2 Corinthians 3:9-11
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.…
Our estimate of any object is considerably enhanced by comparing it with others of inferior excellence. The size and capacity of the vessel which we say is the largest afloat are by an inexperienced eye more clearly discernible when she is seen in company with one of much smaller dimensions. By such comparison, however, we do nothing more than determine the relative value or properties of an object. Christ, for example, in asserting of Himself that, in respect of wisdom, He was greater than Solomon, instead of wishing us to depreciate the attainments of that illustrious king, intended us to consider him as by far the wisest of uninspired men; and our estimate of the wisdom of the one depends upon our acknowledgment of the great wisdom of the other. Paul says of the gospel, that it is a "better testament, a more glorious dispensation than the Mosaic"; but, in so expressing himself, he does not seek to lessen the worth, or to deny the Divine authority of the legal economy.
I. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CHRISTIAN OVER THE MOSAIC DISPENSATION WILL BE APPARENT IF WE CONSIDER THE PERSONS BY WHOM THEY WERE RESPECTIVELY INTRODUCED. In tracing the origin of the Jewish economy we are led to ascribe its authorship to God. But although God may thus, in strict propriety of speech, be said to be the founder of the Old Testament dispensation, yet instrumentally may we assign this honour unto Moses. Moses was but a man, but Christ was God; the one was only a servant, the other was a Son over His own house. The fact of the incarnation gives a glory to the gospel which never could be claimed for the law. How important must that system have been in the estimation of the Infinite Godhead which demanded that the second person in the Trinity should be the immediate agent in publishing it to the world. Moses was not without his faults. No blemish attaches to Christ's character. Moses could teach the law of God, and institute His ordinances, but he could not enforce the one nor render the other available to salvation. Christ's words are spirit and life. The unequalled glory of Jesus must be diffused over His gospel.
II. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CHRISTIAN OVER THE MOSAIC DISPENSATION IS EVINCED BY THE CHARACTER OF ITS REVELATIONS. However suited the institutions of Moses were to the time at which they were appointed, they are in their nature, and in the benefits which they procured, greatly inferior to those of Christ. The most precious truths were deposited under obscure symbols; the most imperative acts of worship were performed in expensive rites and burdensome ceremonials. Christianity, as a light from heaven, has brushed away the veil which concealed those things which man's interests required should be clearly unfolded. She comes to us in the form of mercy, and speaks in words of the tenderest compassion. The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. Turn, too, to the intolerable yoke of ceremonies which marked the Mosaic dispensation, as compared with the easy yoke of Jesus — how burdensome the one, how light and gentle the other!
III. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CHRISTIAN OVER THE MOSAIC DISPENSATION IS APPARENT FROM THE MORE EXTENSIVE DIFFUSION OF ITS BLESSING. The religion of Moses was exclusively the religion of the Jews. It was intended not for the whole world, but only for one nation. Very different, however, is it with regard to the gospel. Devised and published for the exclusive benefit of none, but aiming at the happiness of universal man, its field is the world. Adjusted to the peculiarities of none, it seeks the salvation of all. As the acorn cast into the soil becomes the giant oak, so the gospel, originally small as a grain of mustard seed, is now the wide-spreading tree. Nor is its extension yet completed.
IV. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CHRISTIAN OVER THE MOSAIC DISPENSATION IS EVIDENT FROM ITS PERPETUITY.
Parallel VersesKJV: For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.