Anyone in Christ is a New Creation

Paul is getting to some more mature explanation of what it means to be a Christian. It isn’t just what you say, but how you live that matters. And we shouldn’t expect that life will be easier for us, in fact, we have a responsibility to the gospel to carry it forward to a world where “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they would not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ”. It takes effort, there is resistance. But we know where our future takes us and it is a good trade, our light affliction for an eternal weight of glory. So, in this world, “we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as if God were imploring you through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God”. 

You Are Our Letter, Inscribed on Our Hearts

2 Corinthians 3:1–8
In the world, people need a letter of introduction, a resume or CV, a degree or certification to demonstrate their qualifications. But in the Church, the evidence is not written on tablets of stone as the commandments were with Moses, but the revelation of who God is in Christ is made evident by the hearts and minds of God’s servants, those that are filled with His Spirit. As we are changed and demonstrate the love of God to those around us, we are the letter, the recommendation as it says in

2 Corinthians 3:3 (LEB) revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.


A Veil Lies Upon Their Heart

2 Corinthians 3:9–18
After Moses had been in the presence of God, he carried the glory of God into the camp but the people could not look at him. Moses covered his face to hide the glory. And this was only the glory of the Law. As it says in

2 Corinthians 3:14–16 (LEB) But their minds were hardened. For until this very day, the same veil remains upon the reading of the old covenant, not being uncovered, because it is done away with in Christ. 15 But until today, whenever Moses is read aloud, a veil lies upon their heart, 16 but whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

And if we will turn to the Lord, there is glory, righteousness, holiness, freedom and power to transform as it says in

2 Corinthians 3:17–18 (LEB) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory into glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

The Glory of God in the Face of Christ

2 Corinthians 4:1–6
As a minister of the gospel, and that includes everyone of us as born again children of God, we are to deliver, in 2 Corinthians 4:2 “the open proclamation of the truth commending ourselves to every person’s conscience before God”. But we also know that, in 2 Corinthians 4:4 “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they would not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” It is “the glory of God in the face of Christ” that “has shined in our hearts”.

We Have This Treasure in Earthenware Jars

2 Corinthians 4:7–18
God knows our frame, and He has chosen to work through us as a demonstration of His power. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 he says we are”

  • afflicted, not crushed
  • perplexed, not despairing
  • persecuted, not abandoned
  • struck down, not destroyed

We have the formula here in 2 Corinthians 4:12 “death is at work in us, but life in you”. In other words, if we will give ourselves to the gospel, to declaring the name of Jesus Christ and put to death our personal desires, people will hear and respond and receive eternal life. Or the way Paul says it in

2 Corinthians 4:17–18 (LEB) For our momentary light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure and proportion, 18 because we are not looking at what is seen, but what is not seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is not seen is eternal.

We Live by Faith, Not by Sight

2 Corinthians 5:1–10
We have a strong desire to live this natural life even though we “groan, being burdened” in 2 Corinthians 5:4. And from our natural perspective, we would say we will die but this verse says “that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life”. This is God’s perspective and in

2 Corinthians 5:5 (LEB) Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the down payment, the Spirit.


If Anyone is in Christ, He is a New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:11–21
Many people struggle with this phrase in 2 Corinthians 5:11 “the fear of the Lord” because they have a concept of God as great and powerful but demanding and aloof. For these, God is able to do anything and might destroy us on a whim. For others, God is far off, and not involved so what does it matter what God thinks? Paul puts this statement, “the fear of the Lord”, in perspective because God may seem far off, but He absolutely will judge the world and every action by every person.

So, Paul says “we are attempting to persuade people”. And this is the message, that all face the judgment of God. But Christ died for all, in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”. God is not far off, but very near and “imploring you” to “be reconciled” in

2 Corinthians 5:20–21 (LEB) Therefore we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as if God were imploring you through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin on our behalf, in order that we could become the righteousness of God in him.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1-21