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Christ in All of Scripture – 2 Corinthians 3:7-18

 

 

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

“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, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 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. 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. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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.”


Unlike the ministry of Moses, which was limited, impermanent, veiled, and lacking transformative power, Paul’s new covenant ministry is characterized by an all-surpassing, permanent, unveiled, transformative glory that is mediated by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:10–11, 16–18). Moses had a remarkable encounter with the presence of God (Ex. 34:29–35), but the new covenant believer’s access is even more astoundingly complete. While Israel could not even look at Moses’ face without the aid of a veil (Ex. 34:33), Christians can now behold the glory of the Lord with an unveiled face. This experience is ours “through Christ” (2 Cor. 3:14). He himself is the answer to the question, how can we behold the glory of God? Jesus, the new temple, has given us full access to the presence of God “through his flesh” (Heb. 10:20), literally tearing the temple curtain that formerly acted as a barrier between a holy God and a sinful people (Matt. 27:51; Ex. 26:31–33).

The implications of this are profound. First, we have unlimited access to the very presence of God (2 Cor. 3:18). Second, in Christ we are given an unashamed boldness to enjoy our free and limitless access to God (2 Cor. 3:12). Third, this bold beholding of God’s glory is the very means that the Spirit uses to bring about our utter transformation into the image of God’s glory (2 Cor. 3:18). From start to finish, the believer is being transformed by God’s glory, for God’s glory, and into the image of God’s glory.


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

Viral Anxiety

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This is a guest post by Gloria Furman. Her newest book is Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.


Infected with Anxiety

Our pediatrician blesses my kids with decades of experience and friendly, grandfatherly care. When the kids sneeze in his presence he says with flourishing gestures in several languages, “God bless you!” All of a sudden seeing the doctor isn’t so scary.

Wise doctors know that part of the job also includes counseling parents. On one particular visit, I asked the doctor about the kind of day he was having. His brow furrowed as he answered thoughtfully, “The most infectious disease I treated was maternal anxiety.”

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The doctor’s comment was a good reminder to me it’s worth getting a check-up on my own maternal anxiety. In a lot of ways, anxiety does behave like a disease. Where the truth is suppressed and you’re lacking spiritual nourishment, anxiety can wreak havoc in your heart. Sometimes all it takes is glancing at a newspaper headline for anxiety to drive your heart to the edge and incite you to take a leap of unbelief without looking back. A friend confessed to me that one night she was so worried about her baby’s teething pain that her anxious thoughts multiplied until she laid awake for hours after the child had drifted off to sleep, horrified by the thought that one day she may have to attend her child’s funeral.

Maternal anxiety is no laughing matter. Every mom knows that our world is rife with danger, evil, and death. So we scan the shelf of options for an antidote. Personally, when I’m hit with a case of maternal anxiety I’m tempted to dull my anxious thoughts with distraction. When another friend is anxious she wants to go on a quest for omniscience to control the outcome through research. Other remedies like eating, spending money, and turning into an angry Momzilla promise an easy fix.

The barrage of anxiety-inducing situations and thoughts is unremitting. Dangerous fear mongering builds up like plaque in an artery, further restricting the circulation of life-giving truth. Anxious thoughts multiply like bacteria in a petri dish.

What’s a mother to do?

Beware the Anti-Gospel

“Worrying is just part of being a mom,” is not a cute job description to stencil over your kitchen doorway. It is an anti-gospel. And we must preach the gospel to ourselves day-in and day-out to combat that lie. We must fight to remember that Christ died and rose again so that the worst thing imaginable—eternal separation from God—would never be reality for those whose hope is in him.

When we remember that we have been rescued from a fate worse than death and we are always running headlong into future grace, maternal anxiety gets put in its place. Even though situations arise where anxiety seems like the only available option because you can’t understand what God is doing, by faith you can believe that he is always acting in accordance with his redeeming love. The worries that lurch your heart back and forth like a rocking chair lose their momentum in the face of this wondrous truth. In Christ, a mother’s heart can rest. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

Herd Immunity for Maternal Anxiety

Anxiety can go viral in a community, but so can gospel-saturated hope. Christ is exalted as moms point other moms to the gospel. As moms, we can remind each other of the hope we have in Christ and we can use the gifts God has given us to build up the body of Christ. We can hold out God’s Word to our sisters who are weakened by anxiety and anemic for truth.

