2 Corinthians 3:11 MEANING

2 Corinthians 3:11
(11) For if that which is done away . . .--The Greek participle is in the present tense, "being done away," or "failing," expressing the same thought as the "decaying and waxing old" of Hebrews 8:13. The contrast between the transient and the permanent is expressed by the same Greek words as in 1 Corinthians 13:8-11.

Glorious.--Literally, through glory, seen, as it were, through a medium of glory which surrounded it. The second "in glory" is meant, probably, to express a state of greater permanence.

Verse 11. - For. An explanation of the "surpassing" glory of the later covenant founded on its eternity. That which is done away; rather, that which is evanescing; "which is being done away," as in ver. 7. Was glorious... is glorious. The expression is varied in the Greek. The brief, the evanescent covenant was "through glory," i.e. it was a transitory gleam; the abiding covenant is "in glory;" i.e. it is an eternal splendour. It is, however, a disputed point whether St. Paul intended such rigid meanings to be attached to his varying prepositions (Romans 3:30, ἐκ πίστες... διὰ τῆς πίστεως: 5:10, διὰ τοῦ θανάτου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ: Galatians 2:16, ἐξ ἔργων... διὰ πίστεως: Philemon 1:5, πρός τὸν Κύριον... εἰς τοὺς ἁγιους). That which remaineth. The final, eternal, unshakable gospel (Hebrews 12:27). Is glorious; literally, is in glory. Christ is eternally the Light of the world (John 1:9; John 9:5); and Moses and Elias derived all their permanence of glory by reflection from this transfiguring light.

3:1-11 Even the appearance of self-praise and courting human applause, is painful to the humble and spiritual mind. Nothing is more delightful to faithful ministers, or more to their praise, than the success of their ministry, as shown in the spirits and lives of those among whom they labour. The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, as fleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, Eze 36:26. Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. He ascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our whole dependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to him alone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is the ministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of the gospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the Holy Spirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal. The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power.For if that which is done away,.... Here another difference is pointed out, which subsists between the law and the Gospel, and proves that the one is more excellent and glorious than the other. The law is "that which is done away"; not merely the ceremonial law, or the judicial law, but the whole ministry of Moses, and particularly the law of the Decalogue: for the better understanding of this, distinguish between the matter and ministry of it; the ministry of it by Moses is done away, the matter of it so far as of a moral nature abides: distinguish between the law, as in the hands of Moses and of Christ; as in the hands of Moses it is broken to pieces and abolished, as in the hands of Christ, as King in his church, it remains: distinguish between precepts and precepts; some are mixed, being partly moral, and partly ceremonial, as the fourth and fifth commands, and others are not; what is ceremonial, or purely related to the Jews whilst in their civil policy, and in the land of Canaan, is done away; but what is purely moral, is, as to the matter of it, still obliging: distinguish between the law as a covenant of works, and as a rule of walk and conversation; as a covenant of works it is done away, as a rule of walk and conversation it still continues: distinguish between persons and persons; to them that are redeemed from it, it is done away; to them that are under it, it remains; and lastly, distinguish between a right and a wrong use of it; as to any use of it to justify us before God, by our obedience to it, it is done away; but as it may be of use to convince sinners of sin, and to direct saints in a course of righteousness, so it abides. The Gospel is "that which remaineth"; which denotes the continued efficacy, the incorruptibleness, the inexpugnableness, and duration of it; notwithstanding all the opposition of men and devils to it, still its blessings, promises, doctrines, ordinances, and effects continue; it remains in the Scriptures, in the church, in the hearts of believers, and in the world too, until all the elect of God are gathered in: now as things that remain are much more glorious than those which are done away, so the Gospel must be much more glorious than the law.
Courtesy of Open Bible