This morning, I was reminded by a friend’s facebook status of a verse from 2nd Corinthians 3. So, I opened my new Bible (a scary thought for me [maybe I don’t like change], but I figured, since I finished reading through my entire Bible last night, we better start fresh in 2012! [sidenote…I cannot even bring myself to write in it yet!]) and turned to that chapter and began to read. It’s a really amazing chapter. And it all centers around a particular new–a new covenant.
Look specifically at verses 3 following to the end. We are in a new covenant, not written any longer on tablets of stone (remember the 10 commandments), but on human hearts (look up Ezekiel 11 & 36). And this new covenant gives us confidence towards God through Christ (see Hebrews 4:16). Our sufficiency is from God alone, we cannot drum it up in ourselves. Which means that we are not adequate or fit in ourselves, it is only from God. He has made us this way (vs 6) so that we might be ministers of a new covenant, the Spirit covenant, which gives life. One of Paul’s big arguments in this letter is his legitimacy as an apostle, and this is another example of that, but I think that all of us our made this sufficient and are thus to be used as ministers (see chapter 5). Jesus commanded all of us to go, to be His witnesses, and to make disciples of all nations.
The next verses explain that both covenants had glory, even the old one, which he calls the ministry of death. See the book of Romans for a more in-depth look at why he calls it this, but the bottom line is that the old covenant, the 10 commandments, point out the fact that we cannot live up to God’s standards. But it still had glory. So much glory that Moses had to cover his face because the Israelites could not look at the glory radiating from His face. Yet how much more glory will the new covenant, the covenant of life have?
That is our hope. That is our boldness. Because we are not Moses. We, though face surpassing glory than the glory he faced (literally), do not have to cover up our faces, though sadly some still might. The veil is removed by Christ. Freedom is ushered in. Our faces our unveiled. We behold the glory of the Lord (which can also be translated reflecting, which I like better), and are thus transformed from one degree of glory to another. This is sanctification. This is us becoming more like God. Looking more like Him, every single day as we gaze into His face, as we ask the Spirit to further remove any veil that we may allow to remain.
That’s what I’m asking for in 2012. To become more like Him. Period. And to do that, we must gaze into His face. May we not be like the faithless Israelites who were so afraid that they didn’t even want to see Moses’ face. May we be bold, because we have been given the Spirit. We have been given life. No more death for us. How better to celebrate than to become more living, accept more freedom, and look more like Jesus not only in word, but also in deed.
If then [since–1st class conditional sentence, meaning that this next part is the truth] you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above [imperative/command], where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds [another imperative/command] on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died [you have to die to be raised], and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory.
Here’s to a life of newness in 2012. The veil is gone. Let’s live like it.