Paul does not need a letter of recommendation. Our sufficiency for ministry is from God. We are servants of the New Covenant. We can be as bold as a lion!
VERSE 1. Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you?
commend ourselves. The false apostles commended themselves. They boasted of their competence and why people should submit to them.
letters of commendation. In those days, it was common for a visiting apostle to have a letter that authenticated his identity as a real apostle. However, Paul did not need such a thing.
You are our letter. Paul was known to the believers in Corinth.
VERSE 3. being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh.
you are a letter of Christ. The “letter” that Paul valued was his disciples. The high quality of their faith-life authenticated his identity as an apostle.
tablets that are hearts of flesh. The faith-life of Paul’s disciples was equivalent to a letter that was written in their hearts.
Jeremiah 31:33. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the LORD: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and I will write it in their heart. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
confidence. Many liturgical Christians have very little confidence about their relationship with God.
VERSE 5. not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God,
VERSE 6. who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
servants. The Greek word is διακόνους (“diakonous”). It means waiter, servant, minister.
VERSE 7. But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away,
the service of death. That is, “the ministry of death.” This points to the lethal effects of the Law.
Romans 7:10. The commandment which was for life, this I found to be for death;
VERSE 8. won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory?
VERSE 9. For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.
VERSE 10. For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses.
VERSE 11. For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
NIV translation: Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
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VERSE 13. and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away.
VERSE 14. But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away.
Moses. That is, the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
a veil lies on their heart. That is, the meaning of the passage is hidden.
VERSE 16. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
the Lord. The context is Exodus chapter 34. When Moses when into the Tent of Meeting, he met the LORD:
Exodus 34:34. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out, and spoke to the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
is the Spirit. Paul identifies “the LORD” that Moses met as the Holy Spirit.
VERSE 18. But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.
are transformed. This verse speaks of transformation. We are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.