Our Freedom to Be Bold in Christ.

Among a remnant in Corinth, a disrespect for Paul was growing because of religious people who taught that one needed to do religious works to be saved. As a result, the Corinthians distrusted Paul and his behavior and plans for ministry.

There have always been religious intruders in the church who seek to dethrone the sufficiency of Jesus. Beware of anyone who undermines the sufficiency of Christ in salvation and spiritual growth or who undermines a messenger of Christ’s sufficiency.

Leaders should never tire of giving timely addresses to the church that point out the wicked influence of mere religion. God’s people should never tire of heeding those warnings. The devil never tires in his attempts to thwart the Gospel.

Colossians 3:1-2 similarly reminds believers to set our affections on Christ and Him alone. Only He is sufficient for salvation (2 Corinthians 3:12-16) and spiritual growth (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Paul writes a comparison including old and new covenant language. His words are in part a detailed exposition of the Old Testament text in Exodus 34:29-35. This was a description of Moses’ delivery of the second giving of the Law.

Our Freedom to Be Bold in Christ in Our Speech

Paul’s source of hope is found in 2 Corinthians 3:11. Paul’s certainty rests in the provisions of the New Covenant in Christ.

A lack of spiritual confidence in believers’ speech among the flock and the lost is a warning sign. Satan seeks to make believers doubt their salvation and try to atone for their sin instead of confessing it to the One who has made full atonement. We can only speak the message with boldness when we find ourselves complete in Christ.

The influence of the hope of your changed life will always reward you with the opportunity to speak.

The glow of God’s moral perfection reflected from Moses’ face. Moses’ need for a veil indicates that God’s glory could only be understood and enjoyed by those Israelites whose hearts were given to God through faith by grace. Confidence in God’s presence can only be given in Christ. The Israelites could not look upon the glory in Moses’ face until they had changed hearts themselves. This reminder of God’s expectation was intended to bring about conviction (Romans 3:23).

The second use of “veil” in the passage refers to unbelief that clouds over one’s intellect and volition. Only in Christ can this veil be removed. Paul reminded the Corinthian believers not to become distracted from their full assurance and spiritual growth by those who would shake their confidence in Christ. Sin keeps our hearts veiled from the beauty of the glory of God only found in Jesus Christ.

Application Points:

  • Compare your brokenness to the glory of God’s perfection. Have you every turned from your own brokenness, surrendering your heart and will to what your mind understands of Jesus Christ? He gave His life for yours so that you could do the same! Has this changed your life? Pray that God would open your heart and will to Him.
  • Has anything of your own fallenness robbed your joy during the time of this pandemic? Has it affected your humble fortitude in your speech in discipling each other, or your boldness in speaking the Gospel to the lost? Find your confidence and hope in Christ again. Reconnect in a discipling relationship. Then ask, how can you get back out among lost people? Go to God and figure out how to do this wisely and safely. Confess, restore your fellowship, and renew your passion to speak of Christ with others. Enjoy again the access to God that very few Old Testament believers ever enjoyed.
A Hymn to Encourage: “His Robes for Mine”

(Text by Chris Anderson; Tune by Greg Habegger)

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God's rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I'm justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise – my all – shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God's daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord's vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God's justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father's pleased.
Christ drank God's wrath on sin, then cried "‘Tis done!"
Sin's wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God's beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!