The Glories of Grace
Text: 2 Corinthians 3:7-11
In Chapter 3, Paul defended his ministry and message by telling the Corinthians that their changed life was proof of his authenticity. God changes people permanently through the gospel! He celebrates that grace by writing that the glories of the New Covenant far outshine the Old Covenant.
Yes, the Corinthians were still struggling to live out their new identity in Christ. On this side of eternity, we continue to grow and experience the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2). And we still choose to entertain fleshly thoughts and make sinful choices. But God has declared us righteous in Christ! And the grace that permanently changed our relationship and standing with God Almighty will continue to change us into the likeness of His Son.
So why do we hide behind moralism? Why are we overly concerned about what others think? Why are we scared of intentionally intrusive Christian community? Rather than trusting the Spirit's work, we are tempted to turn into "level four legalists" and pretend. Why? Because we forget that in Christ, we are righteous! We have peace with God. And grace not only frees us from the power of sin, it continues to train us in righteousness:
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12).
"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
What needed to be done, Jesus did! Now, Jesus lives in you. He has redefined you as a new creation. He loves you. He is for you. As you embrace these eternal realities, you will find greater delight in God, and He will receive greater glory through your life.
“I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in Christ.” - John Piper