23 Oct 2022

The New Convenant According to Paul [2Corinthians 3:7-18]


There are 2 major covenants in the Bible-the Old Covenant & the New Covenant. There are 2 approaches to God. The Old Covenant is about self-righteousness- man earns his own way to God by obeying the 10 commandments. The New Covenant is all of grace- that God will forgive and change us because Jesus paid it all! Here, the Apostle Paul dives deeper into the New Covenant, and shows us 4 things. 1. Comparison. Paul says the Old Covenant is glorious. But he says the New Covenant far surpasses it. The New Covenant brings life, brings righteousness, is the work of the Spirit, and is permanent. So, it is fare more glorious than the Old Covenant. 2. Communication. The apostles are unreserved in preaching the gospel, because they are confident it is the message that brings righteousness and life. They know it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. 3. Comprehension. People do not see the glory of the New Covenant because there is a "veil" over their hearts. This veil is removed only when one turns to the Spirit.  4. Confirmation. The glory of the New Covenant is seen in transformed lives. Instead of letters of recommendation written by man, Paul says the greatest proof of ministry is Christ-like lives!



Sermon Transcript

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Once again, a very good morning to all of you, welcome to Gospel Light and our second English worship service this Sunday morning.

Glad you can join us, I think this is sermon number 6 in the journey through the book of 2nd Corinthians. For those who are new, uninitiated, this is a letter written by the church leader, Apostle Paul, to the people living at ancient Corinth. It's a letter that he has to painstakingly write, because there are many in that church who are now doubting his leadership, his authority, and so, Paul defends his apostleship on leadership in this letter.

Last week, we came to this concept, or these two concepts laid out in the Bible - they are called the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. And they really represent two ways for man to draw near to God; two philosophies, two concepts.

The word "covenant" means agreement. So God makes many agreements in the Bible - to Noah, to Abraham, to David. But there are two main agreements that represent two approaches man can have toward God.

The first approach is what we call the Old Covenant. This was made thousands of years ago at Mount Sinai. God had just led His people, the nation of Israel, out of Egypt, brought them to Mount Sinai. And He said to them, "If you will obey My words, if you will obey My laws as summarized, as inscribed on the two tables of stones - the 10 Commandments - then I will be your God, and you will be My people."

The people of Israel hearing that, then said, "All that the Lord told us, we will do." So they were very confident and indeed, at least superficially, committed to saying, “We will do all that God tells us; He will be our God, and we will be His people."

Unfortunately, the entire history of Israel was one of repeated rebellion and disobedience. Because right from the start, they began to fashion for themselves that golden calf, and worshipped the idol. And over and over and over again, they fall for other foreign gods, and sin against God.

So, the nation of Israel demonstrated that the Old Covenant can never be the way anyone can successfully approach God.

Why? Because the sinful flesh is so weak, it is incapable of obeying God. The Old Covenant stands as a witness against that total impotence of our self efforts.

In that light, God then gives the New Covenant. The first one shows you, you can't do it; so God now gives you the New Covenant, the new agreement.

The new agreement is given later on, in Ezekiel, Jeremiah. To those who are new, these are just names in the Bible. They sound unusual to us, because we're not Jews. Just like if you talk to a Jew, and you say, "My name is Yong Sheng.” "What is Yong…?” Okay, so don't be confused by the names. But via the two prophets, God in particular, spelled out the details of this new agreement.

This new agreement is totally different from the Old Covenant, because the Old Covenant is dependent on man -
“If you do this, I will be your God." The New Covenant is: nothing to do with what you're going to do. "I," God says, "I will give you a new heart. I will write My laws in your heart. I will sprinkle water on your hearts. I will forgive you your sins."

So God is going to be the One who does everything. The Old Covenant - both parties have to do something. The New Covenant - nothing on man's end. God would sovereignly and unilaterally bring people to Himself.

But what about the problem of sin? What about all the guilt and all the grievances, all the wrongs that have been done? Shouldn't God deal with wrong? Is He unrighteous, unjust? Oh, of course not! For God to forgive, for God to give a new heart, for God to cleanse your heart, God has to pay the price. But that price will be paid by His Son.

And that's why when Jesus came, He said, "The New Covenant is going to be established in My blood. I will die, and I will shed My blood for the forgiveness of sins."

So, Jesus would have to pay it all. And that's the price for the New Covenant, or the new agreement.

Now, that's all what we have studied last Sunday. For those who feel, "Eh, maybe a bit fast ah, a bit complicated!" Well, just check out last week's sermon, maybe it will help you.

