Attention! has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 3:13

and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Countenance;   Law;   Moses;   Mysteries;   Preaching;   Quotations and Allusions;   Veil;   Thompson Chain Reference - Vail;   Veil;   The Topic Concordance - Blindness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jews, the;   Vail or Veil;  
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Moses;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Corinthians, First and Second, Theology of;   Law of Christ;   Mediator, Mediation;   New Covenant;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Atonement;   Covenant;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Veil, Vail;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Christianity;   Corinth;   Dispensations;   Feasts;   Hebrews, the Epistle to the;   James, the General Epistle of;   Luke, the Gospel According to;   Moses;   Old Testament;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hope;   Time, Meaning of;   Veil;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moses;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Allegory;   Ascension;   Clothes;   Glory;   Interpretation;   Moses;   Moses ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Children;   Son;   Vail, Veil;  
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Law of Moses, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Covenant, the New;   Galatians, Epistle to the;   Veil (1);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse 2 Corinthians 3:13. And not as Moses — The splendour of Moses' countenance was so great that the Israelites could not bear to look upon his face, and therefore he was obliged to veil his face: this, it appears, he did typically, to represent the types and shadows by which the whole dispensation of which he was the minister was covered. So that the Israelites could not steadfastly look-could not then have the full view or discernment of that in which the Mosaic dispensation should issue and terminate.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


The servant and the message (3:1-18)

Some of the teachers who came to Corinth brought with them letters of recommendation from their home churches, and claimed that these letters gave them authority to teach. Paul carried no such letters, with the result that his opponents suggested he had no right to teach. Paul replies that pieces of paper do not guarantee the truth of people’s ministry. A better means of judging is by the fruit of their work. The Corinthian church, which is the fruit of Paul’s work in Corinth, is all the recommendation he needs. This is the work of the Spirit of God, and is far greater recommendation than a mere letter. The gospel produces fruit that no set of laws can produce (3:1-3).
Paul has confidence in his ministry, but it is a confidence that rests in God, not in himself. What changes people is the gospel, not any personal ability that Paul might have (4-5). He is a servant of the new covenant, by which the Spirit of God gives believers new life within. The old covenant (the law of Moses) set out written laws, but in the end it brought death, because the people were unable to keep it (6).

The contrast between the old covenant and the new is now illustrated by reference to the story in Exodus 34:29-35. When Moses, after receiving the law from God, came down from the mountain, his face shone with a brightness that reflected the glory of God. His face was so bright that he had to cover it with a cloth, as the people were afraid to approach him. Paul’s point is this: if the covenant that brought condemnation and death came with glory, how much more glory must the new covenant have which brings righteousness and life (7-9). If the covenant that was temporary came with glory, how much more glory must the new covenant have which is permanent (10-11).

After Moses had been away from the presence of God for a while, the brightness of his face faded, but the veil over his face prevented Israelites from seeing this fading brightness. To Paul, this fading brightness symbolized the fading away and eventual end of the old covenant. The permanence of the new covenant, by contrast, gives Paul confidence in all that he says and does (12-13).
In a sense there is still a veil that belongs to the old covenant. It is the veil that covers the minds of the Jews, for they read the Old Testament but refuse to see Christ as its fulfilment. Consequently, they cannot properly understand it (14-15). When Moses went in before the Lord he removed the veil. Similarly, when Jews turn to Jesus Christ, the veil is removed. Through the work of the Spirit, Christ sets them free from the bondage of sin and the law (16-17). Christians also must make sure that there is no veil between them and their Lord. The better they know Christ personally, the more they will be changed so that they become increasingly like him (18).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And not as Moses - Our conduct is not like that of Moses. We make no attempt to conceal anything in regard to the nature, design, and duration of the gospel. We leave nothing designedly in mystery.

