Wednesday, September 5

New Covenant Glory

2 Corinthians 3:5-11 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 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, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 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.

In this passage Paul calls the old covenant a ministry of death and condemnation. By contrast he calls the new covenant a ministry of righteousness that greatly exceeds the old covenant in glory. In fact the new covenant renders the old covenant to having no glory at all by comparison. The old covenant has ended and is finished. It has served its purpose and is over. Does that mean we can kill, commit adultery, etc? Certainly not, but we should not frame God’s righteousness and Christian conduct in the language of the ten commandments of “thou shall not” that suggests and points people toward legalism and works salvation. When we carry people back to the Mosaic Covenant it seems to have the effect of pointing them to works salvation. The new covenant of grace, regeneration, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the ministry of Jesus points believers toward sanctification and the fruit of the Spirit.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says the following about this passage:
v. 6-11…….The law is done away, but the gospel does and shall remain,
2 Corinthians 3:11. Not only did the glory of Moses's face go away,
but the glory of Moses's law is done away also; yea, the law of Moses itself is
now abolished.
That dispensation was only to continue for a time, and then to
vanish away; whereas the gospel shall remain to the end of the world, and is
always fresh and flourishing and remains glorious.


9 comments:

mark pierson said...

Wayne, is there any way you could combine these two posts to present at BC so that our readers could be introduced to NCT?

jazzycat said...

Mark,
I will do that, but I just posted another beatitude at BC, so I will wait a few days.

donsands said...

The Isralites were afraid to look at Moses, so he wore a vail.

God came again to Israel, vailed in Christ, and yet Christ wasn't a vail, but the manifest glory of God for all to see. However, a vail remained on the hearts of the religious self-righteous, those who were trusting in their religion.
And that's how it is today.

The Gospel is the glory of God in the face of Christ our Lord.

Good thoughts Jazzy. This is such a difficult doctrine, and one we need to hear and hear.

jazzycat said...

Don,
Thanks. I believe pointing people to the law instead of the gospel tends to cause people to pursue a legalistic sanctification. In short it brings about a mindset of lawkeeping instead of keeping one's eyes focused on grace and N.T. exhortations for sanctification.
wayne

donsands said...

" a legalistic sanctification."

And the opposite would be a "licentious sanctification".

I agree we need the Gospel preached to us every day. It's all about Christ, and Christ alone.
However, some will take this and live in sin, and say Christ died for me, and He gives more grace when I sin.
I guess some live with the "cheap grace" sanctification.

Any thoughts on "cheap grace"?

And I agree with you Wayne, that we need to point people to Christ, and His grace.

jazzycat said...

Don,
You said...
" a legalistic sanctification."
And the opposite would be a "licentious sanctification".


Yes, you are right and both extremes are wrong. That's why I think believers who are led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14) should submit and cooperate with the H.S. and pursue a holiness from prayerful reliance on grace. My definition of legalistic sanctification would be when a person begins to focus on keeping a set of dos and don'ts from an external mechanical reliance on self-effort.

I think prayer and staying in God's word will help keep a believer relying on the grace of God to grow in sanctification. Staying in God's word will make it clear to anyone that Christian sanctification flows from grace and needs active participation.

I believe the so called carnal Christian of the cheap grace system is a myth and is no Christian at all. If there is no sanctification in person's life, then there has been no justification in spite of what such a person may claim. Such a person is deceiving himself and is still under God's wrath.

Wayne

donsands said...

"I believe the so called carnal Christian of the cheap grace system is a myth and is no Christian at all."

You know, I tend to agree with you here.
But i can't nail it down yet.

I do believe if someone is born again, then he is different. He has to be!

Thanks for the discussion Wayne.
Good stuff to talk about.

jazzycat said...

Don,
Thanks. Yes, I also believe the work of the Holy Spirit in believers changes them (2 cor. 5:17 and Romans 8:14)

Penless Thoughts said...

"I believe the so called carnal Christian of the cheap grace system is a myth and is no Christian at all. If there is no sanctification in person's life, then there has been no justification in spite of what such a person may claim. Such a person is deceiving himself and is still under God's wrath."

I couldn't agree more!! These are the tares among the wheat and the stumbling blocks to unbelievers. The sad part is, as you've said, they have deceived themselves.
Susan