Summary: In what ways is the new covenant better than what Moses shared?
What Should We Do? Embrace the better new.
- Sometimes Christians seem to pine for the Old Testament way of doing things. A couple examples:
a. Getting to see God show up physically with smoke and lightning fireworks.
b. Having a list of rules to follow.
- A larger problem than that, though, is simply the failure to understand how great the new covenant is. We seemed bored by “so great salvation.” We seem uncomprehending at the beauty and power of the covenant that God has opened up to us.
The Better New:
1. Old or new: The old covenant is inferior yet still impressive; how mind-blowing is the new covenant?
- This passage shares Moses’ physical glory from being in the presence of God. Paul tells us that happened even though the old covenant was inferior. There was still some impressive aspects to it. But then he raves at how much better the new covenant is! It’s far more glorious.
2. How the new changes: Knowing we are part of the new covenant, we are very bold.
- The result of being part of such a great new covenant should be that we are very bold. Not arrogant. Not entitled. Rather we are overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at what God has opened up to us. Because of that, we pursue the newly open doors with joy and abandon.
- Examples of areas where we are bold:
a. In prayer.
b. In evangelism.
c. In expectation.
3. What do we do with what we’ve been given: We’re not hiding what we’ve been given.
- There was a lack of understanding with the old covenant. The “veil” continued to be present.
- In Christ the “veil” is taken away.
- Moses hid his face while the glory was fading away. The truth was hidden from the Israelites when the old covenant was read.
- But in Christ the “veil” is taken away. We have a clear understanding of the truth.
- Verse 13 says that we are not like Moses, who hid his face. Rather, we know the truth and are eager to bring that truth before others.
4. What makes what we have better? Our guide is the Spirit, not Moses; our path is freedom, not Law.
- Let’s look at each.
- First, our guide is the Spirit, not Moses.
- We discussed last week how incredible it is to have the Spirit in our life. He is in every way superior to Moses.
- Second, our path is freedom, not Law.
- The attempt to obey the Law inevitably ended in disaster. You just can’t work your way to God like that.
- Our path, instead, is freedom. What does that mean? Well, this is an underappreciated New Testament idea. Our path of obedience is to listen to our internal Holy Spirit and obey Him. Rather than having hundreds of petty and picky rules to obey, the new covenant gives us freedom to be led moment by moment.
5. What’s it look like? We are being transformed with ever-increasing glory.
- As we obey this path, we become more and more like Christ. That gives us ever-increasing glory.
- Our faces are “unveiled.” This is a comparison to Moses putting a veil over his face. The simple idea is that our faces should reveal the glory of God.
- We are becoming more Christlike as we walk with Him moment by moment and year by year. It’s a gradual but steady growth.
- And this happens through the Lord. Specifically, the Spirit.