covenant.
And yet, Paul says it is not the ultimate.
Paul declares the ultimate to be the resurrection and transformation of the body.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
So what is our hope? The present reality of the permanent Spirit producing in us the ultimate transformation through Jesus which gives God’s children joy filled, missional, boldness.
The synagogue didn’t much like Paul. Why? Because of his law free Gentile mission.
There is something greater (more glorious) than the law (Torah).
What does Paul mean by the term end (telos)?
Why did Moses not want the people to see the end of the radiance of his face?
…gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end (vs. 13).
Moses understood that his role as a mediator between God and the people of Israel was fading. It would come to a temporal end and be attained by Jesus.
There are many possible answers to the motive of Moses veiling his face.
The people would lose hope.
They would stop listening to Moses without his glory.
They would not obey the commandments of the Lord.
Moses trying to preserve his own status as mediator.
Paul is making a striking statement concerning the synagogue. Jesus is the Messiah.
Why would anyone still want to adhere to the ministry of Moses as perpetuated in the synagogue?
By its nature, the coming of Jesus renders everything pertaining to Moses inoperative.
Reading the law of Moses apart from the new glory of Jesus is at the very least incomplete or to use Paul’s word it is a ministry of death (vs.7), being brought to an end. A ministry of condemnation (vs. 8), without any glory at all (vs. 10).
Paul is not saying, I am better than Moses. He is saying, Jesus completes the pursuit of God in gathering a people for himself.
Large-scale Jewish rejection of the gospel haunted Paul throughout his missionary journeys. Great detail is given to this in Romans 9-11.
The veil still remains unlifted, on the hearts (kardia - the center of a persons being) of those who read the law absent of Jesus. It conceals the temporary reality of the Mosaic covenant which is not deemed “old”.
The Messiah is here! When a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed
Kurios, the Greek word translates Yahweh, the name of the covenant God of Israel. Kurios was commonly used to indicate dignity, majesty, and sovereignty. It soon became a title for the resurrected Jesus.
The Lord is the Spirit. The Lord to whom Moses turned, whose glory shone on his face, is the Spirit of Christ, who gives life to all who turn to Christ now.
Paul often interchanges titles.
Romans 8:9-11 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
…and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
freedom from the letter of the old covenant (law)
freedom from sin and death
Sure, but more profoundly freedom to be bold in your declaration of God’s glory!!!!!!!!!
boldness in approaching God
boldness in mission
And All of Us,
with unveiled faces,
beholding the glory of the Lord
as though reflected in a mirror,
are being transformed
into the same image
from one degree of glory to another;
for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
from glory to glory
from the transient (not lasting, temporary) glory of the old covenant to the permanent glory of the new.
We are being transformed by the Spirit of Lord!
Do you want to be free?
How wonderful to not be enslaved.
Don’t you want to be released from the burden of being told to do things you have no desire to do? Do you want deceitful desires to turn your face from God?
What is the source of this freedom?
The Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord has one main task, to glorify Jesus.
John 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
He helps us see Jesus. The Spirit works to help us see him. He opens the eyes of our hearts to cherish the glory of the Lord.
This changes us to want what Jesus wants. That is freedom!
The Spirit does not do this without reference to Jesus. If we constantly numb our minds with the easy fix of escape and purposely or ignorantly ignore Jesus than the Spirit is not at work.
We start by “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord Jesus.”
If we are pre-occupied with self, we will experience the painful attachment to our flesh. If we do this, let’s not say “Where is God?” Apart from Jesus we are experiencing the death of the law of God.
But, when we gaze on Jesus and forget self we experience the eternal joy of freedom.