Tuesday, July 05, 2011

True Transformation

 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

18 ἡμεῖς δὲ πάντες ἀνακεκαλυμμένῳ προσώπῳ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου κατοπτριζόμενοι τὴν αὐτὴν εἰκόνα μεταμορφούμεθα ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν καθάπερ ἀπὸ κυρίου πνεύματος.

This is the end of an argument Paul makes as he contrasts Jews and believers. He discusses how Moses kept a veil on his face to hide his loss of glory. He also talks about how the Jews cannot believe because their hearts are hardened and the same veil remains. And then he talks about how this veil is only lifted by Christ.

This is another one of those times where being a 21st century American Gentile can get in the way of really grasping the depth of a biblical truth. Keep in mind that the New Testament was written in a Jewish context. The whole question about the Judaizers in Acts 15 and the book of Galatians came about because the Jews considered it absolutely vital to be a Jew if one was to have access to God.

Now Paul comes along and destroys all of that. Not only do we have access to God, but we have it with ἀνακεκαλυμμένῳ προσώπῳ. This was unbelievable to the Jews. Moses couldn't even look at God directly and now you're saying that we can behold His glory with unveiled face?

The answer is a resounding yes. And as we continue to behold His glory we are transformed by the experience. We end up looking more like Him as we spend more time beholding His glory. This is something that can only come to us through the power of the Spirit.

Where are you with this? Are you beholding His glory regularly? Do you have an unveiled face? If you do, pray that you would continue to seek His glory. If your heart is still hard and your face veiled what stops you from repenting and turning to Christ?

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