2 Corinthians 3:17 || Where the Spirit Is There Is Freedom (#5) || David Bowden


now we turn to verse 17 in our study of
2nd Corinthians 3 and 4 this is a pretty famous verse that a lot of people
memorize it says now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is
there is freedom this verse is often pulled out of context and used to talk
about all kinds of freedom I’ve seen people use this first to say that the
spirit brings freedom from shame inhibition fear and any number of other
things now while this isn’t necessarily untrue
of what the Spirit of God does in our lives
this is not what Paul is talking about here in this text he has a very specific
type of freedom in mind and to understand what kind of freedom he has
in mind we only need to look at what kind of slavery he said we are under up
to verse 6 Paul is comparing the old and new
covenants the covenant of Moses and the covenant of Christ the covenant of law
and the covenant of grace he says that they are now ministers of the New
Covenant not the letter but the Spirit for the letter kills but the Spirit
gives life the Old Covenant brings death because no one can perfectly fulfill the
law however the New Covenant brings life because Jesus fulfilled the law for us
and gave us his spirit so we can receive his righteousness and follow after him
so when the Spirit comes to a believer it brings freedom freedom from death
freedom to follow Christ indeed freedom from sin the wider context of this
chapter allows us to attach all of this meaning to what Paul means by freedom
but there is an even more acute meaning as well tied to the immediate context
surrounding verse 17 and that freedom is freedom from the veil freedom from God’s
glory being hidden for so let’s ask the question what does that
kind of freedom look like well let’s think back to the story of Moses in
Exodus we learned in the last session that when Moses would enter into the
tent of meeting to talk with God his veil would be removed the presence of
God removes the veil now think about the Christian when we put our trust in Jesus
and his gospel the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us that’s why the beginning of
verse 17 while it may seem unnecessary to us is so important it says now the
Lord is Spirit Paul is making a connection between the Lord Yahweh who
was present in the tent of meeting with the Spirit who is present with us it is
the same God our bodies are now the new tent of meeting God is coming to meet
with us in our tents and when the Spirit of the Lord comes to us the veil is
removed just like Moses when the Spirit comes to dwell in us we are free from
the veil but being free from the veil is not an end in itself it is the means to
an end and the end the purpose for which the veil is removed is far better when
the Spirit comes to us it frees us to enter into and behold the glory of God
and one of the ways the Spirit does this is by opening our eyes to see the glory
of God in every corner of scripture now that the veil is removed from our Bibles
the Spirit illuminates our eyes to see what is hidden and what is hidden is the
glory of God and this truths would not have been unknown to the Corinthians to
whom the letter was written because in another letter Paul wrote to them before
this one what we know as first Corinthians Paul taught this truth
explicitly he said this we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of
God which God decreed before the ages for our glory none of the rulers of this
age understood this for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory but as it is written what no eye has seen nor ear heard nor the heart of
man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him these things God has
revealed to us through the spirit for the spirit searches everything even the
depths of God for who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that
person which is in him so also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except
the Spirit of God now we have received not the spirit of the world but the
Spirit who is from God that we might understand the things freely given to us
by God and we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by
the spirit interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual you see God
put his wisdom in the scriptures but how can we know what that wisdom is we would
need his very spirit to understand his very mind well the good news is that is
what we have the Holy Spirit comes to the Christian and helps them understand
the hidden secrets of the glory of God in every corner of Scripture now this
does not mean that you will discover a secret truth different from the one I
discover we are not searching out what is hidden in our Bibles for us alone we
are searching out the mind of God we are searching out the glory of God that is
one thing that is one wisdom that is one truth and that one truth that one wisdom
that the Spirit helps us to see all throughout the Bible is the gospel of
Jesus Christ Jesus himself demonstrated this truth
after his resurrection he walked with two men on the road to Emmaus they were
discouraged that Jesus had died and they thought all hope was lost
but Jesus opened the scriptures of the Old Testament to them and showed them
all the things in it that were about himself Jesus taught that the whole
Bible was about him but these two men could not see it for themselves
until Jesus opened their spiritual eyes this is what the Holy Spirit does for us
whether it’s seen Jesus as the new and better glory that passed by Moses and
the cleft of the rock or that he has made us a new and better tent of meeting
in which he himself comes to dwell the whole Old Testament every part of it
points to Jesus and his gospel and the Spirit is inside you opening your eyes
to help you see it might I invite you to pray this simple prayer each time you
read scripture it comes from psalm 119 18 it says this open my eyes that I
might behold wondrous things out of your law may the spirit free us to see the
glory of Jesus in every corner of Scripture hey there I’m David Bowden
with spoken gospel it’s the mission of spoken gospel to speak the gospel out of
every corner of Scripture and you’ve just watched one of the sessions that we
try to do that in 2nd Corinthians 3 and 4 if you miss the very first episode we
invite you to click here and see the very first episode in this series if you
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thanks so much

4 thoughts on “2 Corinthians 3:17 || Where the Spirit Is There Is Freedom (#5) || David Bowden

  • Amen 🙏❤️

    "when the Spirit of the Lord dwells in us the viel is removed, we are the temple where the Lord meets us" . Thank you for that and many other beautiful truths !

  • I was at Animate last week at Samford, and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing part of your story. I hope I will see you next year.

  • Our YouVersion Bible Reading Plan for this video is now live!! Please join us in this study here: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/12504/

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