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2 Corinthians 3:7-8 – Exactly What Came to an End, the Glory or God’s Law?

11.24.15 | Testing Everything, New Testament, Paul | by 119 Ministries

    2 Corinthians 3:7-8
    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?

    Did the Law of God come to an end? Is that really what Paul is teaching? Some teach that Paul is clearly teaching this in 2 Corinthians 3:7-8.

    What does Paul mean that God’s law is a “ministry of death?”
    What was fading, God’s law (“ministry of death”) or the glory of the law?

    Is there not a difference between the glory of the law, and the law itself?
    Some believe and teach that the phrase “ministry of death” as God’s law is certain evidence that the law had to be abolished. It is concluded, why wouldn’t God remove or abolish something Paul calls the “ministry of death?”

    Consider this, if the law of God did not demand our death, then salvation at the cross was unnecessary.  More importantly, if the law did not demand our death because we broke the law (sin), then the law would not be holy, just, or good.

    We require the Law of God to act as a “ministry of death” for a very important reason.  2 Corinthians 3 is not the only place Paul teaches this concept.  In Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul again helps us understand that the Law of God brings death.

    Romans 7:10
    And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

    Why does the Law of God bring death?  Because of our sin.

    Paul understands that the Law of God is intended to bless us in obedience, but curse us (death) in disobedience. This is nothing new.

    Deuteronomy 11:26-29
    “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of (YHWH) the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey (YHWH) the commandments of (YHWH) the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.

    Obviously, all have sinned (broke the law of God – John 3:4), or as Paul states, followed the “Law of Sin” (Romans 7:23). Thus, we are all cursed by the law and deserve death. Paul brilliantly calls this the “Law
    of Sin and Death” (Romans 8:2). Until we realize that we are sinning against God, we are unable to realize that we are cursed (deserve death).

    However, once we read the Law of God and realize it as truth, we then realize that we have sinned against God. It is when we realize our sin that we should understand that we deserve death. This is how the “Law
    of God” equates to the “ministry of death” according to Paul. It is by God’s law, and our sin (Law of Sin) that is against God’s law, that we understand that we need a savior from our sin that demands our death
    (Law of Sin and Death).

    This is exactly what Paul continues to teach in Romans 7.

    Romans 7:11
    For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

    Is the Law of God (“ministry of death”) bad because it kills us? No! God’s law is “holy, just, and good” because it kills us. We want the law to kill us. Without death, we can not be “born again.” The very
    “Word” that kills, is to also give us life.

    Deuteronomy 30:15
    “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,

    The Word is “life” when we believe and do it. The “Word” is death when we do not believe in its truth. (Remember, Jesus referred to Himself as “life” because He is the “Word made flesh.”)

    Before our faith, we were against the Law of God and followed only the Law of Sin. We followed our ways instead of God’s ways.  We want the law to be a “ministry of death.” That is exactly what Paul teaches in the very next verse.

    Romans 7:12
    Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

    It is not God’s law that is bad, we are bad because we broke the law of God (sin). Our sin does not make the Law of God bad, but in fact it proves that the Law of God is good. It is sin (breaking God’s law) that
    deceived us. It is God’s law that reveals to us that we were deceived in following the Law of Sin.  Law (Torah) simply means “instruction.”

    There are only two sources of instruction. There is instruction
    from God (Law of God) and there is instruction that is against God (Law of Sin).

    Continuing in Romans 7, Paul explains the ongoing battle of the instructions (laws) in all of believers, the Law of God vs. the Law of Sin.

    Romans 7:21-22 (Law of God)
    I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

    In verse 21, Paul teaches that the will to do good, the Law of God, exposes the evil within Him. In verse 22, Paul states that His inward man delights in the Law of God. In the very next verse (23) Paul teaches that the Law of Sin is the instruction that is against the Law of God. It is the Law of Sin that is bondage.

    Romans 7:23 (Law of Sin)
    But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    As we read earlier, sin (breaking God’s law) leads to death (Romans 7:10-11). This brings us back to the defining phrase that Paul termed the “ministry of death.”  The Law of God is the “ministry of death” because once we realize we broke the law of God we then
    understand that we are under the “Law of Sin and Death”.