But as a kind of summary, we can therefore say:

(i) The Old Covenant is a philosophy where man earns his way to God. You earn your way to God. But the New Covenant is: you don't earn your way to God, because Jesus had already paid it all on the cross.

(ii) The Old Covenant is one that is established at Mount Sinai, where the 10 Commandments are given. But the New Covenant is established at Mount Calvary, where Jesus suffered and died.

(iii) The Old Covenant is where the Law is written on stones, tablets of stones. But the New Covenant is where the Law is not outside us, but written on tablets of hearts.

(iv) The Old Covenant is a work of man; man's got to earn, man's got to work. But the New Covenant is: man can't work, but the Holy Spirit works. The Holy Spirit will be the One who will give us a new heart, and write God's laws on our hearts.

(v) The Old Covenant is a philosophy of self-righteousness: man's got to try to be right with God; self-righteousness. But the New Covenant is all of unconditional grace; the goodness of God bestowed upon undeserving people, like as we are.

(vi) The Old Covenant kills, because the Old Covenant condemns. The Old Covenant just shows you your total impotence. But the New Covenant is truly able to give you spiritual, eternal life.

So God has very wisely, throughout history, laid down these two covenants, that man for all history, at the end of time, would be able to say: salvation is only of the Lord.

And if you are here today, I say from the start: if you want to know God, if you want to be forgiven of your sins, every other religion in the world focuses on the philosophy on your right, on your left — the Old Covenant. But only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is there true salvation; only if you believe Jesus paid it all, and that's the way of grace.

Well, I think that's not the end of the sermon; that's just the start, alright? That's just to lay down the framework, because if you don't get this, it's going to be very hard going forward.

Because what we're going to read now, is Paul explaining the New Covenant in greater details, and he's going to do a fantastic job at this.

So sit tight, we're going to look at some details. I don't think it's that complicated if you can just hang in there, for a while. There are four points; the first point is longest, and if you can get through the first point, numbers 2, 3, 4 will be easy. Can? Okay, thank you.

So let's look at Paul's explanation of the New Covenant. And then I'll tie it all back, and say why does Paul talks about this, and what does this mean for you and for me?

[1] The Comparison

So first of all, Paul compares the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. There is a comparison of these two covenants.

We have already done that - I have tried to do that in that chart earlier, but let's look at Paul's comparison. It adds depth to the flavor.

In verses 7-11, Paul is saying: the Old Covenant is glorious.

I’d like to pause there. We tend to think that the Old Covenant is bad, it's useless, it's without glory. But no, that's not what Paul is saying. Paul is going to establish the Old Covenant is glorious. He does not denigrate the Old Covenant.

But what he does, is that he says: the New Covenant surpasses it in glory. In other words, he argues from the lesser to the greater. He's saying: if the Old Covenant is glorious, imagine how much more glorious is the New. It's a fortiori argument, or a lesser to the greater argument.

And he uses 4 phrases to fully, or clearly communicate that:

(i) He says in verse 8: “will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?”

(ii) He says in verse 9: “the ministry of righteousness” - the New Covenant - “must far exceed it in glory”.

(iii) He says in verse 10: “the glory that surpasses it” - the New Covenant glory, that surpasses the Old Covenant glory.

(iv) And then he says in verse 11: “much more will what is permanent” - that is the New Covenant - “have glory”.

So it's always this "more, more, more, more" idea. The Old Covenant is glorious, but the New Covenant surpasses it.

So let's see, first of all: how is the Old Covenant glorious? Where does Paul get that?

Well, he gets that from the story in Exodus 34. We read: "Now if the ministry of death…” [2 Cor 3:7] - this refers to the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is a ministry of death, because the Old Covenant cannot save; it can only condemn you, show you your impotence. So, Paul says the Old Covenant is the ministry of death, and it's “carved in letters on stone" [2 Cor 3:7] - that is the 10 Commandments, a summary of the Old Covenant.

So the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, did come with glory. How do we know that? Because “the Israelites could not gaze at Moses face because of its glory”. [2 Cor 3:7]

So, this brings us to Exodus 34, this very interesting story, where Moses went to collect the 2 tables of stone, on which is the 10 Commandments. And when he met with God, received the stones, and came back to Israel, the people looked at Moses, and they were afraid because his face was radiating bright glory.

