2 Corinthians 3

2Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

2Co 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

This is why conversion to Jesus Christ absolutely can never be forced upon anyone. It is more than just a conversion from one religion or no religion to another religion. This conversion cannot be by man. It must be by the spirit of God. When one is born again by God's spirit; that is what saves the soul from eternal death into eternal life. It is something that happens between an individual and God. It is not something we can force on anyone. Forced conversions to any religion is silly in a way because how can one force someone to believe?

Paul felt that if those he preached to became faithful believers in Jesus Christ, that was sufficient for Him to rejoice. He was not after money, fame, or a big name. He was only desiring to see souls saved from sin and obtain the gift of eternal life.

2Co 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Although we are His vessels the increase and power is from God. We have no power in ourselves apart from the Holy Spirit. We cannot make a convert. We cannot do anything other than be be vessels the Holy Spirit uses to bring the gospel to the world. They have to choose whether or not to receive the gospel.

2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

We should never preach the law of condemnation without showing sinners the way to be free from condemnation. Preach against sin but make sure to show others how to be free from sin. The law shows us that we are sinners doomed for eternal hell. The Spirit makes us free from sin and the condemnation of the law. We are not to preach that one can be filled with the spirit without repenting of sin but one also must not be told of the condemnation of the law without being told how to be free from that condemnation. All have sinned and are condemned by the law of God but through faith in Christ all who believe will be made free from sin and free from that condemnation. Christ paid the penalty that was in place for breaking God's law. He paid the penalty on our behalf so that all who receive Him and believe this can be saved.

2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

2Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

2Co 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

They could not see that the law would be fulfilled by Jesus Christ and then abolished so that believers might have the law of the spirit of life within them instead of being cursed by not keeping the law. The law is written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

2Co 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.

2Co 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

2Co 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Before Christ one had to try to keep the law with human will power. It was impossible. The law condemns and shows us what sin is and how holy God is. There is no way we could be holy in ourselves. When we come to Christ and trust in Him, our sin is covered by the blood He shed on Calvary. We now are new creatures and not condemned by the law. Christ bore that condemnation for us.

We are under a new covenant of life rather than the covenant of death. Many religions of the world offer no hope. Just one breech of their laws or rules condemns one to death. There is no mercy. If one doesn't live good enough or do things well enough in the flesh, they cannot escape the condemnation. Christ takes away all condemnation and makes us candidates of heaven just by believing in Him and what He did on our behalf. Faith saves us and not the works of trying to be a good person apart from Christ. We now have the spirit within us to make us good people because we are covered by the righteousness of Christ and not our own righteousness.

We must now allow the spirit of God to fill us and remain within us.

Now we choose not to sin because the one who brings us life gives us the "want to" power to say no to sin. We still can override and refuse the leading of God's spirit but we don't have to. The old man passes away and all things become new. The saying, "God is doing a new thing," is simply the "new birth" that is done by the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus Christ.

11 Corinthians 4

 

 
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