Now if the ministry that brought death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to gaze steadily at Moses’s face because of its glory, which was set aside, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? – 2 Corinthians 3:7-8
I often look at the Old Testament and say, “What if we could experience that.” They had waters parted and dead raised to life and old women bearing children. Or perhaps the Gospels. Jesus’ physical presence. After all, I’m a tangible, visual person. Would it not be more glorious, more wonderful, to be in His physical presence?
Paul says no.
According to Paul, nothing this side of heaven is more glorious than what we have now…the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Read what else Paul has to say about this glory…
For if the ministry that brought condemnation had glory, the ministry that brings righteousness overflows with even more glory. In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was set aside was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness. We are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from gazing steadily until the end of the glory of what was being set aside, but their minds were hardened. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. Yet still today, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:9-17
We live under “the ministry that brings righteousness,” the most profound ministry possible. Righteousness! You and I are righteous because of this ministry of the Spirit! Not because of temporary sacrifices laid out by a stone-chiseled law, but because a once-for-all blood sacrifice sealed our victory over death and paved the way for the presence of the Spirit. That ministry. Is that not glorious?
But, Paul doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say that we will “act with great boldness.” Aha. There’s the kicker.
Do I act? Do you act? Do we truly live as though we are in the age of the glorious ministry of the Spirit? Or do we wish for the old, imperfect ministry of the law? Do we walk as if we have received the perfection of fulfilled righteousness? Or do we stayed weighed down as though trapped in imperfection?
I won’t deny that we are still encumbered by this world. It’s a hard world. And we long for the purity of heaven. But, we don’t have to wait for the perfection of righteousness. We don’t have to wait for the fulfillment of the ministry of the Spirit. We get those right here. Right now.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The ministry of the Spirit.
Will we act on it?