ISSL Reflections June 9 2024 2 Corinthians 3:5–18 Post 2

As you read this passage, notice the contrast between a way of living and a way of dying.

2 Corinthians 3:5-18 (NRSVue)

Not that we are qualified of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our qualification is from God, who has made us qualified to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’s face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has in this respect lost its glory because of the greater glory, for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with complete frankness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, the same veil is still there; it is not unveiled since in Christ it is set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, but when one 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. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

What does Paul write of living and dying?

  • for the letter kills
  • ministry of death,
  • ministry of condemnation
  • what … has … lost its glory
  • glory that was being set aside
  • a veil lies over their minds
  • but the Spirit gives life
  • ministry of justification
  • the greater glory … the permanent
  • when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
  • where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

Can you think of this as two poles of existence?

Where do you find yourself today? Moving toward living or dying?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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