2 Corinthians 3:7-11
But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious…
I. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE LAW.
1. "The ministration of condemnation."
2. "The ministration of death." Its sentence is a death sentence. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Now from the execution of this sentence the law provides no resource. Sacrifices for sin, it is true, were provided raider the Mosaic dispensation; but they were merely typical of that great sacrifice for sin, which was to form a part of another and more glorious dispensation. "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
II. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE GOSPEL.
1. It is the "ministration of righteousness," because it provides for the believing sinner a complete satisfaction for the offences he has committed against the law of God, and an obedience perfectly commensurate with its demands, and so saves him from condemnation and death.
2. It is "the ministration of Spirit," because of the great outpouring of the Spirit with which it commenced, and the abundant communication of the same Spirit with which it has ever since been attended.
III. THE SUPERIOR GLORY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE THAT OF THE LAW. The Jewish dispensation was glorious. It bad a glorious Author. Its object was glorious, viz., to unfold the infinite justice, purity, and majesty of God. It was published in a glorious manner. But, notwithstanding all this, the glory of the law sinks into nothing when compared with the gospel. The names which are here applied to the law and the gospel show us at once the propriety of this language. But the superior glory of the gospel may be made clear by other considerations.
1. It offers greater blessings to man than were offered by the law. The Mosaic dispensation had a reference principally to the present life, and most of its promises were temporal promises. The gospel places within our reach a share of that very joy which satisfies the Redeemer for "the travail of His soul."
2. It offers these blessings more extensively. The promises of the law were confined to one nation, and even of this nation it was but a little remnant that inherited the spiritual benefits of the dispensation under which they lived. The blessings of the gospel, on the contrary, are thrown open to all the world.
3. It has a greater influence on the hearts of men. The law had no power to touch the heart, and to cause men to love and obey it. The gospel, on the contrary, was no sooner published than it made glorious changes in the characters and lives of multitudes who embraced it.
4. It has a glory which will last for ever.
5. It is a brighter display of the Divine law.Conclusion:
1. How honourable an office is that of a minister of Christ!
2. How great is the privilege which we enjoy in living under the dispensation of the gospel!
3. How great a debt of gratitude and praise does every Christian owe to his crucified Lord!
4. How unwise are they who hope for pardon and salvation on the ground of their partial obedience to the law of God!
5. How ignorant are they of the gospel of Christ who make the influence of the Spirit the object of their scorn!
6. How anxiously should every hearer of the gospel desire that it may be made the ministration of the Spirit to himself, that he may experience its softening and purifying influence in his own heart!
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
WEB: But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: