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Veiled and Unveiled Ministry

2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIVUK)

Paul has been accused of being too enthusiastic for the gospel. But the expectation of sharing Christ's glory spurred him on. Contrasting the new covenant of grace with the old covenant of law given to Moses, Paul said that there is no reason to hold back from gospel ministry. Moses had to veil his face because the glory was temporary (Exodus 34:33-35). That was also a parable about the nature of the law – it was splendid but soon became only a reminder of punishment to come. No 'law-based religion' can have any lasting hope or glory, as is still seen today.

But the gospel is so different. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). Not only has He paid the penalty for our sin, He also removes God's wrath and gives us a righteousness we have not earned and do not deserve (Romans 3:21-24). We can see the glory of God's righteous law without shame or cringing guilt. That happens whenever anybody looks to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. But those who refuse to receive His grace remain with their minds shrouded and clouded, muddled and mystified (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The Holy Spirit is given to everybody who turns to Christ as Saviour and Lord (Romans 8:9). Indeed, it is only through His power that we can take such a radical step away from our self-absorbed state. Unlike the old covenant law which bound people into slavery, the covenant of grace liberates people to be children of God filled with His Spirit (Galatians 4:6). As His children, we are welcomed close to God. The more we look to Him, the more we see of His glory, and the more we are emboldened to share His gospel.

There is no reason to hold back from sharing the gospel story. It is not a mystery to be decoded; it is a straightforward and factual message inviting people to the glories of Christ's eternal kingdom (www.crosscheck.org.uk). So do not confuse people or make it complicated for them to come to Jesus. Keep looking to the Lord yourself, keep thanking Him for His salvation, keep worshipping Him as the Lord of glory, keep anticipating His second coming in glory and the eternal glories yet to be revealed … as you do you will become more like Him and become bolder as the Holy Spirit leads you to speak of Christ.

Prayer 
Father God. Thank You for making the gospel clear to me through Your servants and Your Spirit. Forgive me for failing to cooperate with You as You want me to become more and more like Jesus. Help me to be so thrilled by my relationship with You that I become more like You and bolder to announce my Saviour Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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