Good evening. It’s great to see all of you here this evening. I would ask you now if you would turn in your bible or turn on your bible to Second Corinthians Chapter Three I have the privilege of teeing it up for Z and kurt and brad And we’ll be working our way through 2nd Corinthians tonight and tomorrow morning. So, uh, you have a bible open. I want to introduce this passage 1st of all. Want to, I want to thank Ben for giving me the most uh, difficult text of the four. It brings me right back down to earth. Their personal life stories would read like a mature audiences only posting on Tiktok or reels before the Gospel was brought to this sin capital of its day. What happens in Coron stays in Corinth. They have been helpless and hopeless slaves of sin, abused and powerless addicts to every imaginable form of decadent behavior, in their desperate pursuit of meaning and significance and inner peace had convinced themselves that life without boundaries or responsible relationships was actually their freedom and their liberty. But the reality was that they were miserable. They were sick and tired of being sick and tired of their sin. In his first pastoral communication with them, Paul had described their lives before hearing the good news as unrighteous, sexually promiscuous idol worshipping marital lee, unfaithful L. G. B. T. Q. Participants, money, loving, money, grubbing alcohol, abusing Gangsters and cheats. Such were some of you, he wrote, but you were washed, you were sanctified. You are justified in the name of the Lord, jesus christ and by the spirit of God. But now these formally unsaveable sinners have turned against the very man who had so faithfully served them, taking great personal risk to live among them, to walk with them and their newfound relationship with the living God, to establish them as a faithful fellowship of saints. Though it endured trials and threats and suffering for them for over 18 months, they had discredited the very one whom they owed their very souls. So now in the second handwritten letter, paul finds himself having to defend his message. His methods and his motives, Paul reminds them that the message he brought to them was a word of life and not a word of death. Returning to the story of moses on Mount Sinai and the meeting with God, he describes the difference between a salvation by obeying the law and the salvation that is based solely upon faith. Second Corinthians chapter three, the phrase leading into our text is this for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life Now. If the ministry of Death, carved in letters on stone came with such glory, you want to mark the word glory. I think you’re going to find it 14 times in our short reading that the Israelites could not gaze on moses face because of its glory which was being brought to an end. Will not the Ministry of the Spirit have even more glory. For if there is glory in the Ministry of the condemnation, the Ministry of Righteousness must be far exceeded in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come now to have no glory at all because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory much more Well, what is permanent? Have glory now? He picks up a new word. The word veiled. I think you’ll market seven times since we have such a hope. We are very bold. We are not like moses who could put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened for to this day when they read the old covenant, the same veil remains unlisted because only through christ is it taken away? Yes, to this day, whenever moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the spirit. And where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom 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. Therefore having this ministry by the mercy of God. We do not lose heart, but we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth, we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case. The God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of christ. Who is the image of God, the apostle paul in clarifying the message that he brought to them. They are giving him the Heisman. They are pushing back against him because they are offended by who he is and what he stands for. And so he reminds them again that under the old covenant, under the law, there was a there was nothing but a death sentence. There were, there were two methods for being saved. There was the method of do it, do the work and do it well enough. Perhaps you will be saved and then there is the work has already been done, simply trust in that and you will be saved. They were they were going back to the old works model of Christianity. They wanted to go back to a salvation that they themselves could merit. And he says, there’s no glory in that. There’s no glory in death. So As I’m unpacking this and I’m 14 times, I’m reading this glory and he makes such a big deal out. If I had to ask myself what exactly is it that the apostle Paul wants to remind the struggling saints about. So it takes us all the way back to the beginning of the story. We start in Eden and we end in eternity. The story begins in a garden, a perfect place created by God and with a couple, just one couple who know nothing of God accepted his merciful, kind, gracious and generous. He’s only given them one law for one rule everything that I have given you all of the trees of the field and all of the plants. Those are yours for food. I’m only asking you to not do one thing. Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil if you eat, is that on the day you eat of it? We’ll surely die. Satan comes to the woman and the man just stands by rather than leading. He listens and Satan says to the woman. God didn’t really say to you that you should not eat of the tree. You won’t certainly die raises a question about the reliability of the trustworthiness of God’s word. Now, in her response, she does what I grew up in a world of extreme fundamentalism, legal realism. And so we were always so concerned about not being Godly enough, that we added certain guidelines and rules and restrictions to our lives, just to be sure we didn’t toe the line too far. So she responds to him and says, God said that we should not eat of it or touch it. She added a little bit. She she knew that it was desirable, but the end result was is that satan convinced them that they themselves could be like God if they would simply rebel against God’s one rule. And the result of that, as you know, was the fall. So the story of the loss of the glory of God goes all the way back to Genesis. Chapter three. And so this couple had had day after day, evening, after evening been enjoying intimate fellowship with God, the creator walking in the garden, conversations with him face to face. Suddenly they are driven out of the garden. They can no longer experience his presence. They could no longer with with uh confidence look upon his face and in fact he puts to chair beam at the doorway of the garden with flaming swords so that if they should try to fight their way back in and take the fruit of the Tree of life and live for evidence of condemnation, they could not do that. They were removed from the presence and from the face of God in order then to return to a relationship with a holy God and the glory of seeing his face, God provided them a sacrificial system away. So suddenly as you’re reading the scripture, there is a river of blood that begins to flow through it. You already know the story in genesis chapter four That the two Sons of Adam and Eve. They brought offerings to God, one of them brought from the crops of his field and gave God the very best. The other brought a lamb from the flock and he brought him in and sacrifice to the Lord. And what happens is is that God accepted the offering of able the lamb and he rejects the offering of cane cane in anger strikes out against his brother, and suddenly there is bloodshed on the soil. God has prepared a way whereby an innocent one could die so that the guilty could once again stand in his presence and marvel at his glory. There is created in every human being. The longing to see the face of God. You see the problem with this longing to see the face of God is that God says over and over in the old testament. No man can see my face and live now. The reason for that is that God is holy, His righteous, his pure and he cannot look upon sin. The sin that separates us from God must be addressed and he provided a way in the river of blood, which is the sacrifice of lambs. How many times did they sacrificed lambs? Every time they committed a sin, It was day after day, hour after hour, moment after moment they would sin against God and to a temporary covering of the offense. He provided a way they would bring an offering a sacrifice. The innocent ones, blood would be shed and then they were restored to a relationship with God, but they still could not see his face. You see the story of Jacob as you’re going on through genesis, You remember when Jacob was returning to the land that he’s wrestling with some stranger through the night and he wakes up in the morning as the sun is beginning to rise, he realizes that that he has wrestled with somebody that is greater than a normal man and he has been looking for all of his life for a blessing and he hasn’t found it anywhere. And suddenly he realizes that this is the one opportunity in my lifetime to receive the blessing I’ve been wrestling for so long. And so even as the sun begins to rise, he hangs on to this stranger with whom he wrestles and he says, I will not let you go unless you bless me. He was willing to risk his life in order to receive the best, even if it meant that the sun would rise and he would look upon the face of God. And then there’s the story of moses in exodus 34 That’s what paul is talking about here, he says. Remember when the Children of Israel had been liberated from their bondage in Egypt and they made their way into the wilderness. He took a sharp right. They went down to Mount Sinai and God called moses up to the holy mountain And it was covered with a with a flaming cloud and with thunder and lightning. And for 40 days and 49 moses is there in the presence of God And God gives him the autographed copy of the law. You remember the story? You heard it in Sunday school as moses is up there for 40 days in the presence of God and God is revealing. These are the standards by which the people of God will live by. If you live this lifestyle that will rightly reflect the perfection and the glory of God. With all of that in his arms, moses heads down the mountain and meets Joshua part way down. And as they get toward the bottom of the mountain, they can hear that there’s great celebration Joshua without spiritual sensitivity says, well it sounds like the sounds of war in the camp and when moses gets there, finds out that his brother, Aaron has been convinced by the people that they need a tangible God. And