Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 36



2 Corinthians 3 • page 1326
be overcome by discouragement. 8 So I urge
you now to reaffirm your love for him.
9
I wrote to you as I did to test you and see
if you would fully comply with my instructions. 10 When you forgive this man, I forgive
him, too. And when I forgive whatever
needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s
authority for your benefit, 11 so that Sa­tan
will not outsmart us. For we are familiar
with his evil schemes.
12
When I came to the city of Tro­as to
preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord
opened a door of opportunity for me. 13 But
I had no peace of mind because my dear
brother Ti­tus hadn’t yet arrived with a report
from you. So I said good-bye and went on to
Mac­e­do­nia to find him.
Ministers of the New Covenant
14
But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in
Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses
us to spread the knowledge of Christ every­
where, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are
a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But
this fragrance is perceived differently by
those who are being saved and by those
who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and
doom. But to those who are being saved, we
are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
17
You see, we are not like the many hucksters* who preach for personal profit. We
preach the word of God with sincerity and
with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is
watching us.
3
Are we beginning to praise ourselves
again? Are we like others, who need
to bring you letters of recommendation, or
who ask you to write such letters on their
behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves.
Your lives are a letter written in our* hearts;
every­one can read it and recognize our good
work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter
from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written
not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of
the living God. It is carved not on tablets of
stone, but on human hearts.
3:18 See Becoming like Christ, page 1435.
We are confident of all this because of
our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It
is not that we think we are qualified to do
anything on our own. Our qualification
comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to
be ministers of his new cov­enant. This is
a cov­enant not of written laws, but of the
Spirit. The old written cov­enant ends in
death; but under the new cov­enant, the
Spirit gives life.
4
The Glory of the New Covenant
The old way,* with laws etched in stone, led
to death, though it began with such glory
that the people of Is­ra­el could not bear to
look at ­Moses’ face. For his face shone with
the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8 Shouldn’t
we expect far greater glory under the new
way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?
9
If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious
is the new way, which makes us right with
God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming
glory of the new way. 11 So if the old way,
which has been replaced, was glorious,
how much more glorious is the new, which
remains forever!
12
Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not
like ­Moses, who put a veil over his face
so the people of Is­ra­el would not see the
glory, even though it was destined to fade
away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old cov­
enant is being read, the same veil covers
their minds so they cannot understand the
truth. And this veil can be removed only by
believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when
they read M
­ oses’ writings, their hearts are
covered with that veil, and they do not
understand.
16
But whenever someone turns to the
Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord
is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who
have had that veil removed can see and
reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—
who is the Spirit—makes us more and more
like him as we are changed into his glorious
image.
7





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