Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recognizing Your Ministry

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.

[Paul] called the ministry of the Law a ministry of death since the Law punished the transgressors.  So if from a source of punishment, death and letters carved on stone, he is saying the person mediating them was invested with glory of countenance such that it was impossible for the viewers to bear the brightness coming from it, how much more those ministering to the divine Spirit will enjoy greater glory.  By ministry of the Spirit, note, he referred to those ministering to the Spirit, as likewise ministry of death those ministering to the Law, namely Moses.  He makes a comparison between Moses and the heralds of grace, and shows him bringing inscribed tablets and them supplying the grace of the all-holy Spirit—the Law punishing and grace giving life; the glory coming to him lasting for a short time and theirs continuing forever; in one case Moses alone sharing in the glory and in this case not the apostles alone but also all those who have come to faith through them.… The Law condemned the sinners, whereas grace accepts them and justifies them through faith: it leads them to divine baptism and grants them forgiveness.  So if the one ministering to the former shared in glory, much more those serving the latter will enjoy it to a greater extent.

Theodoret of Cyrus, "The Second Letter to the Corinthians" on 2 Corinthians 3:7-9

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