I’ve been the beneficiary of this kind of nurturing. This morning a friend asked me over the phone, “How is your heart?” When I rehearsed my To-Worry-About List and concluded with the finale, “And I just don’t see how this week is going to come together,” she paraphrased 1 Peter 5:7: “Gloria, cast your cares on the Lord because he cares for you.” Then she told me to text her a list of things she could pick up at the store for me on her way over for a visit later in the week.

The Death of Anxiety

A day is coming when we will all be raised together to life everlasting in the new heavens and the new earth. Until then, we get to live out our identities as new creations in Christ and encourage one another to walk by faith. All of the uncertainties in this life serve to point us to this great certainty: because of Christ we can rejoice in hope, and there is no place for anxiety in the city that is to come.


Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four young children, doula, and blogger. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, and she blogs regularly at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and GloriaFurman.com.

March 28, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,Children & Parenting,Life & Doctrine,Marriage & Family,Women | Author: Crossway Author @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

(Update) ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible Giveaway

ESV Bible header

The ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible is now available in goatskin and calfskin covers.

This edition combines the features of the popular ESV Thinline setting with the finest materials. The Heirloom Thinline Bible is printed on high-quality European Bible paper, bound to the most exacting standards, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

To celebrate the publication of the ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible, we’re giving away four copies – two in black goatskin and two in brown goatskin. Enter this giveaway by posting to comments your answer to the following question:

Tell us about a favorite Bible edition that you’ve owned. Why was it your favorite?

In your comment, please also include your town and state of residence.* The four winners will be chosen and notified on Monday, March 31st.

*Giveaway only available to residents of the continental U.S.

Update: We’ve closed the giveaway and have notified the winners by email. Thank you for sharing! 

March 27, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Books,ESV,Giveaways & Contests,News & Announcements | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:44 am | (756) Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 3/26/14

Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.


1. Fred Sanders reflects on “Facepalm Jesus” memes

Internal evidence suggests that Facepalm Jesus is propagated by non-Christians of the “Lord, save me from your followers” variety, but I have no doubt that Christians also use them after applying the universal prophylactic of irony: “I’m not making fun of Jesus, I’m making fun of what people think about Jesus.” Irony is actually not as effective a prophylactic against irreverence as young people think; it just hardens the heart in a different way.

2. Tim Challies reviews What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson

[The book] is not meant to be read in a linear fashion. Instead, the reader is asked questions at the end of each page, and the answer to each of those questions will lead him along different paths and to different conclusions. “Is there a Supreme Being that deserves our worship and gives meaning, purpose, and direction to the universe and to human life?” If you believe there is, you will turn to page 45; if you believe there is not, you will turn to page 43. Your choices determine your outcome, which is to say, your choices define your worldview.

3. Wayne Grudem lists 3 reasons why the war on poverty has failed

“The solution to poverty has never come through foreign aid or domestic aid. The solutions to poverty come when people and nations are enabled to produce their own prosperity. The question is not equality. The question is, ‘Is there opportunity? Is there freedom in the workplace? Is there economic freedom? Is there governmental freedom from excessive regulations so that people who are at the lower end of the income bracket can progress and hope to progress toward higher income?,’” said Grudem, a research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary.

4. Michael Patton explains why it’s so easy to doubt Christianity

My God expects so much. My God reveals so much. My God is so much. Faith is easy when it is one-dimentional. If my faith were simply a bunch of rules to be kept, it would be simple. If my faith were just a basic philosophy about truth, knowledge and wisdom, there would be no problem. If my faith were about some distant God who did not get his hands dirty with mankind, I think I would often be more at ease. If my God hadn’t loved me so much that he died for me, I would not raise an eyebrow. Had my God stayed silent and not written such an extensive book, I would have experienced much less intellectual anxiety. However, it is precisely because of these things that my faith suffers such challenges. When we suffer from over-exposure to the sun, we frequently get burned.

5. Books at a Glance interviews David and Jonathan Gibson about From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

Books At a Glance: Do you have any advice for laypeople attempting to broach “difficult” doctrines like definite atonement with their unconvinced Christian friends?

Gibson Brothers: As with so many controversial issues among Christians, the key thing is not to win the argument but to win the person. In the case of definite atonement, we believe that this is best done with a tone that is respectful and courteous. We have aimed for this throughout our book. This does not negate robust disagreements, or pointing out where someone’s exegesis or logic is faulty; but it does mean that the manner in which the arguments are presented is as important as the arguments themselves.

