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Christ Brings Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV) … “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

In rabbinical tradition, a teacher would update the language of the Scripture for his audience. Paul, following his own rabbinical training, updated the language of Exodus for his Christian audience. It wasn’t God the Father who had removed the veil from the Corinthians’ hearts but Christ the Lord. As the life-giving Spirit in resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:45), Christ can live in his people (13:5) and free them from their blindness.

Next, Paul introduced another reason why the new covenant is better than the old: It is a ministry of freedom. Paul used this description as a defense of his ministry, assuming that his readers knew the full extent of his teaching on Christian freedom. It relates to the concept of boldness in 3:12.

Christ’s death on the cross bought freedom for anyone who believes (1 Corinthians 6:20). He frees us from sin and the condemnation that results from trying to obey the law (Romans 8:1–4; Galatians 3:21–24). He frees us from the fear of death, the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:17–18). Jesus even frees us from the evil powers of the age (Galatians 1:4). This passage cites another trap from which Christ frees believers: an ignorance of God’s plan of salvation. Christ frees believers from the same mental veil that covered many of the Jews to whom Paul was preaching (3:14).

When we trust Christ to save us, Jesus removes that heavy burden of trying to please him. His light dispels our ignorance, giving us a clear understanding of the gospel. By trusting Christ, we are loved, accepted, forgiven, and freed to live for him.[1]

[1] Barton, B. B., & Osborne, G. R. (1999). 1 & 2 Corinthians (p. 322). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.

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