Which put a vail over his face - That is, when he came down from Mount Sinai, and when his face shone. Exodus 34:33, “and until Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.” He put off this veil whenever he went to speak with God, but put on again when he delivered his commands to the people, What was the design of this, Moses has not himself declared. The statement which he makes in Exodus would lead us to suppose that it was on account of the exceeding brightness and dazzling splendor which shone around him, and which made it difficult to look intently upon him; and that this was in part the reason, even Paul himself seems to intimate in 2 Corinthians 3:7. He, however, in this verse intimates that there was another design, which was that he might be, as Doddridge expresses it, “a kind of type and figure of his own dispensation.”

That the children of Israel - Mr. Locke understands this of the apostles, and supposes that it means, “We do not veil the light, so that the obscurity of what we deliver should hinder the children of Israel from seeing in the Law which was to be done away, Christ who is the end of the Law.” But this interpretation is forced and unnatural. The phrase rendered “that” πρός τὸ pros to evidently connects what is affirmed here with the statement about Moses; and shows that the apostle means to say that Moses put the veil on his face in order that the children of Israel should not be able to see to the end of his institutions. That Moses had such a design, and that the putting on of the veil was emblematic of the nature of his institutions, Paul here distinctly affirms. No one can prove that this was not his design; and in a land and time when types, and emblems, and allegorical modes of speech were much used, it is highly probable that Moses meant to intimate that the end and full purpose of his institutions were designedly concealed.

Could not stedfastly look - Could not gaze intently upon (ἀτενίσαι atenisai); see the note on 2 Corinthians 3:7. They could not clearly discern it; there was obscurity arising from the fact of the designed concealment. He did not intend that they should clearly see the full purport and design of the institutions which he established.

To the end - (εἰς τὸ τέλος eis to telos). Unto the end, purpose, design, or ultimate result of the Law which he established. A great many different interpretations have been proposed of this. The meaning seems to me to be this: There was a glory and splendor in that which the institutions of Moses typified, which the children of Israel were not permitted then to behold. There was a splendor and luster in the face of Moses, which they could not gaze upon, and therefore he put a veil over it to diminish its intense brightness. In like manner there was a glory and splendor in the ultimate design and scope of his institutions, in that to which they referred, which they were not then “able,” that is, prepared to look on, and the exceeding brightness of which he of design concealed. This was done by obscure types and figures, that resembled a veil thrown over a dazzling and splendid object.

The word “end,” then, I suppose, does not refer to termination, or close, but to the “design, scope, or purpose” of the Mosaic institutions; to that which they were intended to introduce and adumbrate. that end was the Messiah, and the glory of his institutions; see the note on Romans 10:0: “Christ is the end of the Law.” And the meaning of Paul, I take to be, is, that there was a splendor and a glory in the gospel which the Mosaic institutions were designed to typify, which was so great that the children of Israel were not fully prepared to see it, and that he designedly threw over that glory the veil of obscure types and figures; as he threw over his face a veil that partially concealed its splendor. Thus, interpreted there is a consistency in the entire passage, and very great beauty. Paul, in the following verses, proceeds to state that the veil to the view of the Jews of his time was not removed; that they still looked to the obscure types and institutions of the Mosaic Law rather than on the glory which they were designed to adumbrate; as if they should choose to look upon the veil on the face of Moses rather than on the splendor which it concealed.

Of that which is abolished - Or rather to be abolished, τοῦ καταργουμένου to katargoumenou), whose nature, design, and intention it was that it should be abolished. It was never designed to be permanent; and Paul speaks of it here as a thing that was known and indisputable that the Mosaic institutions were designed to be abolished.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13. Not as Moses Paul is not reasoning as to the intention of Moses. For as it was his office, to publish the law to his people, so, there can be no doubt that he was desirous, that its true meaning should be apprehended by all, and that he did not intentionally involve his doctrine in obscurity, but that the fault was on the part of the people. As, therefore, he could not renew the minds of the hearers, he was contented with faithfully discharging the duty assigned to him. Nay more, the Lord having commanded him to put a veil between his face and the eyes of the beholders, he obeyed. Nothing, therefore, is said here to the dishonor of Moses, for he was not required to do more than the commission, that was assigned to him, called for. In addition to this, that bluntness, or that weak and obtuse vision, of which Paul is now speaking, is confined to unbelievers exclusively, because the law though wrapt up in figures, (405) did nevertheless impart wisdom to babes, Psalms 19:7 (406)

(405) “ Figures et ombres;” — “Figures and shadows.”