so they created what they thought was a glorious thing. They made a golden calf and they were worshiping saying it’s this God that delivered us from the hands of the Egyptians, moses in frustration, takes the autograph copies. God wrote the law with his own finger on the stone and moses takes these autographed copies and he shatters him on the ground. Can you imagine what those babies will be worth if we had him in a museum today? And in frustration, he goes back to God and he says to God, what should I do? And I think God says, here take two tablets and call me in the morning. He says to moses, I want you to find two pieces of stone and this time you write the 10 commandments signed Moses spends another 40 days and he reaches out to 10 commands. He brings those down. And what he does not realize is that when you spend extended time in the presence of a Holy God, that it transforms who you are and what you are. And he came down off the mountain and the people said, well put something over your face, We can’t look upon you. And so exodus. 33 34 tells us that every time moses would go in to be with the Lord in the tent of meeting, he would take off the veil and God said, I spoke to moses as a man would speak to his friend face to face. But whenever he came out of the meeting with God, because of the glow of the glory of God reflected on his face, he would put back on the veil as an act of mercy because the people who would look upon the man who had been in the presence of God were an unworthy people. It was a protection for them because the wages of sin was death. His very glowing face was a reminder that they are sinful and that God is holy and that there is a great chasm fixed between the two. This story, this longing to see the face of God again as a testimony of the fact that I have been accepted by God, that I am safe in his presence, that my sin has been covered. It even stirred the heart of the psalms, David wrote Psalm 17. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness when I awake. I shall be satisfied with your likeness. Remember the story of Jesus on the last night that he was with the disciples in John Chapter 14, This is the one where we get the picture of the last supper. Your grandma probably has that picture in her living room is the one where the photographer said the 13 guys, if you guys all want to get in this picture, get on the other side of the table, they all line up along there. They snapped this and at that night jesus, knowing that he was going to the cross for them the next day in order to pay the penalty, the innocent dying for the guilty, so that the glory of God might be seen again by sinful man, and they might safely look upon his face, Jesus said, Don’t let your hearts be troubled. If you believe in God believe also in me in my father’s house, there are many dwelling places, and if that were not so, I would have told you so I’m gonna go, I’m going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, I will receive you to myself. So that where I am, there may be also in this particular case, it was my namesake thomas that beat Peter to the punch. Typically in the gospels that says, and Peter answered and said. The problem is there’s rarely a question asked, Peter just can’t stand silence. But this time thomas said, look, we don’t know where you’re going, How, then can we know the way? Don’t miss jesus answer. It sounds narrow minded, bigoted, except it came from the lips of jesus himself and this is eternal truth. He said, I am the way I am the truth and I am the life. No one can come to the father, but by me, what is the way that we can see again the glory of God? It is only by coming by faith to the person of jesus. The christ Philip jumped in on the conversation. He said, Lord, if you would just show us the father, that would be enough for us. And jesus, like I’ve been with you this long and you don’t understand he who has seen me has seen the Father. 60 years later, the gospel was written by john and he reflected back and he said in john chapter one verse 14, the word became flashing and dwelt. It pitched its tent among us and we beheld his glory. And it was the glory as of the only begotten of God full of grace and truth. They had been blessed to look into the very face of God. They had looked and they had lived. But because it was veiled in human flesh, they didn’t comprehend its glory. This paradise will ultimately be restored. What was lost in the garden will one day be returned to Earth. We’re told in revelation 21 and 22, behold the dwelling place of God is with man, he will dwell with them. He will be, they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. They were going to go back to the thing where the created couple are able to freely walk with a holy God day and night in the garden and no longer will there be anything accursed but the throne of God and of the lamb will be in it and his servants will worship him. And then this wonderful story, they were driven from the face of God. In genesis chapter three the flaming swords were placed at the gate, but there was one who was willing to risk it all to silence the swords and that was jesus who was cut and bruised and bled and ordered that sinful man might see again the glory of God and it says, and they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads, paul. The disrespected, criticized, rejected lover of jesus was the door dash or Uber. Each delivery boy of this wonderful message of good