So we read that, in verse 29: "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God." [Ex 34:29]

Now, mind you, this is a second trip up to receive the 10 Commandments. The first set of tablets he received, he smashed, because Israel rebelled against God in the sin of the golden calf. Second trip: received the 10 Commandments, this time - whoa, SKII, to the power of 100! Super glorious, bright, shining skin!Whoa! Amazing!

"Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him." [Ex 34:30]

It was something that they have never witnessed before. It was almost like looking into the sun, and how it's so bright and blinding you, you just don't want to see it after a while.

And so, “when Moses had finished speaking” - not knowing that this was so bright - “he put a veil over his face." [Ex 34:33]

He now comes back to God, to speak with God. And when he turns to God, he removes the veil. But after he finishes talking with God, he would appear before Israel, and because the skin of his face was shining, he would put the veil over his face again. [Ex 34:34-35]

Now, I think this is a familiar picture here in Singapore. You see people go into MRT, put on the “veil”, and after the MRT take off the “veil” [Pastor gestures to signal a face mask]. So you see that on and off idea in this Exodus 34.

So Paul is saying: Look here! The Old Covenant was a covenant of death, but it was still from God, and it was still glorious. We know that because the passing of the Old Covenant was attended to with glory, as evidenced from Moses' face. [2 Cor 3:7]

So if this Old Covenant - which is actually a Ministry of death, which is actually carved on letters on stone, with letters on stone, was still something that was glorious, even though the glory will ultimately fade - if this Old Covenant is glorious, how will it not be that the Ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? [2 Cor 3:8]

So if the Old Covenant is glorious, won't the Ministry of the Spirit, and won't the Ministry of life - because the first one was of death - won't the Ministry of life have even more glory? Don't you think it's even more splendid? Paul argues the fortiori or the lesser to the greater argument.

He goes on to say: "For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory." [2 Cor 3:9]

So the Old Covenant is a Ministry of condemnation. It's like a giant X-ray machine to show you your sin, but it can never cure you of your sin. But even the X-ray machine has its glory! But the more glorious participant or the player is the doctor. And the Ministry of righteousness, the Spiritual Doctor, Jesus Christ - this agreement must far exceed in glory.

Because nobody, I tell you, none of you would ever, after you're healed, go to the X-ray machine, and say, "Thank you ah, X-ray!" Because all of you will buy your gifts and give it to the doctor, and said, "Thank you ah, ‘lo kun’.” [colloquial expression for doctor] Isn't it?

So, the Ministry of righteousness must exceed that of the Ministry of condemnation; the New Covenant must be more glorious than the Old Covenant. If the Old Covenant pronounces you as a guilty sinner condemned, the New Covenant pronounce you as a righteous, forgiven, child of God, because of Jesus Christ's righteousness. That is superbly glorious!

"Indeed, in this case, what once had glory” - this refers, of course, to the Old Covenant - “what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it." [2 Cor 3:10]

Mid-autumn just came, a couple of months back, and maybe you will see little children carry their lanterns at night. Used to be, I think - I love to see those with candles, and those cellophane paper; those are very nice and romantic. Nowadays, all plastic, all battery operated. Nevertheless, it's still a nice sight to see people carry lanterns at night.

But imagine that guy carries the lantern in the daytime. You can’t see anything! Why? Because of the surpassing glory of the sun that shines! This lantern, that is supposed to shine, is no more shining.

Oh, the Old Covenant shines. But when it's juxtaposed, it’s put beside the New Covenant - there's no glory to speak of. Because the New Covenant is so much more glorious! It surpasses it, it covers it, envelopes it.

"For if what was being brought to an end came with glory” - again, this refers to the Old Covenant; it's temporary, it's coming to an end. If that which is temporary is glorious, "how much more will what is permanent have glory." [2 Cor 3:11] Don't you think God would give greater glory to that which lasts?

So, this is not something Paul alone said. If the author to the book of Hebrews is a separate person, then he would also concur. “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." [Heb 8:13]

So what are we saying? Or what is Paul saying throughout? Paul makes a very good comparison. He compares the New Covenant with the Old Covenant. And simply says: the Old Covenant is glorious, don't get me wrong. But the New Covenant is more glorious.


(i) Life vs Death - Because the New Covenant gives life, but the Old Covenant brings death.

(ii) Spirit vs Man - The New Covenant brings - is the work of the Spirit, and the Old Covenant, however, is merely the work of sinful men.

(iii) Righteousness vs Condemnation - The New Covenant grants us righteousness, but the Old Covenant only leads us to condemnation.

(iv) Permanent vs Obsolete - The New Covenant is something which lasts forever, but the Old Covenant is temporary.

So Paul, masterfully - don't you think, masterfully - makes a simple, clear comparison. The Old Covenant is glorious, but the New Covenant surpasses it.

And we see the language he uses in verses 8, 9, 10, 11. If you have survived up to now, I think you'll be able to survive the next three points.

[2] The Communication

With this comparison, with this establishment - "Hey guys, the New Covenant is super-duper glorious" - he now says, “I tell you about the communication of the New Covenant."

He says, “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold." [2 Cor 3:12]

The word "bold" is a special word. It’s not courage, as in a common word we use, just bravery. The word "bold" here in the Greek means freedom of speech, or unreservedness in speaking. In your King James Bible, it will be translated: plainness in speaking or in speech.

So Paul is saying: since we have this hope, we are very bold to talk about the New Covenant. We are not ashamed of the New Covenant. Why? Because we have such a hope. Hope is not wishful thinking in the Bible.

Now, when we say, "I hope you will join me”, it's a sometimes just a wish, optimism. But in the Bible, hope is not wish; hope is a confident expectation.

So Paul says, "I am so confident of the New Covenant and God's promises in it, that He will give us righteousness, and life, and forgiveness. Because I have such a confidence, we are very bold, we declare very openly."

Perhaps he's alluding to the fact that there are false teachers in the city of Corinth, who are influencing the Corinthians to despise Paul and his preaching, to say, "Paul, aren't you a Jew? And aren't your people established on the mosaic laws, and the covenant, and the rituals, and the rites? Why are you not talking about these things, and telling people about Jesus? You're betraying your own community; you're spreading something that is inferior!"

To which Paul says, "No, it's not inferior! The New Covenant surpasses the Old Covenant in glory. Therefore, I am very bold. You can say all you want, but I have this hope, that it is in the New Covenant, that anyone will have life and righteousness and forgiveness."

You see his logic? “I’m not afraid of your attacks. I'm not ashamed of the Gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes." And almost like a dig on their false teachers, he deliberately refers now to Moses.

He says in verse 13: “not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome." [2 Cor 3:13]

So he brings us back to Exodus 34, where Moses would put on a veil. So he says, “We are very bold in speaking. Not like Moses, who had to hide the glory. I don't have to hide the glory of the New Covenant! I am very bold in speaking, because of this great hope.”

So his communication of the New Covenant is bold and unreserved, because it stems from tremendous confidence in the supremacy of the New Covenant.

[3] The Comprehension

Point number 3: in verses 14 to 17, Paul talks about the comprehension of the New Covenant.

Because there may be this question: Paul, if you say that the New Covenant is indeed so glorious, why is it that so many Jews, Israelites, will not believe the New Covenant, or believe in Jesus? It must be that your New Covenant is not so glorious!

To which Paul says: "But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away." [2 Cor 3:14]

Is it because the New Covenant is not glorious? No! You know why people cannot appreciate glory? You know why people cannot appreciate beauty? Because they are blinded, that's why! No matter how bright the sun is, if you are blinded you can't see. So Paul says: the reason why they would not believe the New Covenant is because they're blinded, there is a veil.

Now, the veil becomes a dominant player or the dominant analogy Paul would use from verse 12-18, right to the end. Earlier part, we see glory - the glory on the face; that's the dominant analogy. Now, the dominant analogy will be the veil.

What do you mean, the same veil remains “unlifted” from the minds of those who read the Old Covenant? Well, let's look on.

Verse 15: "Yes, to this day" - to the day of Paul - "whenever Moses is read" - whenever people read the Law - "a veil lies over their hearts." [2 Cor 3:15] The "their" here refers to Israel, I think, to the people of Israel; that when they read the Old Testament, when they read the laws of Moses, they still can't quite get that glory.

Why? Because they're blinded; there's a veil, a kind of spiritual hardening.

"But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." [2 Cor 3:16] Now, again, Paul, I think is referring to the old story in Exodus 34; that when Moses turned to God, the veil is removed. Right? So that when he comes back out and faced Israel, he puts back the veil.

So he's saying: when Moses turned to God - and you see “the LORD” here: “L-O-R-D”, it's in caps. In other words, this is not master alone, this is not king alone, not ruler alone. The “L-O-R-D” is a way for us to understand this is the tetragrammaton, which is the YHWH, which is the name nobody can pronounce. But it's the Name of God.

Today, people add on some vowels there to make it sound like “Yahweh”. So today, we call God in the Bible,
“Yahweh”, even though that's not really the pronouncement, pronunciation we should have about God's Name. But that's how we have kind of identified, “Yahweh” or in other ways, “Jehovah”, in Chinese 耶和华 [yē hé huá] and so on.

But it's clear, that when Moses turned to God Himself, his veil is removed. So, using this same story, Paul now says: You know what, just like how Moses had his veil removed when he turns to God, one will have his veil removed when he turns to the Lord.

This blindness, this incapacity to behold the glory of God can only be removed when one genuinely turns to God in humility, obviously, in repentance.

The question now is: who is this “Lord”? Now, earlier on in Exodus 34, it's clearly Jehovah God, God Himself. Paul, however, inspired author of God, clarifies for us today: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." [2 Cor 3:17]

Now, I think this is clear. This means that if you want to behold the glory of God in the Bible, it's got to be via the Spirit of the Living God. Again, not very unusual, because Jesus Himself said: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." [John 3:5] The Holy Spirit is the only One who can take away that veil.

So, Paul says: “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." And now I would admit, I don't think it's very easy to be clear, what this "freedom" specifically refers to. Is it a freedom from sin? That's possible. Is it a freedom from the law of sin and death? That's possible. Is it a freedom from the barriers of understanding glory? That's possible. Is it a freedom that we may speak unreservedly with boldness? That's also possible.

So it's not easy contextually to be dogmatic on any of the four options. But I think I spare you the details there.

To conclude: many in Israel are not saved not because the New Covenant is not glorious, but because there is a veil over their hearts, which is only removed when one turns to the Spirit of the Lord.

[4] The Confirmation

Finally, we come to maybe the most famous verse in chapter 3, and that's verse 18. And we see the confirmation of the New Covenant today.

See, this is the question: we know the glory of the Old Covenant on the face of Moses. How do we know the glory of the New Covenant today? Is it the glory of the pastor's face? Ah, obviously not! So where do we see the glory of the New Covenant?

To which Paul masterfully says, in effect, I think: it's not on skin of people's faces, but it's in the lives of God's people.

"And we all, with unveiled face" [2 Cor 3:18] - not just Moses by the way, not just Moses, we all! We, who are followers of Jesus Christ; we, who have embraced the New Covenant. “And we all… beholding the glory of the Lord" - we are like the people who have met with God - “are now being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

Oh, the Old Covenant is glorious, seen in Moses' face. But the New Covenant is even more glorious, seen in your lives, not just Moses’! How cool is this! How cool is Paul's reasoning! Wow! People laugh at Paul, "What a stupid message you're preaching!” Paul says, "No! Look at what the Scripture says."

Paul says: the evidence is in the transformation of your lives, from one degree of glory to another. It will never end, you know. That glory just increases and increases and increases.

I love the word "transformed". It's the Greek word "metamorphoō”, from which we get the word, "metamorphosis". Metamorphoō, mm chai si mi [colloquial expression to describe not understanding what something means]. But metamorphosis you heard before, right?

If any one of you would have to take Primary School science again, you might pay attention to the word "metamorphosis". It's a process that describes the change of a pupa, or caterpillar, all the way to become a butterfly.

And it's a complete change, because you know that a butterfly is not a caterpillar with two wings stuck on it. It's not something added onto it, but it's a complete change from the inside out.

So Paul is saying: the glory of the New Covenant is no more going to be on the skin of someone's face, but from the inside out. A complete change of your desires, goals, intentions, the way you think. You're going to be Christ-like, from the inside out. Motivations, everything changes.

That's the glory of the New Covenant. And that's what the Holy Spirit alone must do!

Here at Gospel Light, we firmly believe we cannot change people's lives, but God can. And we look to the Holy Spirit to change our lives, as we behold the New Covenant.

I know there's a lot that can be said from this text. I just want to say one more thing, because you could preach an entire sermon from this verse. But I just want to keep it as contextually tight, and as helpful to the understanding of the overall passage as I can.

This “glory of the Lord" here is Jesus Christ, seen on the face of Jesus Christ. We know that because of chapter 4, and verses 2-4, which we are going to study next week. But this is the goal: that as we behold Christ in the New Covenant, His Spirit would change us into His likeness. And that's the best confirmation of the New Covenant.

And we have come a full circle. Remember, in chapter 3, verse 1, Paul is replying to their desire, the requests of the Corinthians: Paul, where is your letter of recommendation? Because they all walked around, the false teachers walked around with stacks of letters from different people, probably.

