2 Corinthians 3* The preference of the gospel to the law given by Moses. (1-11)The preaching of the apostle was suitable to the excellency andevidence of the gospel, through the power of the Holy Ghost.(12-18)1-11 Even the appearance of self-praise and courting humanapplause, is painful to the humble and spiritual mind. Nothingis more delightful to faithful ministers, or more to theirpraise, than the success of their ministry, as shown in thespirits and lives of those among whom they labour. The law ofChrist was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shedabroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the lawof God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, asfleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, #Eze36:26|. Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive thisimpression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. Heascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our wholedependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to himalone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is theministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of thegospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the HolySpirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal. The Old Testamentdispensation was the ministration of death, but the NewTestament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath andcurse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us;but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us.Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and thisshows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes knownthe grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtainingthe forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so muchexceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of thelegal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killingletter, if shown as a mere system or form, and withoutdependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickeningpower. 12-18 It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to usegreat plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testamentbelievers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that gloriousSaviour, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outwardinstitution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe,love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as possible. And thewhole doctrine of Christ crucified, is made as plain as humanlanguage can make it. Those who lived under the law, had a veilupon their hearts. This veil is taken away by the doctrines ofthe Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God,then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of thosewho enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is setat liberty to run the ways of God's commandments. They havelight, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord.Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We shouldnot rest contented without knowing the transforming power of thegospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to belike the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lordand Saviour Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We beholdChrist, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection froma mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shinealso.
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