“Altogether lovely.”

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

The apostle Paul gathers instruction from the veiled face of Moses, and presents it to us in 2 Corinthians 3:7-8.

1 Corinthians 3:8

Moses taught the letter—the outward signs and details of rule and order—but the gospel reveals the inner secret, the essence, the spirit of truth; surely this is more glorious than forms. Babes in knowledge may be most impressed with the glory which blazes before the eye, but men esteem most that inner light of spiritual beauty which irradiates the soul.

1 Corinthians 3:9

The law only reveals condemnation and death, how much more glorious is the gospel, which reveals righteousness and life! If the halberts and trumpets of a judge, when he opens an assize, are held in esteem, how much more the chariots of love and the banners of grace which adorn the procession of a beloved Prince!

1 Corinthians 3:10

As the moon’s light is no more bright when the sun appears, so is Moses eclipsed by our Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:11

Transient things can never, to the eyes of wisdom, shine with the same lustre as eternal realities. Sparks can never rival stars. It is the crowning excellence of the gospel that it shall never pass away. It is “the everlasting gospel”. Blessed be God for this.

Our Lord’s transfiguration was a visible token of the superior glory of the gospel, for not his face alone but his whole body glowed with a light excessive, which quite overpowered the three disciples. The glory of the gospel of grace astounds the angels, delights the perfect spirits, and deserves to be the constant theme of our reverent wonder. God in the gospel has laid open more of the glory of his nature and character than in all the world besides.

1 Corinthians 3:12-14

The glory of the gospel, in the types, was too great for the Jews, and a veil was needed; and now, alas, the glory of the unveiled truth has quite confounded them; but it is not so with us, we delight in a plain, unveiled gospel.

1 Corinthians 3:15

Or else they would clearly see Jesus revealed in their law, and would at once accept Him as Messiah. A veil over the intellect is bad, but a veil upon the heart is worst of all.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Poor Israel shall yet see her Messiah. The heart-veil shall be removed by His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:17

The Spirit of God forbids our standing afar off because of the terrible presence of the Lord, and gives us in lieu thereof liberty to draw near to our heavenly Father in the sweet familiarity of reverent love.

1 Corinthians 3:18

Ours it is to possess a spiritual faith which looks into the inner truth, whose brightness is too great for unregenerate eyes. The Spirit of the Lord has brought us near to God, opened our purblind eyes, and given us to see the character of the Invisible God, and to become partakers of it.

 

Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,

Thy radiant smile a heaven imparts;

Oh lift the veil, if veil there be.

Let thy redeem’d thy beauties see.

 

Then on our faces shall the sight

Kindle a blaze of holy light,

And men with awe-struck wonder see

The glory we derive from thee.

 

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