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2 Corinthians 3:7-11 - Homiletics

Divine revelation more glorious in Christ than in Moses.

"But if the ministration," etc. At the outset three facts are noteworthy.

1 . The infinite Father has made a special revelation of himself to his human offspring.

2 . This special revelation of himself has mainly come through two great general sources—Moses and Christ.

3 . The special revelation of himself, as it came through Christ, far transcends in glory the form it assumed as it came through Moses. The essence of the revelation is the same, but the forms differ, and the form it assumes in Christianity are the most glorious. There are two facts here.

I. That the special revelation as it came through MOSES WAS GLORIOUS . It was so glorious that "the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses." Four things impress us with its glory as revealed in Moses.

1 . The wonderful display of divinity attending its manifestation on Mount Sinai . The expression, "the face of Moses," refers to this ( Exodus 34:1 ). What wonderful things Moses saw and heard during the forty days he was on the mount! "The Lord rose up and came from Seir with ten thousand of his saints," etc.

2 . the magnificence of its religious scenes and celebrations . The temple, hew splendid! the priesthood, how imposing! the psalmody, how inspiring! "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O thou city of God."

3 . The stupendous miracles that stand in connection with it . The wilderness was the theatre of magnificent manifestations—the pillar, the manna, the flowing rock, the riven sea, etc.

4 . The splendid intellects which were employed in connection with it . Solomon, Elijah, Daniel, David, Ezekiel. For these reasons Divine revelation as it came through Moses was truly glorious.

II. That although this special revelation was glorious as it came in connection with Moses, it was MORE GLORIOUS as it came in connection with CHRIST . "How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?" etc. Confining our illustrations on this point to the passage before us, we observe:

1 . The Christian form of revelation is more likely to give life than the Mosaic . In Moses it was the " ministration of death." The Jews exalted the "letter" that "killeth" above the "spirit that giveth life," and they got buried in forms. In Christ the revelation is the gospel in life.

2 . The Christian form of Divine revelation is more emphatically spiritual than the Mosaic . It is here called the "ministration of the spirit." In Moses it was associated with numerous forms and ceremonies; in Christ there are only two simple rites, and the spirit throbs in every sentence.

3 . The Christian form of Divine revelation is more restorative than the Mosaic . The apostle speaks of the one as the "ministration of condemnation," of the other as the "ministration of righteousness." Maledictions thunder in the former, beatitudes in the latter.

4 . The Christian form of Divine revelation is more enduring than the Mosaic . "For if that which is done away [which passeth away] was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." Judaism is gone; Christianity is the "Word of God, which abideth foreverse" It is the final revelation of Heaven to our world.

Such, then, is a brief illustration of the apostle's position; and the subject, in conclusion, serves several important purposes.

1 . It serves to expose the absurdity of making Moses the interpreter of Christ . It has been common with professing Christians to look at the New Testament through the spectacles of Moses, and thus to Judaize Christianity. Much in popery, much, alas! in old puritanism, much even in modern theology, is but Christianity Judaized, a going back to the "beggarly elements."

2 . It serves to show the wrongness of going to Moses to support opinions which you cannot get from Christ . You can support war, slavery, capital punishment, by going to Moses; but you cannot find the shadow of a foundation for these in Christ.

3 . It serves to reveal the glorious position of a true gospel minister . To show this was the object of the apostle in the text. The position of Moses, David, Isaiah, and all the great teachers under the old administration was glorious, but it is scarcely to be compared with the position of him who preaches that Christ of "whom Moses and the prophets did write."

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