Grace justifies the worst sinner!
|“Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone (the ten commandments), came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit (the New Covenant) have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.”
2 Corinthians 3:7-11 ESV (Brackets mine)
This verse paints a very clear contrast between the Old and New Covenants. Firstly, the Old Covenant is described as a ministry of death – which means that there is no life in it and it has no ability to produce life – makes you wonder why people would want to live under the law! It’s interesting that while there was glory in the Old Covenant, and we see that in Moses’ face shining so brightly because of God’s glory He had encountered and seen, the Word says that the New Covenant is much more glorious. This verse says it “must far exceed it in glory”. Moses was the only one to experience God’s glory (for a moment) first hand, but in the New Covenant, we can all personally experience His glory (and it stays).
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
1 Timothy 2:5 ESV
Under the Old Covenant Moses was the mediator (like a middleman) between God and the people. In the New Covenant, we do not need to relate to God through a middle-man (priest, prophet, pastor) because Jesus made a way for us to have a relationship with God directly. Jesus changed everything – He was the final mediator putting an end to the need for any mediation.
The Old Covenant is also described as a ministry of condemnation (meaning that it ministers or imparts condemnation). The Old Covenant law will always make you feel like you are not good enough, not doing enough and could be doing better. The standard of perfection is so high that only Jesus could have met it. That’s why anyone who tries to live by the law will be overwhelmed by condemnation (because they see they are not good enough) or pride (because they think they are good enough, and then they start condemning others for not being good enough).
In contrast, the New Covenant is called “the ministry of righteousness”, which results in there being no condemnation (Romans 8:1). The law shows you how sinful and bad you are before God, and that you would never be good enough for Him. However, the New Covenant shows you how righteous you are in Him. It shows you how right you are before God.
The law will always condemn the best (because you’ll never be good enough, no matter how hard you try), while faith in His grace justifies the worse sinner (Romans 5:1).
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