2 Corinthians 3
MAY I SEE YOUR ID? Remember the context of this letter. The new Christians in Corinth were confused because they thought that each different apostle represented a different version of religion, so they wanted to verify Paul was a genuine apostle, and they had asked for him to produce a letter of recommendation. In the opening paragraphs, Paul replies that the fact that their lives have been changed and that they now have "confidence through Christ before God (v4)" is the best letter of recommendation he could ever produce.
CUT TO THE CHASE: That old phase applies to formulaic movies that have a bunch of boring scenes at the beginning but then end with a terrific chase. Just cut to the chase... skip all the details and let's see how it ends. That what Paul advises the Corinthians to do: evaluate different belief systems by cutting to the chase. How does each one end? Since Christianity is the only belief system in which salvation is by grace alone, and not based on a person's ability to follow a bunch of impossible rules, Christianity is the only belief system that does not "end in condemnation (v9)." The old covenant, introduced in a glorious way as the returning Moses' face shone with God's glory (Exodus 34), was a covenant designed to fade out by demonstrating our total need for God's grace, which has now been supplied in the new covenant sealed in Christ's blood.
PIN THE TAIL: Perhaps you've been kidnapped by the mob and had a burlap sack thrown over your head so you couldn't see (anybody?), or you've played a party game where you were blindfolded. You know then how difficult it is to do even the simplest tasks when you can't see anything, and how freeing it feels when all of the sudden the blinders come off and everything becomes visible. This is exactly what happens when the Spirit gives you faith! "Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (v16)." Paul then summarizes the Christian life: Our blindfold has been ripped off and now our faces reflect the Lord's glory, and we are being transformed in His image with ever increasing glory (v18). Are you experiencing this eye opening, freedom giving transformation? What could help you experience it more?
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Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God and heavenly Father whose very presence literally lights up the faces of those He visits (v7)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Be a letter from Christ (v3) testifying to the transforming work of the Spirit in your life
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: