One final post on the glory of the New Covenant from 2 Cor 3&4. Not that we have come close to exhausting what could be said, but here are a few more wonderful things:
The glorious ministry of the Spirit brings life. Compared to the Old Covenant of the letter which killed. How does it do this?
- By transforming hearts and changing our orientation to God internally, not merely our external behaviour 3:3
- By bringing righteousness 3:9
- By revealing surpassing glory 3:10
- And therefore hope 3:11
- By allowing us to approach God (because of righteousness) and to gaze on the glory of his Christ 3:18, the view of whom accomplishes accomplishes ever-increasing transformation into his likeness
- By the fact that it all comes from God, meaning that all our confidence is in his ability, compentence and perfection, not our inability and sinfulness 3:4-5, 4:7
The result is that we don't have to worry about being hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. It just doesn't matter, because we know God's all-surpassing power to rescue. These troubles for Christians don't begin to compare with the glory of Christ, revealed in the New Covenant "because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus" 4:14.
Hence we are driven by a joy-fuelled imperative to benefit others:
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace which is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God 4:15
And that is a great description of the New Covenant to finish on: grace that causes overflowing thanksgiving, for the sake of God's glory.