The greater glory of the new covenant

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 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. – 2 Corinthians 3:4-18

Because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the New Covenant has more glory than the Old Covenant and changes us to reflect his glory better.

The Old Covenant certainly was glorious. So much so that Moses radiated God’s glory in his face after he would meet with him whether on the mountain when he receive the ten commandments or when he would meet with God face to face in the tent of meeting. The problem with the Old Covenant, with all of its glory, was that it brought death, not life. The law had the ability to point out just how far below God’s standard of love we all live but didn’t have any ability to help us uphold that standard of love as expressed through the law.

The Old Covenant was also a temporary solution. Paul makes it clear here that it was being “brought to an end.” The New Covenant is a permanent solution. A permanent solution is more glorious than a temporary band-aid.

Whereas the Old Covenant brought forth death, the New Covenant brings life and righteousness; life because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and righteousness because the righteousness of Christ is credited to us. It is his perfect obedience that is applied to our account, and that causes us to be declared righteous. This is only possible under the New Covenant, a more glorious covenant.

Today, when the law is read among Jews, there is a veil over their hearts so they cannot see the Lord Jesus in the Scriptures. However, because of the work of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant, when believers read or hear preached the Scriptures, we can see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures. As a consequence, we are changed from one degree of glory to another. This is a New Covenant reality.

It is the operation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that the eyes of our hearts are opened, and we get to see and savor the glory of God in Jesus. When we savor that glory, we are changed into the same image little by little. Take advantage of your benefits in the New Covenant and see Jesus on every page of Scripture, see his glory and be changed by his Spirit.

Related Posts:

Covenant: The architecture of Scripture

The mother of all covenants

The first covenant in time – a covenant of works

The mother of all promises

Everybody needs a rainbow

Episode #1 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise given

Episode #2 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise confirmed

Episode #3 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise signified

The Mosaic covenant that leads to Christ

The forever covenant that created a king

Jeremiah’s take on the New Covenant

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If you would like to do more indepth reading on the concept of covenant in Scripture, I recommend this book, Sacred Bond. Click on the book and you will be taken to Amazon where you can purchase a copy.