Key Text: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
In this portion of Scripture, the Apostle Paul highlights the contrast between the old and new covenants, revealing the transformative power of Holy Spirit and the Gospel in our lives. Through this passage, we are reminded of the glorious liberty we have in Christ and the work of Holy Spirit within us.
1.We are Living Letters v.1-3
Paul starts this chapter by referring to the Corinthians as ‘living letters’, known and read by all. He speaks not of letters written on stone tablets but rather of a new covenant written on the tablets of the human heart. In the old covenant, the Law was external and engraved on stone, bringing condemnation and death. In Christ Jesus however, the new covenant brings life and freedom. We as believers are ambassadors of this life-transforming message and our transformed lives serve as testimonies/witness to the power of God’s grace. Our divine author Holy Spirit, writes upon us, making our lives a living letter, known and read by all. It is not just our words but our transformed lives that bear witness to the power of Christ in us. The Spirit’s work in us allows us to manifest/evidence the fruit of the Spirit, displaying love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
2.Sufficiency Through the Spirit v.4-6
Paul emphasises that the sufficiency for any ministry does not come from ourselves but from God alone. Any competency that we have to serve is through the Spirit and by the grace of God, who empowers us to be ministers of the new covenant. We don’t need eloquence or worldly wisdom; what matters is our reliance on God, who works in, through and with us to accomplish His purposes. When we step out in faith, the Spirit works in, through and with us, reaching hearts and transforming lives.
3.The Ministry of Righteousness v.7-9
Paul draws a parallel between the glory of the old covenant, which was temporary and fading, with the unmatched glory of the new covenant. The old covenant served as a tool of condemnation, revealing human inability to keep the Law perfectly. The new covenant however, brings righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus, making us right with God and giving us access to His abundant grace. In Christ, we are made righteous, and the Spirit empowers us to live holy lives, conforming us to the image of Jesus.
4.The Glory of the Spirit v.10-11
Though the old covenant had glory, it was exceeded and in some respects nullified, by the glory of the new covenant in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 3:3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honour than the house itself.
The magnificence of God’s presence on Moses’ face, which had to be veiled, could not compare to the unveiled glory of Christ’s redemptive work. The veil of our hearts is removed through faith in Christ, allowing us to behold His glory (Splendour/magnificence) and be transformed from one degree of glory to another by the Spirit. As we spend time being mindful of God’s presence, worshipping and communing with Him, we are revived, renewed and refreshed with His Spirit. Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us and the more we focus on Him, the more we are conformed to His likeness.
5.Freedom through Christ v.12-18
Paul uses the analogy of an unveiled face to illustrate the freedom we now have in Christ. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into His image by Holy Spirit. We are no longer bound by the letter of the Law but by the Spirit of life. The veil that once separated humanity from God has been torn apart through Christ, granting us access to the Father. We no longer need to wear a veil as Moses did, to hide the glory of God. Holy Spirit brings liberty, freeing us from the bondage of sin and empowering us to walk in victory. As we submit to Holy Spirit, we experience the transformative power of Jesus in our lives.
This is the spirit of Jesus and where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17