2 Corinthians
Chapter 3

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1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Commentary for 2 Corinthians 3

The preference of the gospel to the law given by Moses. (1-11) The preaching of the apostle was suitable to the excellency and evidence of the gospel, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (12-18)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.

12-18 It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testament believers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that glorious Saviour, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outward institution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe, love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as possible. And the whole doctrine of Christ crucified, is made as plain as human language can make it. Those who lived under the law, had a veil upon their hearts. This veil is taken away by the doctrines of the Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is set at liberty to run the ways of God's commandments. They have light, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord. Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We should not rest contented without knowing the transforming power of the gospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to be like the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 2 Corinthians 3

  • Brianna vs. 14
    We are not under the Mosaic Law, that law has been done away with. We are not under the Law of Christ. The Bible refers to it as the New Covenant. The New Covenant does contain many of the same principles that were in the Mosaic, yet, not all. For example the blood of Jesus sacrifice did away with the need for animal sacrifices. The Mosaic law was never to be permanent.
  • Sylvia
    2nd Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.
    Thank GOD ALMIGHTY! He's worthy to be praised.
  • Steve morrow
    2 CORINTHIANS 3:4 AND SUCH TRUST HAVE WE THROUGH CHRIST TO GOD-WARD 3:5 NOT THAT WE ARE SUFFICIENT OF OURSELVES TO THINK ANYTHING AS OF OURSELVES --- BUT OUR SUFFICIENCY IS OF GOD ---
  • Steve morrow
    2 CORINTHIANS 3:1 DO WE BEGIN AGAIN TO COMMEND OURSELVES OR NEED WE AS SOME OTHERS EPISTLES OF COMMENDATION TO YOU OR LETTERS OF COMMENDATION FROM YOU
    DANIEL 11:30 FOR THE SHIPS OF CHITTIM SHALL COME AGAINST HIM THEREFORE HE SHALL BE GRIEVED AND RETURN AND HAVE INDIGNATION AGAINST THE HOLY COVENANT SO SHALL HE DO HE SHALL EVEN RETURN AND HAVE INTELLIGENCE WITH THEM THAT FORSAKE THE HOLY COVENANT
  • Phyllis Johnson
    There are no words for the word of GOD, and the beauty of 2 Corinthian:3. The Saints, must set an example, and be a true example for the body of Christ. We must continue to walk in love, peace, joy, and happiness, and hope to rescue others from darkness in the world for our Lord and Savior KING JESUS!
  • Kais
    What a glorious God we have. Thank you Jesus foor your precious blood. O halleluja we are justified by the blood of Christ. Thank You Jesus for Your blood that speaketh of better things than the blood of Abel. Thank You Lord that you have delivered us from the law of Moses by Your death. Halleluja, we are delivered from the law by the Body of Christ. Holy Spirit, we are led by You.
  • Rick
    Many misunderstand this, because they read it alone, not with other scriptures. The Law was set in stone and was death in that there was no forgiveness in it! But when the spirit of Christ came on and in the heart of men in the new testament, it brought (the vail removed) life, as it forgave and took away all the guilt and shame of the sin. The Law is still there, but death is conquered by Grace!
  • Steve morrow
    acts 1:1 the former treatise have I made o theophilus of all that JESUS began both to do and teach 1:2 until the day in which HE was taken up after HE through the holy spirit had given commandments unto the apostles whom HE had chosen JOHN 12:49 FOR I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF MY SELF BUT THE FATHER WHICH SENT ME HE GAVE ME A COMMANDMENT WHAT I SHOULD SAY AND WHAT I SHOULD SPEAK john 12:50 and I know that HIS commandment is life everlasting whatsoever I speak therefore even as the FATHER said unto ME so I speak

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Bible Trivia

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is what?
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Liberty
  • Forgiveness
  • Joy