Hello everyone. We’re continuing our Bible Study and going through the book of 2 Corinthians. Our goal has been for all of us to end up having a deeper knowledge of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’ve gone all the way up to this point and we will continue until we finish the book of Revelation as well as some final pointers afterwards. Tonight, we’re going to be in chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians. We will read verses 12-18, with an emphasis on verses 17-18:
12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Paul is in this passage contrasting the old covenant with the new covenant. The Old Testament system was Moses and the New Testament system is Christ. Christ is the one who takes away the veil, which could also be a reference in the Pauline writings to the destruction of the veil of the temple at the crucifixion of Christ. When that veil was removed, the way to God was opened for all in the new covenant. It is not Moses who is our mediator, but it is Christ.
In the Old Testament system, the Law was the way God interacted with his people. In the New Testament system, it is the Spirit. In the new revelation then, when God interacts with us, he does so through his Spirit. In this way, the Lord is the Spirit.
Now we have to be careful in this case. After all, are we going to say that this is a one-to-one identification? Isn’t “Lord” the way that Paul usually speaks of Christ and is he here saying that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, which would be modalism?
As we have said with Paul referring to Christ as God, it is not his usual one, but that does not mean he must do so exclusively. Throughout this passage, the Lord has referred to the Father. Paul has simply used Christ to refer to Jesus.
However, in saying such, Paul is ascribing a high role to the Spirit. The Spirit can be seen as God making himself manifest to us. Now how this works out will be something for charismatics and non-charismatics to work out amongst themselves. God’s presence has often been seen in the Spirit, such as in the Shekinah glory in the temple. Now, that presence has come to be with us in the Spirit. This doesn’t mean that the Father or the Son are the Spirit in a one-to-one way, but that since the Spirit bears the full nature of God, we can say that God is with us by the Holy Spirit.
We shall continue our study tomorrow.