Text: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
What is the difference between the old and the new covenants?
What makes the new testament more glorious?
The problem with the old covenant is that with all of its glory (depicted by earthquakes, thunder and lightning, glorious shinning of Moses’ face, etc etc) it could only bring death, not life. The law was written on tables of stone and given to Moses. Figuratively, it was given to hard, impervious hearts of stone which bounces the word of God back and has no softness for it to permeate. The best the law could do was to show a man how sinful he was. It exposes man’s sinfulness to him. For instance, the law not to commit adultery is what makes a man to know that it is unlawful for a man to have a sexual relationship with another man’s wife. So when a man falls into this error, the law quickly stands up in judgement against him telling him that he has come short of God’s righteous demands. This man is left in the guilt of his sinfulness.
The most unfortunate part is that his guilty feeling does not guarantee that he will not do it again. Even when he feels terribly sorry for this sin, he sees himself falling into it again and again. The power of sin in his fallen nature cannot allow him to overcome this tendency to sin even when he hates that sin. So, what the law knows to do is to condemn a sinner to death because the wages of sin is death. The law is not remedial. It does not solve the inherent problem of man’s sinfulness. It diagnoses a sickness but has no prescription for the cure. This is why it is called the ministry of death. Its work ends in death. There is no deliverance in it.
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Now, the new testament is more glorious because everything the law couldn’t do, the new covenant could do it and even more. The new agreement is totally remedial. It started off with a virgin pregnancy and virgin birth. While the other was loud and glamorous, this was quiet, yet heralded by angels. The new birth marked a new epoch. It with an entirely new beginning. The creative powers of God came into play again. His word again went forth and this time instead of moulding from sand it took flesh from a woman but had the pure breed of the spirit of God; Untainted, unabridged and non hybridized. This word became the life giving spirit. This spirit is what brings the law of the letter of the old testament and plants it into any heart that has been recreated in the image of the new man JESUS.
In order words; the new law begins its work from inside. It takes away the heart of stone which bounces off God’s word and replaces it with a soft permeable heart. Then it quickens the dead spirit in man and makes it alive unto righteousness giving it power to overcome the power of sin. The new law of the holy spirit takes the written law of Moses enshrines it in our hearts. Then equips us to live it out. This we achieve by depending constantly on his power and not on our ability. This is what makes it glorious. It does not condemn to death rather it redeems; it saves! Therefore, we should avoid the error of living in the flesh, striving with all our might to serve God in our own power and embrace the newness of life in the spirit that makes living above sin possible.