    However, in Christ, we are no longer under the “Law of Sin and Death” but under grace.  

    Romans 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Does this mean that we can break God’s law (sin) or nullify the Law of God in our faith? Paul makes it clear that we cannot.

    Romans 3:31
    Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

    Romans 6:1
    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

    Because we often mistakenly misunderstand the “ministry of death” as something that was bad and had to be abolished, we then mistakenly assume that Paul must have been referencing the Law of God as to what was being brought to an end in 2 Corinthians 3.

    However, without God’s law presenting itself as a “ministry of death” we would never realize that we are under the “Law of Sin and Death” and thus require a savior. If we never realize that we need a savior, then we would remain deceived in the Law of Sin without the Law of God.

    Paul was clear that it was actually the glory, or esteem of the law, that was being brought to an end.

    2 Corinthians 3:7-8
    …because of its glory, which was being brought to an end…

    What we then learn is that it is not the Law of God that was brought to an end, but the glory of the law was brought to an end because of Israel’s disobedience. The law has glory when we do it. When we sin and break the law of God it profanes the Word of God, His law. It removes the glory of the law. So the problem is disobedience, which reduces the glory of God’s law.

    We also learn that the glory of the law is to be restored, and we are told that this time it will be both greater and lasting in the New Covenant. We are told that this is done through the “ministry of the Spirit.”  

    This is why Paul references the Spirit in Romans 8 as contrary to the “Law of Sin and Death”:

    Romans 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Paul details in Romans 8 that in our faith we have received the Spirit to want to do the Law of God, and it is those still under the law of sin and death that do not want to do the Law of God. This is how God begins
    to bring back the glory of the Law of God in the New Covenant.

    We walk according to the Spirit (8:4). The carnal/flesh minded and the spirit minded are clearly opposite ways of living. We already know from reading the chapter earlier that the law is Spiritual (7:14).  Therefore, we should not be surprised when Paul states that those who are in the flesh are at enmity against God. Those who are at enmity with God do not do the Law of God.

    Romans 8:7-8
    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Those who live according to their flesh are not subject to the law of God, but those who live according to the Spirit live according to God’s law, which pleases Him.

    Therefore, those teaching against the Law of God are letting their flesh speak and revealing their enmity against God. Those who teach the Law of God are being led by the Spirit, and showing that they are not
    under the Law of Sin and Death. After reviewing all of this, it should be rather clear that Paul was not teaching against the Law of God in 2
    Corinthians 3:7-8.

    So why was Paul teaching that the glory of the law faded away?
    What does this have to do with tables of stone and tables of the heart?
    What does this have to do with the New Covenant?

    As with any teacher, even Paul, we should be able to test what is being taught to God’s Word.  When we do this, we find that Paul is not teaching anything new, but only what the prophets have already
    established as true.  

    To understand this better, we should consider surrounding text as additional context. We will cover 2 Corinthians 3:3-18 in detail.

    2 Corinthians 3:3
    Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.  

    For those who understand the Biblical prophecy of the New Covenant, it might be quickly realized that Paul is an offering an obvious reference to the change in the New Covenant. In error, many submit that the
    change is related to God’s law. That is nowhere to be found in Scripture.

    In reality, as Paul also teaches, the true change was and is in us and that God’s law has remained the same, as promised.  It is not God’s law that changed, it is our relationship to God’s law that changed. 

    The change, that is prophetically detailed for us in Jeremiah 31:31-33, is that the House of Judah and the House of Israel (the 2 houses of Israel) will now begin to obey God’s law because of a change in the status of their heart.

    Jeremiah 31:33
    “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares (YHWH) the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

    Ezekiel also discusses this matter in the prophecy of the House of Israel (divorced, now Gentiles, Jeremiah 3:8-10) and House of Judah being reunited as one (complete Israel)(mystery of the gospel)(Ezekiel 37).

