October 6, 2013 Speaker: Series: Be Encouraged
Topic: 2 Corinthians Verse: 2 Corinthians 3:7–3:18
Pastor Duane Cross | 10.06.2013
The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. Corinthians 3:7-18 (NLT)
I. The Old Covenant is glory on the outside.
The New Covenant is glory on the inside.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33(NLT)
II. The Old Covenant brings death.
The New Covenant brings life.
Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. Galatians 3:23-25 (NLT)
III. The Old Covenant fades.
The New Covenant shines brightly.
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” (Verse 16)
GOING DEEPER QUESTIONS
These questions are designed to help you go deeper with the sermon during your week – to take a closer look at the scripture and find fresh ways to live out the main points of the sermon. Going Deeper questions also are used in all of our Grow Groups.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18; Exodus 34:27-35; Jeremiah 31:33; Galatians 3:23-25
When you were a child, what was your favorite costume (mask) to wear for Halloween? Why?
Did members of your family wear masks when you were growing up? Explain.
When are you tempted to wear a mask?
A Closer Look
Choose one verse or phrase from 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 that stands out to you. This could be something your intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you. Write that here _________________________________________________
Read Exodus 34:29-35. What argument is Paul making by using this story in
2 Corinthians 3:7-11?
How would you describe the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant? (2 Corinthians 3:7-11; Jeremiah 31-33, Galatians 3:23-25)
How does 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 describe the genuine freedom and real transformation is possible to believers? (cf. Romans 12:1-2) What kind of freedom is Paul refereeing to? How does spiritual transformation occur?
The lure of legalism is still with us. Legalism (rule following as righteousness) can become a mask for believers. Is this a temptation for you? Explain.
Read verse 16 in our text. Meditate on this verse and share with the group what insight(s) you gain.
Read verse 18. What veils (masks) does God want to remove in your life to “see and reflect the glory of the Lord”? What are some specific ways you can “contemplate the Lord’s glory” to be transformed into the image of Christ?