news. There was no longer a need to fear to hide behind a veil or a mask in the presence of a holy God. For in christ jesus, all fear of the face of God has been removed. We will be blessed to behold his glory without the veil. So what are the takeaways from this brief text? We’re here tonight because all of our hearts in one way or another, long to truly see the glory of God the cry of moses when he went to God and he said, just show me your glory and God said, I can reveal to you my glory, but my face you cannot see. But we still long to see the face of God in peace and confidence knowing that we can look upon him because that sin that kept us from seeing his glory has been taken care of by another. Let me give you four takeaways and some sub points to go with them Take away Number one, is this the reality of the old covenant is that you can never be good enough to save yourself? Second Corinthians chapter three, verses six and seven for the letter kills that is the law. But the Spirit gives life. Now, if the ministry of Death, that is the law carved in letters of stone, convincing us that we can never measure up to God’s holy standard, if it came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at moses face because of its glory, which is being brought to an end. Will not the Ministry of the Spirit have even more glory. The old covenant was a covenant of do The new covenant is a covenant of done. If you’re one of those that is trying desperately to live a good life in the flesh, you’re trying to conquer all of those temptations and struggles sins that so easily tangle you up. The bad news is that you can never be good enough to save yourself. The good news is you don’t have to be good enough to save yourself. Jesus loves you too much to ask you to change your life in order for him to love you. But on the other hand, jesus loves you too much to love you and not change your life. Tomorrow morning I’ll be standing in the cemetery at 10 o’clock Leading a memorial service for a 96 year old lady whose grandchildren told me today that they are convinced that she is in heaven because she was such a wonderful woman. The old covenant reminds us that we can never be wonderful enough to save ourselves. If you’re trying to work your way into God’s acceptance and approval, give up. You can never do it. The second takeaway is this Your salvation is a work of the Spirit of God, But it’s a work in progress notice chapter three and the 14th verse. Their minds were hardened for to this day when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlisted because only through christ is it taken away? But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is a spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and we all with unveiled face now, no longer fearing the Lord free to look into his face because our sins have been covered by the death of another. We are beholding the glory of the Lord and notices and we are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit. We’re all being transformed from 1Â° to another. When God in his grace in his mercy saves us, he saves us in a in a three movement way. Movement number one is, he pays the penalty for our sin that’s called redemption. We have incurred a debt that is far greater than we ourselves could ever manage, but by his grace, by his death, he has paid in full. The wages of sin is death, jesus died. He painted all. That’s your redemption. But the 2nd 1 is he breaks sins power. That is sanctification. That is the day to day reaction to temptation that has the power and ability to now say no to what used to be a master or a slave driver over you. One author put it this way, choosing jesus savior is a one time event. Choosing to obey his lordship is a day by day decision. We are as we look upon jesus. We are day after day. The entrance formed from one stage of glory to another. That’s our sanctification. But the ultimate end of our salvation is yet to come. And that is when we are finally liberated from sins presence that’s called glorification, and that will only happen when we stand in his presence. Your salvation is a work of the Spirit of God in progress by God’s grace. You are not what you were a year ago today, but according to his grace, you will not be what you are today. A year from now. Third takeaway, God desires to lead you from slavery to sin into a life of true freedom so that he can take his rightful place in the center of your life because your heart was created to be his home. His purpose, his intention for U verse 17. Chapter three. Now the Lord is a spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, jesus said in john chapter eight, If the sun has made you free, you are free. Indeed, we often think of freedom as being that liberty to do whatever I want to do. But true freedom is the ability to do the right thing that I could never do before by his grace. He sets us free. He takes up residence in our lives and from the control center of our lives, he directs our steps, he guides us. As you grow and mature, you begin to develop the ability to hear the silent voice of the indwelling Spirit, the living third person of the Godhead, and he guides and directs you, you’re set free, you’re no longer a slave to sin to the flesh, into your pride. The 4th takeaway is this, This is a hard one. It’s true. There’s a cosmic conflict taking place for your soul. Chapter Four, verses three and four. Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the God of this world, Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the Glory of christ, which is the image of God. You asked the question, why is it that so many people can’t understand that? They don’t get it. I tell them about jesus and it just was like athletes scalp. It’s always going over their head. It is simply this satan is determined to keep you from seeing God’s glory in jesus and finding deliverance from your sin by placing your faith in him. God has determined that your life is to be his home. Satan is determined to do everything he can to keep you from understanding that from seeing it. So he keeps the veiled. So you can’t comprehend the wonderful gift of a salvation that is only by faith and not by your works. If he fails at that, then the devil? S next strategy is commitment to keep you from experiencing the joy and the confidence of your relationship with christ. He will, he will overwhelm you with waves of reminder about how many times you fail, how many times you’ve quit, how many times you’ve broken God’s heart. He will try to steal from you. The freedom that you have found in jesus by stealing from you. The joy and the confidence. Mhm. I’m a third generation preacher. Uh P. K. My grandfather left the business world in his 40s, become a missionary. three of his daughters married either missionaries or pastors. Of my 20 cousins, at least 15 were either pastors or pastors lives. I grew up knowing the bible I was winning. You still do sword drills or somebody calls. I think. What’s electronic bibles? We don’t do that anymore. I had memorized scripture. I would win bible quiz contest, but I was convinced that I was good enough for God to love me and to be saved. I was 21 years old, Married with two Children. And I was a freshman in bible college. And our homework assignment was in the gospel of john In October of 1971, doing a homework assignment in the gospel of John. I suddenly became aware of how sinful I was and how separated from God I was and that how my feeble attempts at living the good life and trying to clean up my own act had failed so miserably. And God in his grace rescued me by faith alone. My wife would say that she had been married to one man one day and the next day she was married to a new man without getting a divorce in between. It was a radical transformation of character and life. three years after that, I was in an ego trip youth ministry, North Denver having the time of my life, but every time I stood like this to teach the bible to my youth group, the reminders of my failure and my offenses against God’s holiness, my violation of biblical truth would rush through my memory. In the back of my mind was tell me you have no right to stand in front of these young people and teach them the scriptures. Our pastor took us to a conference. Never forget it was is in the, in the convention center and we were up in the nosebleed section as far as we could be from the platform and the speaker that night with thousands of people there spoke specifically to me. He said, you ever have those moments in your life when you feel like you’re about to be able to do something for God and you’re overwhelmed with the memories of your failures, of the past and suddenly you’re paralyzed in the service. He said, you go back to God again and you confess that sin over you. Say God, I just want to tell you how sorry I am for that. He said according to the scriptures, when you do that, God looks at you and say, what in the world are you talking about? I have no record of your offenses. All I see is that you are clothed in the righteousness of my son. So he said, you have to ask yourself, who is it that wants to remind me of all of those failures. If it’s not God, then it’s the devil. So here’s the solution. I’m 24 years old. He radically changed my life and ministry with his statement. Next time those memories of your failure come to mind, pause at that moment, and thank Jesus and say, it’s for that reason that you died, and take that moment of overwhelming sense of guilt and turn it into a moment of worship. And the devil will want you to forget your failures faster than you want to forget them. And two weeks later, by God’s grace, he set me free from the memory. What I found out was that for 21 years I was looking for something and studying the gospel, john I found out that the thing I was looking for all those years was a person. It was the person of jesus. I saw the light of the Gospel in the glorious face of christ, who is the image of God and suddenly my sin enslaved soul was set free. That’s the leadership’s desire for you young people this weekend, That by God’s Grace, hearing the word of God and enjoying the encouragement and the fellowship one another that in his mercy and grace, he will show you the glorious face of jesus and you will be set radically free. Or we give to you these young lives, these young souls. We give to you these brief hours just weekend of ministry asking that the living Holy Spirit would have radical freedom amongst us to do a heart deep work of soul changing work that the adversary who so wants to harden the heart and the mind would lose in the battle, and that the veil would be removed from the eyes and the hearts of many and that many of us might for the first time in a fresh way, see the glory of jesus and the wonder of the face of God, with the veil removed full confidence that by his grace alone we stand safe in his presence and pray in jesus name. Amen.