Being Conquered by Christ Changes Everything
I. A covenant that FADES and one that LASTS. (v.7-11; Ex 34:29-32)
A. The law brought DEATH and CONDEMNATION. (v.7,9,11)
B. The Spirit brings LIFE and RIGHTEOUSNESS. (v.8,10,11)
C. A GLORIOUSLY unfading GLORY. (v.10-11)
Last week Paul talked about the freedom that comes from being taken captive by Christ. It was a shift in thinking for the Corinthians who felt that captivity or weakness was never good. This week he shows them how great it is by comparing the old way of the Law to the new way of the Spirit.
1. Kid’s Question: When have you felt guilty about something that you did?
2. How would you explain to someone what the “glory” of God is? Does that matter to you in every day life? Should it?
II. True GLORY calls for a different RESPONSE. (v.12-16)
A. How being CONQUERED leads to BOLDNESS. (v.12)
B. Full EXPOSURE instead of glory MANAGEMENT. (v.12-13,16; Ex. 34:32-35)
C. The Spirit REVEALS Jesus and OUTSHINES the law. (v.12-16)
This true and unfading glory that comes from Jesus shifts everything. The full “weight” of God and His goodness and grace has penetrated the world and now we can live from a completely different place. One where we are accepted and forgiven and in the process of being transformed to be like Christ.
3. Would you characterize your spiritual life as bold or fearful? Why? Are you pleased with that description?
4. How would a life look that wasn’t trying to “manage” God’s glory? What does it mean for us to reflect who Jesus is to the world? How will that shape our actions?
5. In Rom. 1:5 Paul writes of the “obedience that comes from faith.” How does that link up to what he is saying here about the way of the law and the way of the Spirit?
III. The call is the KEEP our FOCUS. (v.16-18; Heb 12:2)
A. A CHALLENGE for ALL of us. (v. 15-16; Gal. 1:6-7; Gal. 3:3)
B. Free to be WEAK, to RECEIVE, and to REFLECT. (v.17; Rom. 8:1; I Jn 3:1-3)
C. REFLECTING does the work of PERFECTING. (v.18; Titus 2:11-13)
The challenge is that our world is wired to the old way. We are locked into the achievement and reward ways of thinking and living. While we talk about the grace of God we are still weighed down by the fading glory of the law. But if we can focus differently…on Christ, then He begins to work in us through the spirit, setting us free, and changing us into His own glory.
6. Is your life focused more on the law (your ability) or Jesus (his grace and love)? What about your perspective toward those around you?
7. What does being free to be weak, to receive, and to reflect look like in your life this coming week? Be specific.
8. Would you describe yourself as working on “perfecting in order to reflect”, or “reflecting in order for God to perfect”? How can you know?