(406) “The clause rendered in our authorized version — making wise the simple, is rendered by Calvin, instructing the babe in wisdom. In Tyndale’s Bible the reading is, ‘And giveth wisdom even unto babes.’ Babes is the word used in most of the versions.” — Calvin on the Psalms, vol. 1, p. 317, n. 2. — Ed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Shall we turn tonight to the third chapter of II Corinthians.

Paul the apostle, it seemed, had the detractors to his ministry, men that followed him around seeking to discredit him. There are always those, it seems, who are ready to come in upon another man's work, and to reap the benefits of another man's labor, but aren't really willing to go out and to break fresh ground themselves. Those that endeavor to live off the body of Christ, rather than really developing the body of Christ.

The body of Christ is not expanded by transferring people from one fellowship to another. The body of Christ is expanded when we become a witness to the world and we bring others to Jesus Christ who do not know Him.

There were those who were willing to go around and follow Paul. To come into the areas that Paul had plowed, where Paul had planted, and seek to uproot Paul's ministry, drawing people to themselves. Seeking to discredit Paul in the eyes of the people. Such was the case in Corinth. Those who followed Paul, putting down Paul and his message of the gospel of grace, seeking to bring the people under the law. Challenging Paul's authority as an apostle. Lifting up themselves as the authorities and the authorized ones.

And so it seems rather tragic that oh, blessed brother Paul was always, it seems, defending himself against those detractors, as though he needed to. And so, in chapter three we find this again the case.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles [letters] of commendation from you? ( 2 Corinthians 3:1 )

These people coming in and presenting their letters of authority, which were many times falsified. Spurious. Paul said, "Look, do I need to have letters of commendation when I come to you, or do I need to seek letters of commendation from you when I go elsewhere?"

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men ( 2 Corinthians 3:2 ):

"Your faith in Jesus Christ, your existence as a church is all of the recommendation that I need. You are proof of my apostleship. You are proof of the validity of my ministry. The very fact of your existence is all that is necessary to prove the authenticity of my calling."

Now, the person who doesn't have that kind of proof needs all kinds of phonied up documents to tell how great they are. I get a kick out of some of the letters that I receive. Enclosed with them, all of these letters of commendation. Your ministry itself bears witness to your calling.

And so Paul said, "You are my letters of commendation. The fact that you exist, that's all that's necessary. That's all the proof I need of my calling of God."

Forasmuch as ye 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 fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward ( 2 Corinthians 3:3-4 ):

So, Paul just sort of lets it rest there.

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

Now, Paul in the last of the last chapter, you remember, cried out, "And who is sufficient for these things?" ( 2 Corinthians 2:16 ) There have been so many times when I have faced the issues of the ministry and I said, "Oh, Lord, who is sufficient for these things? Who's able to do this?" And Paul asked the question, "Who is sufficient for these things?" And now he answers his own question: "Not that we think that we have any sufficiency within ourselves, or not that we are sufficient within ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God."

I believe that God deliberately allows us to come to the end of our own capacities and abilities in order that we might learn to trust in Him. In order that we might draw from that all-sufficiency from Him.

God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, which means the all-sufficient One. And it's always good to know the all-sufficient One and to be able to rely upon the all-sufficient One to fill up that which I am lacking when I come to the end of my own resources. How many times we are driven to draw from that sufficiency that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ. And Paul said He is the One,

Who also hath made us able ministers of the [new covenant or] new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life ( 2 Corinthians 3:6 ).

