2 Corinthians 3:6-18 “The Ministry of the New Covenant”

2 Cor. 3:6-18

The Ministry of the New Covenant

The Glory and Greatness of the Gospel


My sermon notes for Sunday, Feb 3rd as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net


2 Corinthians 3:5–18 – [5] Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, [6] who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

[7] Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, [8] will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? [9] For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. [10] Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. [11] For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

[12] Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, [13] not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. [14] But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. [15] Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. [16] But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. [17] Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [18] And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)



Paul continues the discussion of HIS MINISTRY.  The why’s, what’s, and how’s of HIS MINISTRY UNTO THE LORD.

In this particular section we look at the Old Covenant and New Covenant.  We must remember that Paul was radically saved on the road to Damascus.  He was an example of following the Old Covenant (thinking he was pleasing God) but, when Christ opened his heart and mind… he came a new man.  He more that anyone can understand the wonders of the New Covenant.  He understood what it meant to him individually, and also the privilege of being a minister/servant of the New Covenant.  The NEW COVENANT.  The Glory and the Greatness of the Gospel… Jesus Christ.


WE ARE Ministers of the new covenant – v. 6a


Our responsibility and involvement

Minster=Servant (not only are we recipients, but we are stewards)

Just as Moses was called as an instrument of the Law (Old Covenant), Paul/we have been called to be ministers of the New Covenant.  He was an apostle, but his means by which he carried it out was AS A SERVANT.


  • We are not sufficient, but we find our sufficiency FROM GOD IN CHRIST. – v. 5
  • We are commissioned, called, and empowered.


The New Covenant Gives Spiritual Life and Not Death – vv. 6b-8


Paul’s NC ministry.  Not of the letter but of the Spirt. (law and grace)

  • He will create a people that will keep His covenant
  • How…God will write it on their hearts
  • Forgive their sins

Luke 22:19-20, Ezekiel 36:25-27 Jeremiah 31:31-34


The law was in place to point people to the hope of Christ.  WHEN THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN then IT BRINGS DEATH.


The moral law of God (the Ten Commandments) obeyed perfectly will bring death if we are doing so on the basis of works apart from Christ (the Spirit)


The New Covenant is Righteousness and Not Condemnation – v. 9

The ministry of righteousness FAR EXCEEDS the ministry of condemnation.

The law brought them to the need of forgiveness but could not provide it.  CHRIST CAME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST.


Romans 3:21–26[21] But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—[22] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, [25] whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. [26] It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (ESV)

1 Peter 2:24 – [24] He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed



The New Covenant is Permanent and Not Temporary – vv. 10-11

New glory outshines the old glory.  It was in place to point to the new.

  • A temporary covenant…A permanent covenant.


The New Covenant Is Manifested and Not Veiled – vv. 12-18


Veiled – obstructing the face.  We can now behold the true GLORY OF THE LORD.


  • Which Brings Hope – v. 12
  • Which Is Centered on Christ – vv. 13-16
  • Which Brings Freedom – v. 17
  • Which Brings Transformation – v. 18




Luke 22:19–20 – [19] And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [20] And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (ESV)


Ezekiel 36:25–27 – [25] I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. [26] And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (ESV)


Jeremiah 31:31–34 – [31] “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, [32] not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. [33] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (ESV)

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