The Ministration of Death

2Corinthians 3:7-11 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: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excells. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious. 

‘Written and engraven in stones’ – the Ten Commandments, in particular, were abolished along with the whole law of Moses (Acts 15; Gal. 1:6; 3:1-5; 5:4). The only ones of the law of Moses that were brought into and made a part of the new covenant are for Christians to obey. The ten commandments were the only part of the law of Moses written on the tables of stone (Ex. 24:12; 31:18; 34:1-4; Deut. 4:13; 5:22; 9:9-11; 10:1-3).

From Galatians 1:6 we see that the Galatians turned back away from Christ to serve the law again – here it was called another gospel which: couldn’t justify (Gal. 2:16; 3:11; 5:4); brings only the curse (Gal. 3:10); is not of faith (Gal. 3:12); cannot give an inheritance (Gal. 3:18); was added only to make sin sinful (Gal. 3:19; Rom. 3:19-20; 7:13; 1Jn. 3:4); was given only until Christ came (Gal. 3:19, 23-25; Heb. 7:28; 9:9-10; Luke 16:16); could not give life nor righteousness (Gal. 3:21); was a schoolmaster to lead to Christ (Gal. 3:24-26; Matt. 11:11; Luke 16:16); is not in force for Christians (Gal. 3:19-25; Acts 15); makes servants, not sons (Gal. 4:1-3); brings bondage (Gal. 4:9, 24; 5:1); was a religion of days, etc. (Gal. 4:10); could not give the new birth (Gal. 4:28-30); was cast out (Gal. 4:21-31); demanded circumcision (Gal. 5:2-3); if observed, cancels grace (Gal. 5:4).

‘Glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance.’ Moses talked to Israel veiled, but when he went unveiled into the tabernacle to talk to God (Ex. 34:33-34). ‘By reason of the glory that excells’ – the reason the new covenant excels the old is that the old was only for a time (2Cor. 3:7; Gal. 3:19, 25; 4:30; Heb. 9:9-10), a place – Palestine (Deut. 5:16; 11:9; 28:8; 31:13), and a people – the Jews (Deut. 5:3; Rom. 2:12-16). The new covenant is for all time, all lands, and all people (Matt. 26:28; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47; John 3:16; Acts 1:8; Rom. 10:9-14; 1Cor. 12:13).

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