    Ezekiel 36:27
    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    A major problem, that made the New Covenant a necessary solution, was the divorce of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Jeremiah 3:8 - scattered and turned into the Gentiles) leaving only the Southern
    Kingdom (House of Judah), which we know today as the Jews.
    Both houses rejected God’s law and both were punished. The Southern Kingdom (Jews) went into Babylon. The Northern Kingdom (Ephriam) went to the Assyrians.  Only the Jews came out of Babylon. Ephriam stayed with the Assyians in their rejection of God’s law, so they received a certificate of divorce from God (Jeremiah 3:8-10). They left God’s nation (Israel) and became part of the nations (Gentiles) scattered abroad (James even writes to them in James 1:1).

    Israel had God’s law, but it was written on a stony heart (table) only. It was not written on the heart of flesh. Meaning, they had no true desire to keep God’s law. They did not delight in it. It was not long before things slid into chaos as they also began incorporating ways of the nations (Gentiles) into their daily lives. It was because of this mentality that it is understood that the law of God lost its glory with the people.

    This is what Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 3.

    Since the whole point of God’s commandments is to express our love to Him (1 John 5:3), and the breaking of God’s law is sin (1 John 3:4), then this was a very serious problem. It should be agreed, that problems
    require solutions. We should all agree that solutions should address the root cause of the problem otherwise the problem is not fixed. This is exactly how God dealt with the problem of Israel’s disobedience and the House of Israel (Northern Kingdom) becoming Gentiles. The New Covenant is a solution to Israel’s disobedience (both houses) and is a means to give God’s people the desire to keep God’s law.

    God is not interested in us doing what He asks just because He said so. He asks for circumcision of the heart first (Deuteronomy 10:16). He does not want us doing the ways of the world. He is interested in us
    having a desire to do what He asks. He wants us to do the ways of God. This is the problem at hand with Israel and the New Covenant is the solution. It is in the New Covenant that we desire the way of God, not
    reject it.  

    The Law of God on stone in of itself is worthless. The Law of God does not reflect its true glory unless it is written on our hearts, meaning we express the desire to do God’s law. It is only then, when we do the
    law of God out of love for God, that the glory of the Law of God is realized, amplified, and sustained. 

    2 Corinthians 3:3
    Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

    So the context established in verse 3 is outlining the long established problem of a lack of faith and a lack of motivation for obedience (stony heart/tablets of stone) instead of heart of flesh and Spirit (desire to do
    God’s law)

    2 Corinthians 3:4
    And such trust have we through Christ toward God: 

    So through Christ we place our trust, and the trust in Christ extends to God. Christ is the Word made flesh and God is the Word (John 1:14). We are to place our faith in the (whole) Word and not ourselves.

    2 Corinthians 3:5
    Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

    The letter of the law is not to be a matter of simple obedience by our works. Obedience is insufficient without faith. Faith is necessary, which gives us the Spirit. Then, and only then, we will want to do God’s
    law for the right reason, to love God (1 John 5:3). Those without the Spirit will focus in error just on the written and their own works as being sufficient. They miss the deeper aspects of the Law of God that go
    beyond what is written, which is why Jesus (Y’shua) had to teach these things all over again in the first century (Matthew 5).

    Paul is attempting to explain how the New Covenant is to work according to Biblical prophecy and how it is beginning to come true. It should still be rather obvious that Paul is not teaching against the Law of God, but how our desire to keep Law of God brings the glory back to it as intended.

    Remember, the whole point of the New Covenant is to write the Law of God on our hearts. That Biblical phrase is defined in Scripture as the state and desire to keep the Law of God. Once we die to the flesh the Spirit is to put all of God’s law on our hearts and then we will have a desire for His law by delighting in it. Once we die in the flesh, in our faith in the Word, we are born again in that same Word (Seed).

    1 Peter 1:23
    having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

    Doing His commandments with our whole heart (loving God with our whole heart) has been God’s intent for us since the beginning. This is nothing new.

    Psalm 119:9-11
    Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

    It was always God’s intent for us to write His law on our heart:

    Proverbs 7:2-3
    Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them upon your fingers, write them upon the table of your heart.

