Paul defines two ministries, The ministry of the Law and the ministry of the Spirit. Let’s look at the differences.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out the matter is the glory of kings [in our case, the sons and daughters of the King].
2 Corinthians 3:7-18 gives us a side-by-side comparison of these ministries. We will look at verses 7-11:
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
The “ministry that brought death” is a reference to the Law. In verse 6, Paul says, “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The description of being engraved in letters on stone confirms that he is referring to the Law (Exodus 31:18). What Paul is trying to get us to see is that the Ministry of the Spirit is beyond comprehension! He goes so far as to say, “’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—” (1 Corinthians 2:9). In verse 18 of our text, he says, “We…are being transformed into His [Jesus’] image with ever-increasing glory [from one glory to the next], which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Those who follow Christ and walk in/with the Spirit are on an upward journey!
I want to insert right here in our discussion a teaching from Tom Eliff,
We have assurance of salvation by having:
1. An upward walk–becoming more like Jesus in character as the Spirit transforms us;
2. An outward appearance–we look more like Jesus in word and deed, countenance and character;
3. An inward peace–a continuous walking, talking relationship with Jesus through the Spirit.
Tomorrow, we will discuss the ramifications of not having to follow the Law-(Old Covenant)- anymore. Exciting, right? Today, give glory to God for such a great salvation and for the in-dwelling of His Spirit.
Abba, I give You glory for my salvation. The great lengths You went to in order to buy me back amazes me. To think that Your intended purpose was to fill me with Yourself* blows my mind! May I always remember that You began my salvation and You will carry it to completion (Philippians 1:6). I am forever grateful. Amen.