2 Corinthians 3: The Ministry of Death, Written and Engraved on Stones

2 Corinthians 3: The Ministry of Death, Written and Engraved on Stones

While it appears to be (thankfully and mercifully) coming to a close, the Roy Moore era has been a blight on my home state of Alabama. “The Ten Commandments Judge” has gained national attention and millions of dollars since his first run in with the federal government two decades ago.

So far as I am concerned, if any good thing came of it, it was the increased opportunities to speak with people about their undiscerning claims to follow the Ten Commandments (a.k.a. the Decalogue).

I’m unsure how anyone could read today’s text and have any desire whatsoever to place himself under the Decalogue, for Paul identifies it as “the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones” (v 7). While the Decalogue was glorious, Paul says the “ministry of the Spirit,” (which is written, “not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” v 3), will be “more glorious” (v 8).

In verse 9, Paul identifies the Decalogue as “the ministry of condemnation.” Contrasting it with “the ministry of righteousness” (i.e., the gospel), Paul says though the former may be glorious, the latter “exceeds much more in glory.” Furthermore, Paul says that the glory of the latter so far exceeds the former so as to cause the former to have no glory at all by comparison.

Finally, Paul describes the Decalogue as “passing away,” contrasting it with what remains, he says the latter is “much more glorious (v 11, cf Heb 8:7-13).

Now, why would anyone today pledge any form of allegiance to a law that God Himself described as “the ministry of death,” “the ministry of condemnation,” and “that which is passing away?”

Long story short, no one can please God today by attempting to keep the Decalogue or the Law of Moses. Jesus nailed it all to the cross that all men might be reconciled in one body, (Eph 2:14-18), the church (Eph 1:22-23).

God’s only power to save men today is found in the gospel of Christ (Rom 1:16). The gospel must be preached, believed, and obeyed for men to have eternal life (Rom 10:13-18).

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