2 Corinthians 3:18

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

It is quite interesting to note that three times in the Bible, God’s Word is likened to a glass—or mirror as we would say today.  We see the apostle James use it once, and the apostle Paul use it twice.  The Bible as a mirror shows us who we really are, and what we really look like in comparison to the Holy, Just, and Righteous God.  It shows our complete depravity and sinfulness, and it also shows the Lord Jesus Christ’s complete righteousness.  When men are faced with this mirror, a number of things can happen, either they don’t want to look into it at all, or they look into it briefly and leave and immediately forget exactly what they saw. We see this second type in James.

James 1:23-24
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.    

Another thing that can happen is a man can tilt the mirror of the Word a little, so he doesn’t see himself, but views others instead.  I think this is exactly what the Pharisees did during our Lord’s earthly ministry.  Instead of looking into the mirror and seeing themselves as sinful and in need of God’s mercy, they justified themselves and used God’s word to hammer and condemn others; sadly this is still done today.

But let’s see what the apostle Paul says about the mirror of the Word.  We learn in the book of Acts that the church at Corinth contained many Jewish Christians as well Gentile Christians.  When Paul is writing 1st Corinthians, he is still going to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles, as the “diminishing” of the Jewish program we read about in Romans 11:12 was not complete yet.  Because Paul was still preaching to the Jews, the apostolic sign gifts he had been given by the Lord, had not yet disappeared. But as we learn in 1 Corinthians 13, they were about to, as his ministry to the Jews would subside.  We know that at this point, there was much more the Holy Spirit would inspire Paul to write about concerning the gospel of the grace of God and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, so we could say that Paul’s message of grace was known in “part.”  With that in mind, let’s read…

1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I also am known.   

By the time Paul writes 2nd Corinthians, I think the Holy Spirit through Paul starts unveiling some more truth about the mystery or secret of Christ in us, the hope of glory, and how we are new creations in Christ, when we believe in Him. We see the difference between our outward man or flesh, and the inward man or spirit, where the Lord lives His life through us…

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

Now we see the mirror of the Word reflecting Christ when we look into it, we see the Lord Jesus Christ instead of seeing our sinful self, for it was He who bare our sins on the cross for us, it was He who shed His holy blood for us, it was He who was buried for us, and all glory, honor, and praise to Him, it was He who rose from the dead for us.  And yet even more, it is He that will live His life through us, and it is He that will change our corruptible body into an incorruptible body fashioned like His, when we are caught up to be with Him.

The more we look into God’s Word the more we are changed, may we pray that the Lord would give us a hunger for His Word, and that he would apply His Word to our hearts.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Derrick

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