March 26, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Books,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Crossway Impact Easter Sale

blog_header-easter-sale02We want to draw your attention to a special Crossway.org sale on a collection of Easter titles on the death and resurrection of our Lord.

Of particular note is the recently published The Final Days of Jesus, by Justin Taylor and Andreas Köstenberger. A free study guide and reading plan are also available.

The sale is exclusive to Crossway Impact members* and runs through Sunday, March 30.

We hope you can find a book or two that will help make this a season of worship for you.

*International customers, we’ve been working hard on expanding Impact membership to those living in Canada and Mexico, and should have something ready very soon. Our eventual aim is to open up Impact to other countries as well. We regret we’re not able to launch international membership in time for this sale. Thank you for your patience, and please stay tuned for more information.


New Release – 25% off

The Final Days of Jesus

By Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, with Alexander Stewart

Complete with a handy, quick-reference glossary and numerous maps illustrating key biblical locations, The Final Days of Jesus will help readers understand the geography, timeline, and background of Jesus’s final days while serving as a devotional guide for meditating on the most important week in human history.

 

Classic Titles – 40% off

The Gospel of John

From the Holy Bible, English Standard Version

The Gospel of John has always been one of the most-read books of the Bible, and this special paperback edition makes it easy to share with others. It includes a short gospel presentation, the ESV text of the Gospel of John, and favorite verses from this Bible book.

 

Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die

By John Piper

The central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning. That is what this book is about. John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons in answer to the most important question that each of us must face: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?

 

Scandalous

By D.A. Carson

Scandalous is part of the Re:Lit series, which highlights important theological truths in accessible and applicable ways. Both amateur theologians and general readers will appreciate how Carson deftly preserves weighty theology while simultaneously noting the broader themes of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 

The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ

By Bruce A. Ware

What does it mean for Jesus to be human? Theologian Bruce Ware takes us back to the biblical text, where we meet a profoundly human Jesus who faced many of the same difficulties and limitations we experience today. Ware explores the significance of Christ’s humanity and helps us to learn, by the power of the Spirit, to follow in Jesus’s steps.

 

Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ

By Robert A. Peterson

In this unique and insightful work, Robert Peterson insists that we look afresh at all that the Bible teaches about who our Savior is and what he has accomplished, with the conviction that a careful examination of this teaching will lead us to adoration and worship.

 

Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything

By Adrian Warnock

Warnock takes his cue from Acts and stresses that Christians who faithfully proclaim both the death and the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and live out the implications of that message in vibrant,grace-filled churches, will be enabled to reach a world that lives in death’s dark shadow.

 

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter

By Nancy Guthrie

This collection of readings, drawn from the writings and sermons of 25 classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers, focuses on the wonder of Christ’s sacrifice. Each essay in this collection holds to a high view of Scripture and expounds on a particular aspect of the Easter story using the appropriate Scripture passage from the ESV Bible. These readings are sure to prepare people’s hearts for a fresh experience of the cross each and every Easter season.

 

Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed

By D.A. Carson

Although it is a foundational confession for all Christians, much of the theological significance of Jesus’s identity as “the Son of God” is often overlooked or misunderstood. Moreover, this Christological concept stands at the center of today’s Bible translation debates and increased ministry efforts to Muslims. New Testament scholar D. A. Carson thus sheds light on this important issue with his usual exegetical clarity and theological insight.

 

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?: A Surgeon-Scientist Examines the Evidence

By Thomas A. Miller, MD

Our ready embrace of the authority of science has left many doubting that Jesus’s resurrection was a verifiable, historical event. Yet Thomas Miller, an experienced scientist and well-respected surgeon, challenges the notion that modern medicine has disproved the possibility of the resurrection.

 

Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time

By Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Daily comforts from the gospel of Christ provide busy Christian women with brief but deep reminders of how his truths powerfully connect to their daily lives. A perfect choice for gift-giving or personal encouragement, Fitzpatrick’s book helps women grasp the practicality of the gospel message and experience its deep comforts.

 

Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions

By Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

So what exactly is the truth about Jesus Christ? That’s the question the authors of Vintage Jesus seek to answer by breaking it down into a number of sub-questions about Jesus, including Is Jesus the only God? Why did Jesus come to earth? Did Jesus rise from death? Why should we worship Jesus? and others. Nonbelievers and new Christians looking to sit down and delve into the topic of Jesus will find solid, biblical answers presented in a relevant, accessible way.

 

March 24, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible Deals,Book Deals,Books,Impact Specials | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:40 am | 0 Comments »