Saturday, July 23, 2005

On the Letter and the Spirit

"For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory . . . For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory." (2 Corinthians 3:9-11)

The Old Covenant was a covenant of the law. Its letters were engraved on tablets made of stone. The Old Covenant had its glory, but it was a transient glory that cast a pale and fading reflection of God's glory. It could point to God's nature, but it could not embody his character.

The New Covenant is a covenant of Spirit. It is inscribed on the hearts of men. The New Covenant has its own glory. It is a permanent glory that projects a vivid impression of divine glory. It does more than point to God's character, it makes holiness manifest in the flesh.

The ministry of condemnation provides no more than a background on which the glory of righteousness can be highlighted. The brilliance of God's righteousness is most visible when men open their hearts and the dead letters of the law are replaced by the life and liberty of the Spirit.

1 comment:

P.M. Prescott said...

So true, the spirit of the law (English Common Law) defeated Letter of the Law (Civil Code) in WWI & WWII. and Communism (Mongol Law) in the 20th century. Religious Law (Islamic Law, and rearing its ugly head the Christian Reconstructionists) is the only legal system not amalgamated into individual freedom and liberty. As Paul put it "who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6
How many did the letter of the law Nazi's kill? How many or the letter of religious law fanatics killing around the world today? How much have the letter of the law theocrats damaged in all the denominations in our country?
They destroy individuality, freedom, the right to think and speak our minds openly, for their comfortable conformity. Shame on all of them.