Changed into His Likeness!

Edward Fudge
Kirkwood 22, Mo.

"We all... beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness" (2 Cor. 3:18, RSV).

The setting here is a contrast of the Old and New testaments. Paul shows how Moses hid his face when he came down from Sinai, lest the people see the glory of his appearance fading away, and lose confidence in the law which he brought down from God (vs. 7, 13).

The "ministry of righteousness" which has come to us is far more glorious than the "ministry of condemnation" which they received. The gospel (good news of righteousness in Christ outshines the law (bad news that man is a sinner and condemned) as much as the Spirit does the letter, life does death, or liberty does bondage. Little wonder, then, that Paul confesses his own inadequacy for such a ministry and in the same breath his dependence on God (v. 5)!

In spite of this, we are privileged to look with an unveiled face on the glory of the Lord. And the most glorious part comes next. As we look on Jesus, Paul affirms, we are gradually being changed* into His likeness! What a blessed thought! Such a hope inspires boldness (v. 12), but demands a turning away from the things of darkness 7 (4:2). It makes us servants of each other for Christ's sake (4:5), but at the same time bees us from all men (3:17). And through faith it makes us invulnerable to affliction, persecution, distress or any other discouragement (4: 7-9).

For we see Jesus! Jesus, who died, but ROSE AGAIN! And we know that even if we are put to death for His sake, we too, will rise again and be with Him forever! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

*(The word Paul uses. here gave us "metamorphosis," and is translated "transfigure" in Matthew 17: 2 or "transform" in Romans 12:2).


March 5, 1970