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2 Corinthians 3 v 12 - 18

The Christian believer does not need to go through a multitude of intercessors to be able to approach God; he or she can be bold to approach the eternal throne exactly how they are and with no preamble. ''Abba Father'' give us that sense of immediacy: when we cry out God listens and responds!

Paul thinks in such multi-dimensional, beautiful, yet Biblically correct images! Paul continues his thoughts about the old and new covenants, in his mind bringing up the picture of Moses returning to the Israelites from Mount Sinai after receiving the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments from God. Note that Exodus 34 v 33 tells the reader that Moses put the veil on to hide his face AFTER he had finished speaking, so Paul surmises correctly that Moses did this in order to prevent the Israelites from seeing the glory FADE from his face. The old covenant was one of failure and fading glory as it was only a partial revelation of who God is: the new covenant made through the revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God is glorious and unfading. The great Augustine wisely stated: ''We do wrong to the Old Testament if we deny that it comes from the same just and good God as the New. On the other hand, we do wrong to the New Testament if we put the Old on a level with it.''

One of the reasons, according to Paul, why people do not respond to the Gospel in the way we think they should do, is because they have a veil of prejudice over their eyes. The Jews in Paul's time could not equate Jesus with the promised Messiah and even today, people do not recognise Him because veils of prejudice prevent them from seeing and believing: prejudices concerning church historical abuse, belief that there is no God, intellectual issues and so on. Even believers may have difficulty recognising the real Christ, because of a wishful or fragmentary spirit.

We are changed from glory to glory-there is spiritual progress, as I see in many of you-when we see Jesus, when we turn our eyes upon Him, looking full in His wonderful face. When we contemplate Jesus Christ as He truly is, we come to reflect Him more and more. This is completely true for the Holy Spirit too: the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of the risen Lord are one and the same and they bring LIBERTY!

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