I have always been moved by 2 Corinthians 3:1-18, as the apostle of grace is emphatic: a written code cannot save us, redeem us, change us, or make us like God. Clearly, Paul believes that the Law is good in that it shows us the holiness God expects of us, but he is emphatic (Galatians brings it home powerfully) that the Law — or any law for that matter — can only convict us of our failures.
Jesus is clearly the answer for our shortfall and sinfulness, but with Jesus comes more than just forgiveness and cleansing. With Jesus comes the freedom and power to be what we could not be trying to fulfill law’s demands to be right with God (Romans 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). This power is not some impersonal force, but is God’s presence in us, the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This glorious freedom the Spirit brings us, to be what the written code could never make us, means that all of our goodness is the reflected goodness that comes from our glorious God who provided Jesus as our sacrifice and Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit to us to complete God’s perfection in us. I have tried often to capture this concept visually, never to my satisfaction. However, the old image below with the text of 2 Corinthians 3:18 is a helpful reminder that any glory in us and on us and from us, is always the reflected glory of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit to make that reflected glory genuine in our lives.
This image is available in 1024 x 768 size in several options on Heartlight.org and can be used for any non-commercial use by churches, non-profits and individuals as longs as it is unaltered:
- Text Version — Like Above Image
- Title Version — “Reflected Grace”
- Plain Version — Ideal for PPT Backgrounds
For a list of hundreds of images check out Heartlight.org Backgrounds Page and use the search window on the right.