    Paul has established that the letter of the law is to expose our sin and kill us so that we die in Christ. This is the “ministry of death.” The law exposes our sin and we then we realize we are under the curse of death (law of sin and death)(Romans 8:2). We then realize that we require a Savior (verse 4) and trust in Him (not our observance of God’s law – verse 5) to save us.  Paul explains this in the next verse.

    2 Corinthians 3:6
    Who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

    It should be very clear here that Paul is teaching about the “new covenant.” Paul actually refers to it by name in verse 6. We can not ignore this. Now we have Paul not only directly referencing the new
    covenant but also using prophetic language that details the expected changes in the new covenant. This can only mean that Paul is teaching how the law of God is written on our heart (Jer. 31:33, Ez. 36:27), not how the law of God is abolished. What is written (all of it) on our heart simply can not also be the same thing that is abolished.

    The question remains, how does God give us the desire or spirit to want to observe the Law of God? How does He write it on our hearts?

    This is the part that many miss because they do not understand the whole point of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is not a new law replacing an abolished law, but instead a new heart to replace a stony heart that rejects the Law of God.

    In order for the New Covenant to be successful, God must do something to give us the desire to observe Gods law.  We need to determine what God did that changed everything.

    The letter of the law is designed to kill us by exposing our sin. The law must kill us so that we may be born again.  Once we are found dead in Christ and we become the “new man” and we are “born again” in the faith, we then begin to love God.  Loving God is defined by keeping His commandments.

    1 John 5:3
    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    If the purpose of New Covenant is to give us the desire to keep the Law of God, what that really means is that the New Covenant is intended to give us the desire to love God.

    How does God create that desire for us to love Him back?
    How does God fix the problem of His people not wanting to love Him (keep His commandments)?  How did He remove the stony heart in His people? Why do we now want to love God?
    Here is the answer:

    1 John 4:19
    We love him (obedience), because he first loved (grace) us.

    This is why Paul points to God in verse 5…

    2 Corinthians 3:5
    Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

    …as it relates to the New Covenant (Law being written on our heart).

    2 Corinthians 3:6
    Who also hath made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

    It is the manifestation and realization of God’s grace (His love for us), Christ on the cross, that gives us the desire or spirit to love God back (obedience).

    Is that not amazing? Because of His overwhelming love for us in sending His one and only son to the cross to die for us, we have a desire now to love Him back. That is how God intends to install the desire for us to observe His law. He shows us how much He loves us and then in return we are to love Him back in obedience. This is all designed to remove our stony heart (no desire for God’s law) and replace it with a heart of flesh (faith in the Word).

    This is exactly what is to bring the glory back to the law of God.
    How could any believer thumb their nose at God in disobedience after what He has done for us? Who could keep their stony heart? Who would not want to love God back?

    Before the cross, God’s love in this regard was not as obvious. They obeyed God because of His display of power, not because of His grace. Just coming out of Egypt and the event at Mt. Sinai, His power was clear.

    His grace was there, it was always there, but it was not at the forefront. Sadly, their obedience faded as their memory of His power faded. This is what Paul means when he says the “glory of the law faded.” The glory of the law fades when sin increases. Before Israel even received God’s law from Sinai they said:

    Exodus 24:3
    And Moses came and told the people all the words of (YHWH) the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which (YHWH) the LORD hath said will we do. (The Hebrew actually literally states “We agree to do before we have even listened.”)

    This should be the attitude of every believer. However, Israel quickly became distracted from God’s ways and fell into doing things their own way.

    In Mark 4:17, Jesus described what happens when the Word of God (Seed) falls on a stony heart. He taught that it quickly becomes offended through affliction and persecution. This is exactly what happened to the child of Israel in the wilderness. Time after time they were tempted in the wilderness and the people became offended from their trials and tribulations and desired to return to Egypt.

    Numbers 14:1-4
    And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath (YHWH) the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

    These are all blatant characteristics of a “stony heart.” They might have agreed to and received God’s law with gladness initially, but as soon as things were not going their way they expressed a desire to return to Egypt (which represented the world and sin). They were quickly impressed with God’s power, but lacked the real reason to keep the commandments of God, which is to love Him back.

