Its Effects in the New Covenant.
Scripture has the aqua background; commentary has the yellow background.
|Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart... God... Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. - 2 Cor. 3:3-6||The Old Covenant had to do with law written on tables of stone. The New Covenant has to do with the writing of God's law in the heart by His Spirit. To obey God we obey the leading of His Spirit. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. What does this have to do with Spiritual Light? We receive the Truth of God by revelation or Light through the work of the Spirit. Christ comes to live within and reveal Himself and the truth of His Word.|
|The law could only bring death and condemnation, even though the law itself is good; because it only pointed out sin and made sin abound. It is impossible to keep the law perfectly; therefore it kills with condemnation, rather than restores life. But the gospel of grace writes the law on the heart and Christ, revealed by God's Spirit, brings life -- zoe -- the Life of God! Moses came down from the mountain, having been with God, with glory on his face; but it was a fading glory. The law was a ministration of condemnation with only a fading glory. But the ministration of Christ far exceeds it and is an Eternal Glory.||But if the ministration of
death, written and engaven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not
steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done
away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration
of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
- 2 Cor. 3:7-9
|And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. But their minds ere blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. - 2 Cor. 3:13-16||This is all a type of, or symbolic of something greater than the literal events. When Moses came off the mountain with the law, he had the glory of God on him. The children of Israel could not look upon the glory and Moses covered it with a veil so they could not see the glory fade. The law was an intermediate step leading to Christ. The fading of Moses' glory speaks of the law's temporal and imperfect state. The veil symbolizes blindness. The Israelites could not "see." This is similar to the veil in the temple rent at Christ's death. It opened up the way through Christ's flesh for man to be taken to the Father, or receive revelation knowledge of the Father through Jesus Christ. The rent veil is symbolic of being born again. The children of Israel are still "blinded" by the veil. They do not "see" the Truth of Christ in the Old Testament in type and shadow. But when they receive Christ and believe, they will have the veil of blindness removed and will thus see.|
|Why is there liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is? Because we are no longer bound by law, principles, rituals. Remember, the Old Covenant was as much about ceremonialism as it was the moral law. The ceremonial law pointed to Christ's fulfillment of all righteousness in His Sacrifice to take away sin. There is no longer any need for rituals which some call sacraments. Christ leads us by His Spirit, and we follow Him because it is our very Life to do so! The glory in Christ will not fade. We look within, where His Spirit resides, to behold His glory and become transformed by it.||Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. - 2 Cor. 3:17, 18|
|Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. - 2 Cor. 4:1-6||Truth is revealed to those who would receive it and is
helped along by men who would openly, without ulterior motive, proclaim it. The
truth of the gospel is hidden to those who are lost and whose minds are held captive by the god of
this world. Paul propounds on the previous imagery of a "veil" covering the blinded
minds of lost people. When the veil is removed, what Paul relates in this passage occurs: the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ shines into the heart. The same God who commanded "Let
there be light," when He created everything, is the same God who commands
spiritual light to reveal truth to the heart. This glory of God
is in the face or very person of the Lord Jesus.
There are men in the world today who would keep masses of people blinded to this glorious truth of the gospel by replacing it with law and worship of men, institutions and creeds rather than Christ. They would negate the Truth of the glorious gospel which God wants to shine in every heart and replace it with meaningless, empty form, ritual, ceremony and the traditions of men!
|If we are indeed Christians, having been born again and filled with God's Spirit, we are not outside looking in, but God lives in us, working in us to produce what pleases Him. Because He is in us, we are to allow Him to carry out His work and surrender to His will. As a witness to His Power within us, we shine as lights in the world. Paul is hopeful that, as he preaches the gospel -- the word of life -- he may see its fruits and be able to rejoice that he labored not in vain.||Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. - Phil. 2:12-16|
|But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; tht ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. - 1 Peter 2:9||Peter is speaking to the church, the body of believers. His understanding of the gospel is that the Church is the body of believers and all believers are called to be priests unto God. The word for darkness here is skotos, which means blind, spiritual ignorance. The word for light here is the same word, phos, that we have been studying, i.e. physical light as a metaphor for spiritual light.|
|This is a rich little passage. Peter seems to be saying let men teach you what they know and you should take heed as a candle that shines in a dark place. The first word for light is luchnos, which means a lamp or candle. But when the day star arises in your heart, you have the light for yourself! The word for "day star" is phosphoros, which brings spiritual light. "Day star" is a metaphor for Christ. Men may teach us the principles of Christ which teaching is only a small lamp; but when we receive the Great Light ourselves, we are taught of God. Peter implies that when the day dawns, i.e. light comes, Christ lives in you!||We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. - 2 Peter 1:19|
Next - JOHN THE REVELATOR ON LIGHT