Friday, 3 July 2015
…how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 2 Corinthians 3:8
What a wonderful, even amazing sentiment! Paul has spoken of the glory of the “ministry of death” (meaning the Law of Moses) which is fading away. In an argument from the lesser to the greater he now basically asks, “If that was so glorious, then how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?”
Note how he does not call it the “ministry of life” in contrast to the “ministry of death.” Instead he calls it the “ministry of the Spirit.” This Spirit, meaning the Holy Spirit, is life and so the contrast is made instead to the physical, tangible stone with carved letters. Because of the use of “the Spirit” in place of the law, it is speaking of the entire process of the transmission of the gospel – the work at Pentecost, His influence on the apostles to include their work and their writings which are now the New Testament, and then the continued preaching and evaluation of that word. This, and so much more, is the “ministry of the Spirit.”
It is this which is more glorious, and it is this which will reveal glories ahead. This is seen in the use of the preposition en which denotes the permanent nature of the glory, and then the verb translated as “will be,” which is in the future tense. It shows that what is yet to be revealed contains surpassing glory. Everything about the new surpasses the old, both in the present and in what is yet to be revealed.
Life application: At times, it may seem that our work in the church is not getting anywhere or that the rewards for our efforts just don’t seem to carry a great deal of glory. But this is because we are looking at the present and comparing it to the present. If we can remember that every thing we do, every dollar we give, and every prayer for the lost that is realized… all of this carries an eternal glory which is at this time beyond our imagination. Each person who is brought into salvation through Jesus Christ has an eternity of joy in store for them. Let us not forget this as we continue to work for the expansion of the church.
Glorious God Almighty, You have set before us a challenge to strive to the fullest in spreading the gospel message to the world. Help us to take full advantage of this and to never feel that what we are doing isn’t of the greatest value. Every dollar given, every prayer which is heard by You for the lost, and every time the message of Jesus is spoken, it has the ability to bring Your surpassing glory to another person; a glory which will never fade, even unto eternity. Help us to consider and remember this. Amen.