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Beholding the Glory of God, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 10:45 am

Beholding the Glory of God, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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April 29, 2024 10:45 am

On Mount Sinai, Moses got a glimpse of the glory of God.  and his face shone brightly.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. On Mount Sinai, Moses got a glimpse of the glory of God and his face shone brightly. But 2 Corinthians 3, 7 through 15 compares what Moses had to what we can have in Christ through the New Covenant. Why is the New Covenant superior to the Old Testament? Well, that's a question Pastor Rich answers in today's message.

Let's listen in. The title of the series is The Glory of the Gospel, 2 Corinthians 2, 14 through the end of chapter 5. Our text today is chapter 3, verses 7 to 18. The title for today's message is Beholding the Glory of the Lord. Beholding the glory of the Lord.

The first point is encountering God. Moses was the leader of the people of Israel and had brought them out of Egypt and took them into the wilderness, Moses crossed the Red Sea now that they're at Mount Sinai and God was establishing covenant with his people. I am a holy God, you are my people, this is how you will be. And Moses is up on the mountain and he encounters God. And so under the Old Covenant, under the Old Testament, in the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant, Moses meets with God and that truly is an awesome thing. It's so awesome that when he comes down from the mountain, his face was so radiant, he had to wear a veil over his face to keep the people from being blinded.

That's an awesome thing. Two things happen when you encounter God. First of all, you are humbled. You are humbled at the majesty and the awesomeness of God and you recognize how puny and imperfect you are if you truly encounter God. The second thing that happens if you indeed are humbled when you encounter God, the second thing is that you radiate the glory of God.

Hang on to that because we're going to revisit that again in a little bit. The title of today's message is Beholding the Glory of the Lord. Paul makes a contrast here because you remember in 2 Corinthians 3, now he's talking about the New Covenant. He says that was the Old Covenant. Now Paul compares that to the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, one man went up to the mountain and met with God and came down and radiated the glory of God.

That was awesome. Under the New Covenant, God indwells his people and abides among us. That's awesomer. That's what Paul says. Verse 10, for even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect because of the glory that excels. He's making a contrast in the glory of the two covenants. The Old Covenant, yes, it added awesome qualities but the New Covenant is so much greater that the Old Covenant can't even hold a candle to the glory and the awesomeness of the New Covenant.

The fact that God in his person of the Holy Spirit would come to us to indwell his people and stay among us and abide among us and empower us. That is the glory of the Gospel. He uses an interesting term here as he's contrasting the two and the word is Diaconia. In your translation, it's probably the ministry of and that's the word Diaconia in this context. I think it's probably best translated provision, the provision of and as he's talking about the Old Testament, it's the provision of verse seven, death, ministry of death. Verse nine, the ministry or the provision of condemnation.

And then secondly, you need to hit the button there. Secondly, the provision of the Spirit, verse eight. This is now the New Covenant, the provision of the Spirit and the provision of righteousness, verse nine. This is like what he says in chapter three, verse six, the letter kills. That's the provision of death and condemnation, the letter kills. Verse eight and nine, the provision of the Spirit and righteousness, that is the Spirit gives life. So under the Old Covenant, the letter kills, under the New Covenant, the Spirit gives life. And what is that?

He continues on with the contrast here. Under the Old Covenant, the provision of death and condemnation, it taught us that we are unrighteous compared to a holy God. It was a code, it was a standard, and that's all it could be, simply a standard. And it taught us that we were unrighteous compared to holy God and therefore worthy of judgment. Some people really balk at the idea of God's judgment.

And it's becoming more and more so as time goes on. What kind of God is he that he would judge me? I thought God was a loving God. Let me ask you this question. Would God be good if he did not counter evil?

He would not. He is a loving God and out of his holiness and righteousness and love, he counters evil. Here's the problem. Evil runs right through every one of our hearts. That is a problem and that keeps man separated from God. And the glory of the gospel is that God makes provision for us to be able to be reconciled to God without having to depend on our own efforts and goodness. So we are worthy of judgment. The problem with the Old Covenant, though, is that it was temporary.

The word is Katergeo, which means to put to an end, to stop or to invalidate. And the Mosaic Covenant indeed was a temporary thing. It was a specific covenant with a specific people for a specific period of time. That was the Old Covenant. And then in contrast, for then under the New Covenant, the provision of the Spirit and righteousness where the Spirit gives life. This is God's provision of acceptance and ability. The Old Covenant was a code. Measure up to this code, keep this code under the New Covenant. It is a provision of acceptance where God makes us acceptable before himself without depending on our behavior.

That's amazing. That's the righteousness of God. But in the ability to the ability to live out the righteousness of God. The further contrast is the Old Covenant was temporary. The new one remains, as it says in the text. It is permanent. It does not go away.

It does not end. That's why the glory of the Old Covenant cannot compare to the awesome glory of the New Covenant. Remember glory refers to pointing to God. God manifests his gloriousness much more in the New Covenant than he did in the Old Covenant. Now, as Paul continues in this text, he speaks of a veil and he starts with talking of the veil that Moses had over his face when he came down from the mountain after meeting God.

And he spoke face to face with God. And he came down and he had that radiant glory and he had the veil over his face so that the people wouldn't be blinded just by looking at Moses. What the veil then represents is something that keeps one from seeing the glory of God. And he takes that farther then in this and he speaks of their veil.

He says, verse 13, Moses put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded for until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament because the veil is taken away in Christ. So what is the veil?

It is the fading and limited power of the code. But the veil that remains unlifted on people's hearts and minds, let me just put it this way. The veil is this, when someone reads the scripture and they do not recognize the glory of God it simply means they have a veil over their face. They're closed-minded. They are limiting themselves to their own understanding and that's what a veil is. And how many people today read the scripture and when it is like, that's too fantastic for me, I could never bring myself to believe something like that because I can't wrap my brain around that.

That's a veil. You're limiting yourself to your own understanding versus the infinite good and truth of an infinite God who has made himself known. Question for so many today, those in the materialist arena of the sciences, materialist being they believe everything is nothing but material, there's no metaphysical, there's no spirit, there's no soul, everything is just matter. And the question that they grapple with today is that we have this idea of God that is so prevalent in the world today, is God just simply a projection of my consciousness or as one that I'm going to quote later on, a very intelligent, educated woman asked this question, is God greater than my consciousness? Well, it depends on whether or not you have the veil. Are you closed minded?

Are you limited only to what you understand to be truth? It says in verse 14, the veil remains unlifted. The great example of that was the Pharisees in the time of Jesus. The Pharisees couldn't handle Jesus.

Why not? Because he didn't fit into the box of their understanding. They did not see in him the glory of God, even though he himself was the very person of God walking in their presence.

Amazing, isn't it? The power of limiting ourselves to our own understanding. And so that veil, to put it another way, it's saying it's all up to my effort and goodness. My focus is on what I have to do, and that's exactly how the Pharisees failed. Instead of seeing the glory of God, they simply put all of their emphasis on what they have to do.

It's all up to my efforts and my goodness. And therefore, they became the ones who judged everyone else because nobody else was as good as they are, and those two always go hand in hand. If your faith system depends on how good you are and the things that you do, you will be one who judges others. Verse 16, here's a key verse, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Remember, the veil represents limiting myself to my own understanding.

It's closed mindedness. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-29 12:25:49 / 2024-04-29 12:30:25 / 5

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