Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #43
Posted: April 29, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

We are interested this week with the ‘In Christ’ phrase of II Corinthians 3:12-18.  The verse that stands out as the hub of this text is found in verse 14 where Paul says, “But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament: which vail is done away in Christ”. 

Paul tells us in verse 12 that his message is a message of hope (confident expectation).  Many of his readers still had a veil on their minds and because of this he must use “…plainness of speech” (Vs. 12)  The word ‘plainness’ means all outspokenness, frankness, and bluntness. 

Paul uses the illustration of the veil upon Moses’ face.  The story is told that Moses went up on the mountain, talked face to face with God, and beheld His glory.  This experience lit Moses up so much so that his face did shine.  When he came off the mountain he began to speak to the people but they could not look on his face because it was so bright.  This is the reason that Moses veiled his face. 

Paul tells us, going to the Old Testament for its rules, regulations, and rituals without seeing Christ pictured through the symbols will veil the mind in blindness. 

Many religions of today live in the laws and works of the Old Testament.  Such religions as the Catholics, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness and sad to say our legalistic Baptist brethren live under the law of the Old Testament without ever seeing the Christ of the law.  Legalism is present in the life when we keep an outward rule or ritual, thinking it will get us approval and a closer standing with our Lord.  There is no difference in saying the rosary beads, making signs of crosses on our chest, worshipping on Saturday, giving up pant suits, movies, and smoking if done to get a better approval with God.  We must see the law, rituals, pictures, and types are all schoolmasters to get us to Christ.  Christ is the only person that brings us into approval and right standing with our God.  The Christian life is not something we produce by our doing of outward rules and rituals.  The Christian life is something that Christ reproduces in us and through us.  Christ is the only one to ever live a Christian life.  In verse 16 Paul tells us when we see that it is the Lord alone that satisfies God then the veil is removed and three things will transpire in our life. 

The first thing verse 17 says will be is ‘Liberty’.  When we rely upon the indwelling Holy Spirit and not the outward rituals and regulations to produce Christ likeness there will be liberty.  The word ‘liberty’ means moral freedom, to move from the position of a slave to a citizen, and to be exempt from obligation of liability.  We are freed not to do, but to be.  So many of the brethren live today as slaves in their Christian walk.  They scan the Bible to make sure they are keeping all the rules.  The news has not reached them that there has been an Emancipation Proclamation that Christ is the fulfillment of the law and His children are no longer slaves but freed to be citizens of heaven. 

There will not only be ‘Liberty’ but there will be ‘Light’.  In verse 18, Paul says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord…”  The ‘glass’ is the mirror of the Word of God.  When the vail is removed we will look in the Bible not to see another rule to keep, but Christ the ruler of all.  He gives us light to walk in.  John said, ‘If we walk in the light, as He is in the light we have fellowship together and His blood takes away all our sins’

There will not only be ‘Liberty’ and ‘Light’ but there will be ‘Likeness’.  In verse 18 Paul says, “…we are changed into the same image…”  Christ produces His likeness when there is Light and Liberty.  I am glad I do not have to concern myself with outward alignment with the Baptist brethren but as I cooperate with the indwelling Spirit of Christ, He produces Liberty, Light, and His glorious Likeness in me, through me, and on me.  What a freedom to be positionally ‘In Christ’.

 

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