    A stony heart rejects God’s law/word. A stony heart does not want God’s commandments. It is written in Zechariah:

    Zechariah 7:11-12
    But they refused to hear, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which (YHWH) the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from (YHWH) the LORD of hosts.

    Thus, what needed to change was the heart of men, not God’s law.
    The tablets of stone (law through the stone) are used by Paul to relate to the hearts of stone. God’s law is perfect (Psalm 19:7), it is men’s hearts that were the root of the problem (Hebrews 8:8). We literally needed a heart transplant. We needed to be circumcised of the heart first (faith/Spirit) before we attempted to be circumcised in the flesh (obedience). This is what Paul is teaching, as many other witnesses to God’s Word have already established in Scripture.

    Once God’s law (as written on stone) kills us (we see our sin), we then realize we need a Savior. This is the “ministry of death. In faith we are now in the New Covenant. We are equipped with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that teaches us all (not some) things. We can overcome the flesh and keep His law as written, as well as the principles behind each law, with delight and excitement as intended (though we will still fail at times, thank God for grace).

    This is what prophecy in the Old Testament teaches us about the New Covenant. Paul is simply attempting to teach us what the prophets have already declared. If God was going to abolish His law instead of simply giving us the desire to follow it, it would have been declared by the prophets.

    Amos 3:7
    Surely the Lord (YHWH)GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

    Anyone subscribing to a law abolishing theology will find no support from the prophets. That is a clear sign that such theology is in error just from Amos 3:7 alone.  

    Now as an example, we should consider Romans 8:2-10 again with all of this in mind (Heart of Stone vs. a Heart of Flesh):

    Romans 8:2-10

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (a heart of flesh) hath made me free from the law of sin and death (a heart of stone). For what the law would not do in that it was weak through the flesh (a heart of stone), God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (a heart of stone). That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after
    the flesh (heart of stone), but after the Spirit (a heart of flesh). For they that are after flesh (heart of stone) do mind the things of the flesh (a heart of stone): but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (a heart of flesh). For to be carnally minded is death (a heart of stone) but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (a heart of flesh). Because the carnal mind is enmity against God (a heart of stone): for it is not
    subject to the law God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh (a heart of stone) cannot please God. But you are not (have not been given a stony heart) in the flesh, but in the Spirit, (a heart of
    flesh), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you (a heart of flesh). Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ (a heart of flesh), he is none of his. And if Christ be in you (a heart of flesh), the body is dead
    because of sin (a heart of stone): but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (a heart of flesh)."

    Should it not be of any surprise that Paul is teaching what the prophets said would happen?

    The heart of stone and the heart of flesh are really the two opposing natures inside of us. (This is the same struggle that Paul details in Romans 7 “what he wants to do” verses “what he often does” so that we are equipped to understand Romans 8)

    In Romans 7, Paul tells us that God’s law is holy and the commandments are holy, just, good, and spiritual. It also teaches us that God’s law bears fruit after the inward man.

    In Romans 7:12,14, 22 Paul discusses the two natures again:

    Romans 7:12, 14, 22
    "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandments holy, and just and good ... For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin ... For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." 

    Going after the Spirit (letting the Spirit lead and guide us) or being “spiritual” means obedience to the law of God. Being fleshy or carnal is one who denies and breaks the law of God.  Paul continues to explain this in chapter 8 of Romans. It is the carnal mind that refuses to obey God’s law and does not want to, however it is the Spiritual mind in Christ that does want to obey God’s law.

    Now, as Paul is teaching and writing this, there is only one Law of God. Paul makes no mention of slicing and dicing, picking an choosing, what commandments of God are or are not part of the Law of God. In fact, if Paul was doing any such thing, no one would believe him because God already declared no man could teach anything of the sort (Deuteronomy 12:32).

    The newer covenant is the law written upon a heart of flesh (Jeremiah 31:33). This would be accomplished by God putting His Holy Spirit within us so that the Spirit of God can teach God's people how to walk in the ways of God and keep His law and be obedient to His commandments. In Ezekiel 11:19-20 it is written
    in prophecy about the New Covenant:

    Ezekiel 11:19-20
    "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

    A stony heart brings death but a heart of flesh brings life. This is what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 3:3,6.

