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The Glory of the Gospel, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 11:46 pm

The Glory of the Gospel, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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April 29, 2024 11:46 pm

On Mount Sinai, Moses got a glimpse of the glory of God.  and his face shone brightly.  But 2 Corinthians 3:7-15 compares what Moses had to what we can have in Christ through the new covenant.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

On Mt. Sinai, Moses got a glimpse of the glory of God, and his face shone brightly. But 2 Corinthians 3, 7-15 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. This is the second part of a message titled, Beholding the Glory of the Lord. It's a continuation in the study of 2 Corinthians titled, The Glory of the Gospel. It was first preached on February 23, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Acts 17, 30, Paul was preaching to the Athenians and he communicated this, God commands all men everywhere to repent.

Why is that? Because the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. John made it very clear, Christ came into the world as the light of the world, and he is the light that brings light to every man in the world. And here's what happens, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. So, you encounter God, you look at his revelation, and you encounter God through his self-revelation. And because of that encounter, you change your mind, you recognize that God is far greater than you are.

He is the greatest and most important reality. And then he grants you the understanding of his revelation, and through that understanding, you are transformed. That's the glory of the gospel. It says in verse 17, Now the Lord is spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. That liberty means freedom from constraint. Constraint being defined as the state of being checked or compelled to avoid or perform some action. And that's exactly what the law was, the Mosaic law. It's exactly what every faith system is that is not a system of grace.

It is being checked or compelled to avoid or perform some action or list of actions. To measure up by my efforts and goodness. There are two kinds of religion in the world. The religion of human merit or the religion of grace.

That's it. That is the glory of the gospel. So, the glory of the gospel then leads us to verse 18, chapter 3 and verse 18. And this is the key verse of this whole series, because it best encapsulates everything that we speak of as the glory of the gospel. And he says then in the beginning of this verse, but we all with unveiled face.

What does that mean? That means we who are now open to revealed truth by faith. Where I recognize that God, the creator, the one who is the greatest and most important reality, outside of myself has revealed himself to me and I am open to that revelation. The veil is taken away in Christ.

It's the only way it happens. Meaning I entrust myself to what has been revealed and communicated. All of that is wrapped up in we all with unveiled face. We open the revealed, the word of God. God's word is his self-disclosure.

He makes himself known to us through his word and in that, I recognize the awesomeness and majesty of God, the glory of God. This then, in this verse, I believe, encapsulates what we have used to define the glory of the gospel in this series. That the regenerating spirit of God with the illuminating word of God transforms the redeemed people of God based on the reconciling son of God, pointing to the righteous goodness of God and overcomes the distracting enemy of God. That is the glory of the gospel. And this verse then is a key verse in this series because it has all of the components. Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the spirit of the Lord. That's the glory of the gospel right there.

I encourage you to memorize it. Because you see it as we parallel it with that statement that encapsulates the glory of the gospel in the left-hand column now. You have the illuminating word of God. You have the people of God being transformed. You have the reconciling son of God. It's his image we are transformed into. The righteous goodness of God, the increasing glory, because glory is pointing to God.

And you have the regenerating spirit of God. This is the key verse in this series. And so he continues then with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.

This sounds very similar to something that James writes, doesn't it? He speaks of the word of God as a mirror. We look into the mirror. Why? Because it tells us something important.

You look ugly. You need to take care of something. That's what a mirror says. I hear it say that every day after I get up. Do something, right?

Take care of this, right? And we look into the mirror of the word of God and we see the glory of God reflected. And when I compare myself to the glory of God, I recognize, God, please transform me through your word. Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. James calls it the perfect law of liberty. And the word here, beholding, is the word katotritzo. It is this. This is from the theological dictionary of the New Testament. A mirror or a glass that makes the invisible visible and changes us into the likeness of what we see.

I like that. That's what the word of God is. When we indeed are engaging the scriptures and we encounter God through his self-revelation. That is the purpose of having the scriptures. There is plenty of example of this and how the word of God transforms the redeemed people of God.

The word of God leads us to... God's word has transforming power to it. And we find it in the testimony of Rosaria Butterfield, who wrote the book Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. She was an English professor at Syracuse University and very much publicly in an alternate lifestyle. And she didn't consider, you know, she says, I'm okay with it, I'm in a community of this.

And she got all kinds of hate mail and she got all kinds of fan mail. But there was one letter that she got from a Presbyterian minister who asked questions and she was compelled to be able to answer those questions or find the answers to those questions. And so she met with this Presbyterian minister. Long story short, after a couple of years, he had invited her to church and she thought, I would never in a million years step inside the door of a church.

Why? Because the church is so judgmental. That was her perception of it. Thankfully, this faithful pastor shattered that perception and so did his congregation. And she began reading the word of God. This is her testimony. She began reading the word of God and she says this, I had been reading and rereading the scripture. And she says elsewhere in her book, she says, I read huge chunks of scripture and she encourages us to do the same as I do this morning to you as well. Read huge chunks of scripture.

We live in an age of sound bites. Let's not be caught up in sound bites of scripture. Let's read and reread the scriptures. One of her friends in her community noticed that something was going on in her life. And her friend confronted her and she says, you're reading the Bible an awful lot and something's changing you.

I need to know what's going on. Rosaria said this, all the Bible reading that I had been doing was changing me. She recognized it herself, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. As her friend confronted her regarding the change that was going on in her life because of the Bible reading that she was doing, plus the interactions with this pastor. She said this, here's her answer.

What would you say if I told you that I'm beginning to believe that Jesus is real, is a real and risen and loving and judging Lord and that I am in big trouble? Listen, she was not a Christian yet when she said this. But she was, where did she come up with this?

This isn't something you would come up with on your own, is it? She was reading the word of God. She was beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.

This is what was happening. And her life was being transformed. She was being drawn to God through His self-revelation. And as the scriptures say here, as Paul says, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed.

Look what it says there. Verse 18, are being transformed. A little bit of grammar here, okay?

You ready for this? A little bit of grammar. This statement, being transformed, is in the present passive indicative.

Rich, what on earth does that mean? It means this, God is at work and you are not transforming yourself. He's at work now, He's at work today and you are not transforming yourself. God is at work.

He is doing the transformation. You are not transforming yourself. You see, there is the glory of the gospel.

There is the religion of grace and the religion of human merit. The religion of grace teaches us that God transforms. You do not transform yourself. Because if you transformed yourself, you could arrive at the pearly gates and St. Peter's there. I know how I know that because that's what all the comics say, right?

Well, what right do you have to get in? Well, I transformed myself. You know what that is? That's the religion of human merit.

It doesn't work. The gospel of grace and the glory of the gospel of grace is that God transforms you. He is at work in your life. 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 / 2024-04-30 00:36:29 / 2024-04-30 00:41:26 / 5

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