2 Corinthians 3:16 — A Heart for Change
but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Paul’s instructions to the church in 2 Corinthians 3 deal with the error that the Old Testament worship was better than the New Testament worship. We will see Paul point to Moses and then to Christ. The truth Paul teaches the Corinthian church applies to you today. When a person turns to Christ, the blinders of sin are removed to reveal the gloriousness of Christ’s heart. You must look to Christ to become like Christ. You must not fear spiritual growth.
Exodus 34 tells us about the veil that Moses wore.1 As Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments, Moses’ face shone brightly because of his time with Jehovah. Moses’s appearance had changed so much that the Israelites were afraid to come near him, so Moses covered his face with a veil. Paul explains the reason for Moses’ veil. “14But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;” The people did not want to know or to experience the glory Moses had experienced with Jehovah. The people were content with their relationship with Jehovah, which could not compare to the relationship Moses had which was evidenced by the shining of his face. The people were afraid that they too would change, and their pride kept from from changing, and even looking upon change. The people of Israel did not have a heart for change.
The application of the truth of our glorious Christ is found in verse eighteen. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” Paul describes every Christian with unveiled faces looking at a mirror. In the mirror, the Christian does not see himself but the glory of Christ. This verse presents three ways in which we may see the glory of Christ.
First, you must look to Christ to see spiritual change. Let me illustrate the truth of this verse with a sun tan. The more time you spend in the sun, the more your skin will be changed by the sun. Like sun tanning, when we expose ourselves to Christ, we become more like Him. Any spiritual change that will occur in your life can only develop as you expose yourself to Christ. Spend time with Christ in Bible reading and prayer. Cut the Bible at any verse, and it will bleed Christ. As you study God’s Word, desiring it as a newborn baby desires milk, you will find your character taking on the character of Christ. As you pray, you will tune your will to Christ’s perfect will.
The second application you that you must not fear spiritual growth or change. Changing from glory to glory is as natural as a baby learning to walk. The change is as natural as a young child losing his teeth for the adult teeth. The change is as natural as a child growing taller and heavier. It is not natural for a child not to grow? Likewise it is not natural for a Christian not to grow. In fact a vibrant Christian life is one which is always growing and changing.
What are your thoughts on this verse?
What imagery does Paul use in this verse and its context?
Why do Christians not grow in their relationship with Christ?
What can you do to allow Christ to change you today?