    2 Corinthians 3:3,6
    "Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart ... Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament (covenant): not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life."

    So what is the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant?

    1. The Holy Spirit is a witness that the Newer Covenant = Law written upon our heart (Jeremiah 31:31, 33, Hebrews 10:15-16)
    2. The Holy Spirit was sent into the earth to teach us the TRUTH of God (John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, John 16:13)
    3. What is the TRUTH? God's Law/Word of God IS TRUTH? (not WAS truth) ( Psalm 119:142, John 17:17)
    4. God wanted to write His law (all, not some) upon our heart and teach us His law which is called "TRUTH" (Psalm 119:142) through His Holy Spirit who is called "THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH" (John 14:16-17,26, 15:26, 16:13)
    5. We need God's Spirit WITHIN us for the following reasons:  
           a) Have the power to overcome the sin nature inherited by Adam
           b) To bear spiritual fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-25)
           c) To understand, grow, and have a revelation of God's Torah/Word

    That is the foundation in which 2 Corinthians should be approached because that is what Scripture teaches. Scripture does not teach that God’s law was a problem and thus we needed a new law.

    Scripture teaches that our hearts were a problem and we needed a new heart.  With that, our eyes are opened to what Paul is teaching which is simply prophecy becoming reality. When we look at the reality through the lens of prophecy, what was already written to come, then Paul becomes easy to understand. 

    However, if we continue to read Paul not through the lens of the Word of God and prophets, but through the lens of the doctrines of men and whatever seminaries are teaching, then Paul is difficult to understand and generates lawlessness (sin)(2 Peter 3:15-17). Let’s go back to 2 Corinthians 3 and also keep the above in mind:

    2 Corinthians 3:7

    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, 

    The stony heart is death and the stony heart is revealed through God’s law. God’s law “serves us” (ministration) in such a way that it reveals (which is a very good thing) our stony heart (death).

    The same happens when we read God’s commandments to unbelievers. Their sin and nature of their heart is revealed (truth exposes the intent of the heart).

    The receipt of God’s law started as glorious, but Israel quickly turned away from it and wanted to go back to Egypt because of their stony heart. They wanted a new leader (not Moses). So receipt of the law was glorious but the glory quickly faded because of the stony hearts of Israel. It was not the law that was done away, but the glory that was faded away because of the stony heart of Israel.

    So the problem still exists, how do we deal with the stony heart to get Israel to want to do God’s law? Do we get rid of God’s law and create a new one?

    No, that is not the stated solution that addresses the stated problem.
    The solution is a new heart (tablets on the flesh heart instead of tablets on the stone heart). Thus, the new covenant was to be the solution.

    The law came in a certain glory or splendor but there were limitations.

    Limitations to God’s law?

    No, there was limitations with our heart in respect to God’s law. The author of Hebrews even comments on this. He demonstrates that the fault was with them, not God’s law.

    Hebrews 8:8
    For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah*:
    *House of Israel (now Gentiles) + House of Ju(Jew)dah (Jews) = All of Israel 

    The problem is related to the heart of the people (8:10) not God’s law, therefore the solution and change is related to the heart and not God’s law. As it is said, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

    We (our hearts) are broken, God’s law (as written by Moses) is perfect, freedom, the way, truth, life, and light (why would He change/abolish that?). Those are all definitions of God’s law from the Old Testament, so we can not say God gave us a new law that was more perfect, with more freedom, a better way, more true, more life, and different light. God’s law is not broken, we are broken. God fixed what was broken, not what was already perfect freedom.

    Perfect can not be fixed or made better. If that can not be understood, then understanding anything in the Bible is sure to prove more than challenging.

    2 Corinthians 3:8
    How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

    So if what kills the stony heart is glorious, how much more glorious is the Spirit that will enable us to keep God’s law? (An interesting side note is what was written on stone (Sinai) was on Pentecost and so was the coming of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit).

    2 Corinthians 3:9
    For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

    So this glory will last. Why? Because we now have had the heart transplant.

    We hope that this article has blessed you.

    Remember, continue to test everything.