Feb. 16. Law of Moses Contrasted with Law of Christ

II Cor. 3:1-18

Since his enemies in Corinth had accused Paul of self-glorying, he used this as an additional opportunity to defend his credibility. They had put themselves forward by producing letters of introduction from various individuals and churches. He did not need letters to show that he was a true messenger of God. People could look at the Corinthian church and others and see the results of his labors without him having to produce letters of commendation.

In order to refute the teaching of these Judaizing teachers, Paul showed the contrasts between the old and new covenants. The old law had been written on stones, but the new law was written on the heart. There was no salvation, but death under the old law, but the new covenant of the Spirit gave life.

After being with God and receiving the Ten Commandments, Moses’ face shone so brightly that the people could not look upon him. This glory was so bright that Moses put a veil over his face so the people could then face him. Paul said that if that inferior law had that much glory, how much more glory the new covenant has. It is the difference between life and death. We are no longer under the Ten Commandment law.

This veil was lifted through the death of Christ. Just as a new federal or state constitution supersedes the old, so did the new covenant of Christ supersede the old Law of Moses. Good parts of the old law are sometimes kept—not because they were of the old law, but because they were included within the new law.

Paul used the veil as an allegory to show the inability of the Jews to visualize the truth of the new covenant. Even though Christ had lifted this veil of blindness, the Judaizing teachers still had it over their hearts when they refused to accept the new covenant. When a person truly seeks Christ, this veil is then removed.

There is still bondage of sin under Moses, but there is liberty from sin through Christ. Paul said that as one looks toward Christ, he becomes like a reflection of Him in a mirror. He indicated that this glory will continue to increase until the end of one’s life.