1Do #2 Cor. 5:12; 10:12, 18; 12:11we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, #Acts 18:27epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2#1 Cor. 9:2You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3clearly you are an epistle of Christ, #1 Cor. 3:5ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not #Ex. 24:12; 31:18; 32:15; 2 Cor. 3:7on tablets of stone but #Ps. 40:8on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
The Spirit, Not the Letter
4And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5#(John 15:5)Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but #1 Cor. 15:10our sufficiency is from God, 6who also made us sufficient as #1 Cor. 3:5; Eph. 3:7ministers of #Jer. 31:31; Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:20the new covenant, not #Rom. 2:27of the letter but of the Spirit; for #(Rom. 3:20); Gal. 3:10the letter kills, #John 6:63; Rom. 8:2but the Spirit gives life.
Glory of the New Covenant
7But if #Rom. 7:10the ministry of death, #Ex. 34:1; Deut. 10:1written and engraved on stones, was glorious, #Ex. 34:29so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8how will #(Gal. 3:5)the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry #(Rom. 1:17; 3:21)of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
12Therefore, since we have such hope, #Acts 4:13, 29; 2 Cor. 7:4; Eph. 6:19we use great boldness of speech— 13unlike Moses, #Ex. 34:33–35; 2 Cor. 3:7who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at #Rom. 10:4; (Gal. 3:23)the end of what was passing away. 14But #Is. 6:10; 29:10; Acts 28:26; Rom. 11:7, 8; 2 Cor. 4:4their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16Nevertheless #Ex. 34:34; Rom. 11:23when one turns to the Lord, #Is. 25:7the veil is taken away. 17Now #(1 Cor. 15:45)the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is #John 8:32; Gal. 5:1, 13liberty. 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding #1 Cor. 13:12as in a mirror #(2 Cor. 4:4, 6)the glory of the Lord, #(Rom. 8:29, 30)are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.