Vv 1-6: Paul's authority is endorsed by the effect of his
No power of ourselves to: (1) think (2Co 3:5), (2) speak (Num
22:38), or (3) do (Joh 15:5).
THE LETTER KILLS: A vigorous, figurative way of saying,
'The law of Moses results in death for those who fail to keep it.'
Vv 7-18: A refutation of the Judaizers. Paul contrasts the old
covenant with the new (vv 9-11): that which brings death, and that which brings
life. That which condemns, and that which saves. The glory that fades and the
glory that remains.
FADING THOUGH IT WAS: The physical glory (of Moses and
Law) contrasted with the moral glory (of Christ).
IF THE MINISTRY THAT CONDEMNS MEN IS GLORIOUS, HOW MUCH
MORE GLORIOUS IS THE MINISTRY THAT BRINGS RIGHTEOUSNESS!: True Christian
excellence is as unconscious of its beauty as Moses was; whenever it becomes
self-conscious it loses its charm. Beware of the man who talks about his graces.
There is such a thing as being proud of humility and making it profitable to
one's self interests. The man who boasts of a "shining face" (from being in the
"presence" of Christ) is a counterfeit and a cheat. The possessor of the genuine
article never talks about it; never thinks about it; and would be almost
overwhelmed to hear of any such thing being ascribed to him. The charm of a
little child is its utter unconsciousness of self, and that is the charm in true
God-likeness. It is an unaware humility.
Cp Joh 1:17.
WE ARE VERY BOLD: Moses was not "bold", or "plain of
speech" (KJV): he hid the departing glory from Jews' eyes (SMk 126). Ct 2Co
BUT WHENEVER ANYONE TURNS TO THE LORD, THE VEIL IS TAKEN
AWAY: Cit Exo 34:34: "But whenever he [Moses] entered the LORD'S presence to
speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out."
THE LORD: This seems to refer to Yahweh (as in v 16,
which is citing Exo 34:34).
THE SPIRIT: Ref word of God (2Co 2:17), ministry that
brings righteousness (2Co 3:9), the gospel (2Co 4:4).
FREEDOM: The Holy Spirit did not automatically change
men or ecclesias (1Co 1:10,11; 3:1-4; 5:1; 6:1; 11:19). "Freedom" here = freedom
of fear from seeing God's reflected glory in Moses (Exo 34:30; cp Joh 8:32; Rom
UNVEILED: In ct with vv 13,14.
ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS: In speaking
about a "change" that should take place in us, Paul is showing that because we
know the things he speaks of -- ie, the wonders of the gospel -- we should
change our lives. This is the argument of Rom 12:1-2: a "living sacrifice" is
the logical consequence of believing the doctrines of Christ laid out in Rom
TRANSFORMED: Sw in Transfiguration: Mat 17:2; cp Rom
EVER-INCREASING GLORY: Lit, "from glory to glory"
(KJV): from the fading glory of Moses to the eternal glory of Christ (2Co