God, Our Provider and Enabler | Freely Worship Him
GOD...Makes Us Sufficient (vs.3-5)
"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit." (Vs. 5-6)
God is our provider! He gives us sufficiency in all things, and especially in being able to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not capable in and of ourselves to share the gospel, for the message is not ours, nor is the power ours, but it is from God and God alone. God is the giver of the new covenant, by His grace and by His power we have life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
MAN...Condemned to Death by the Law (vs.7-9)
"Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory." (Vs.7-9)
The law was given as a measure of righteousness for mankind, but we cannot attain such perfection. Therefore, the law reveals the weakness, sinfulness, incompleteness, and total depravity of mankind. This first covenant, between God and man, Paul calls a "ministry of death" (vs.7) and a "ministry of condemnation" (vs.9), because such was the purpose of the law. Yet, even in its purpose of revealing sin, the first covenant reveals the perfection and glory of God. Thus, how much more will God's glory be revealed through a covenant that does not condemn us but makes us righteous.
CHRIST...Removes the Veil of our Hearts (vs.10-16)
“Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. ...to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts." (Vs.10-16)
The new covenant has far greater glory than the first, because it does not bring death and condemnation but life and righteousness through the cross of Christ. This new covenant between God and man is a permanent covenant of grace through Christ's atoning sacrifice for our sin. When we accept the work of Christ as payment for our sin, the veil that hardens our hearts and keeps us separated from God is removed.
RESPONSE...Worship Freely (vs.17-18)
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (Vs.17-18)
The believer's response is freedom in worship, having the veil removed from our faces and hearts, we see our Lord clearly, even face to face; we are able to enter into His presence boldly because we are no longer condemned by the law but made righteous by the new covenant, being transformed into the image of our dear Savior, God's Son.