Sunday, April 22, 2012
Jail Doors Spring Open
7But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
What a wonderful shift in gears occurs between the 2nd and 3rd chapters. Paul has been referring to his earlier rebuke of a sinful man at Corinth. That man has repented. It is time now to reconcile him to the church and its healing balm. Law and rules had lanced the wound, but they would not provide permanent cure.
Paul calls the laws of Moses (in fact any rules of good behaviour) a ministration of condemnation. A fault-finding tribunal. There are so many requirements. Impossible to do them all.
But then he offers by way of rescue the ministration of righteousness. By faith and by application of the Spirit one can step up to a place of right-standing before God. And it is all thanks to the perfect obedience of another - Jesus. We simply give credit to that finished work, and claim it as our own.
We have here described for us a victorious step from death unto life, from heavy custody unto liberty. Thereafter love and thanksgiving fuel zealous fires.