But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (ESV)
These verses are a summary of the Apostle Paul’s teaching concerning the message of the Gospel. Paul is drawing a contrast between the old covenant God made with Israel through Moses and the new covenant that God provided for all through Jesus.
Earlier in the text, Paul makes reference to an event that occurred when God used Moses to be his mediator with the people of Israel. In Exodus chapter 34, we read of Moses speaking to the people of Israel with a face that shone so brightly from his encounter with God that the people could barely look at him. They shrank back in fear and awe. When Moses finished speaking, he would put a veil over his face. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:7-8 that, “the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end.” He goes on to say that if the glory of Moses’s face would fade, how much more glory would the Holy Spirit have if it would not fade?
The law is intended by God to be the instrument used to deal with man’s sin. The law only highlights man’s separation from God because of sin. Fear, guilt, and condemnation follow.
Unlike the law, Jesus provides eternal glory that removes the veil of separation from God. Because of what Jesus has done, believers now have that same freedom and boldness to come before God in an intimate and personal way. Paul is talking about liberty of access to God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This week, if you have received Jesus by faith, take advantage of your freedom to have a personal relationship with God in prayer and study of God’s Word. If you do not have Jesus, yield your life to the Spirit of God and He will transform your heart and give you access to a close relationship with our Creator.