But Paul says: I don't have, and I don't need letters of recommendation from Jerusalem or from the 12. My recommendation, my letter of recommendation is you. How? Because of the New Covenant. You all have seen the glory of the Lord in the New Covenant. You all are the letters of Christ written by His Spirit.

We have come a full circle. And Paul has laid out a powerful defense of his ministry.

What does this have to do with me? Well, let's pause and think before we end. I hope today, you will never be sick and tired of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think there are many people who kind of feel that the Gospel is too basic; let's move on to more exciting topics like how to handle finances, how to fight stress and worry, how to go through suffering. Now, I'm not saying those things are unnecessary, but I'm saying please don't underestimate the glory of the New Covenant. It is very, very glorious! This text tells us so.

And I think of all people we should be a very grateful people, thankful to God that He has given us the New Covenant, so that today, none of us need to stand condemned before God. None of us need to be weary of earning our way to God by our own obedience, but we all can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We can all hear Jesus say, "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." [Matt 11:28] This is not sleep, this is not holiday. This is rest of your soul from trying to be right with God on your own strength. You don't have to anymore.

"I've written and I've given you My new agreement. I will give you a new heart. I'll sprinkle you clean. I'll forgive you your sins. I will do it all. Turn to the Lord. Turn to the Spirit. Repent and look to My Son, He paid it on the cross.”

If you today have been in church for a long, long time - I tell you, even though you have heard the Gospel, I dare say even though you've heard the Gospel preached over and over again from this pulpit, you might still be thinking the way to God is via the Old Covenant. I hope today you would realize Jesus is the only way. Not you; Jesus is the only way.

And I hope that as a church, we will be very bold in preaching the Gospel. I am unapologetic that every Sunday - you say: what is the sermon here in Gospel Light about? At the end of the day, it's always going to be about the Gospel. It's always going to be this, I hope for the rest of my life, and I hope for many generations to come.

Because it is very glorious. Because we have hope that this is the message that brings righteousness and life, therefore we are very bold.

I hope that's the message for your Youth Ministry, for your Sunday School, for your Care Groups. You want to see life-change? You want to see people transformed into the image of Jesus? This is it. This is it!

And I pray that in our church, we would have many, many letters of recommendation. I'm not asking letters from some seminary, or from some theological college; I want letters in your lives. I want to see, I pray, I will have the privilege to see many of you getting transformed from one degree of glory to another. How beautiful that will be!

Moses was the only man who could go up to Mount Sinai, that's the Old Covenant. But in the New Covenant, every single one of us can behold God's glory and be changed. Pursue that, I'm excited for that, and I pray we will see that for the ages to come.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

Thank you for being with me in this last 40 minutes or so. It's not easy, I understand, especially if you're new with us. You may not be able to grasp every single detail, but I hope Jesus paid it all is clear. I hope the Good News of Jesus Christ is clear.

We are so proud in our sin that even when we are sinful, somehow we still think we can make it to God on our own. Reality is: we can't, and we don't need to, because God has sent His Son to die and to pay for your sins.

What you need to do today is to humble yourself and turn to the Spirit.

If you hear this message and say, "I think I am beginning to see something, but I can't fully appreciate all that you're talking about, I don't have the same level of excitement as you have."

I say: maybe there's a veil over your hearts. And the Bible tells me, the Bible tells you, that if one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. I think there is hope for any one of us, if we're willing to humble ourselves, repent of our sins and turn to the Spirit of God.

My friends, Jesus paid it all. And the Holy Spirit can remove that veil, and allow you to see the glory of Jesus and change you into His likeness.

That is my hope today, that is my joy today, that is my excitement today. I hope you will share in it; I hope you'll turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ."

Gospel Light, I say to all of us: the goal of the Christian life is not just coming to church. The goal of the Christian life is not just giving some money into the offering bag. The goal of the Christian life is to glorify God in our lives.

Behold this glory, and let His Spirit change you day by day, from one degree of glory to another. And let's all be walking epistles, walking letters in our workplaces, in our homes, in our schools. What a beautiful day that would be!

Father, we thank You this morning, we can hear Your Word, and we thank You for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We would never have come up with this plan. But You have out, of Your wisdom, sovereignty and amazing love.

May souls be genuinely saved today. May sinners repent and turn to Your Spirit. May Your Church be emboldened to preach the Gospel. And may Your people pursue likeness to Your Son.

Thank You, Jesus paid it all. Thank You for the power of the cross. We glory in it. We praise You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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