Now, this is one passage of scripture that, unfortunately, is often quoted out of context, especially by those who are looking for a more experiential relationship with God. Who are looking for more exciting experiences in the things of God. So often you'll hear them say, "Oh, but the scripture says, 'The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.'" As though the word of God or the teaching of the word of God will kill you, but the Spirit or the moving of the Spirit and the experiences of the Spirit brings life. That is a gross misquotation, because it is taking the scripture totally out of its context.

The Bible tells us concerning the word of God that it is alive and powerful, and it is sharper than a two-edged sword, and it's able to divide between the soul and the spirit, the bone and the marrow ( Hebrews 4:12 ). The word of God, the letter does not kill. It's alive. It's powerful, and it brings life.

The letter that kills is the letter of the law. And Paul here declares, "I am the able minister of the New Testament, the new covenant." The old covenant was by the law, and the old covenant in the letter of the law does condemn us to death. If you want to be righteous before God by the keeping of the law, then it's too late. It's already condemned you to death. You've been destroyed. The letter of the law kills. For the law said, "He that does these things shall live by them" ( Romans 10:5 ). But also it says, "If you keep the whole law, and yet you violate in one point, you're guilty of all" ( James 2:10 ). And thus, the law condemns every one of us to death. And it is the letter of the old covenant of the law that condemns us to death. But it is the Spirit in the new covenant that brings us life, spiritual life.

And now he goes on to talk about,

But if the ministration of death [under the law], [which was] written and engraven in stones, [it] was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away [passing away] ( 2 Corinthians 3:7 ):

Now, there is a misunderstanding, many times, as the purpose of the veil. When Moses came down with the tables of stone, having met with God there on the mount, having been privileged to see the afterglow of God, God said to Moses, "What do you desire?" And he said, "Lord, show me Thyself." And God said, "You can't look at Me and live, but you stay there in the rock, I'll pass by, and then you can see the afterglow." And it was so glorious that Moses' face shone for days after he came down from the mount with the tables of law for the people.

But he put a veil over his face, not because they couldn't look at the glory on the face, but because the glow was beginning to fade, and they didn't want them to see the fading glow. But that was only a witness of the law that had been given, that it was going to be phased out that God might establish the new covenant through Jesus Christ. And so, the purpose of the veil was that they would not see the receding glory that was upon his face. We'll get that when we get a few verses down.

But this ministration of the law was glorious so that they could not steadfastly look at the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance which was fading away.

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

Or even more glorious. If the old covenant which condemn man to death was so glorious and given in such a glorious way, how much more this new covenant of life through Jesus Christ is glorious to those who have received it?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth ( 2 Corinthians 3:9-10 ).

In other words, there is really no way to compare the glory of the old covenant with the exceeding glory of the new covenant. That new relationship that we have to God through Jesus Christ excels in glory. Brings us into such glory.

You see, the old covenant was predicated upon man's faithfulness and man's obedience. The purpose of the covenant is always to bring man into a relationship with God. That's the primary purpose. The old covenant failed. Not because it wasn't good, but because man was weak and man failed. It was predicated upon man's obedience, man's faithfulness.

Now, this new covenant cannot fail, because it's predicated upon God's faithfulness to His word. A covenant predicated upon my faithfulness to the word of God failed; I couldn't be faithful. But we know that God is faithful to His word, and thus, this new covenant whereby we stand tonight is certain, is sure. That's why we can say with such assurance, "I know in Whom I have believed, and I'm persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed" ( 2 Timothy 1:12 ). And I've committed my life and my future to Him, and I'm confident that He shall bring me into the fullness of His glory, because He is faithful to His word. His word cannot fail. He will not fail.

So, the new covenant excels in glory, because it's based upon God and His faithfulness.

For if that which is done away [that is, the old covenant under the law] was glorious [was made glorious] ( 2 Corinthians 3:11 ),

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excels. Nothing to compare with.

For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great [boldness or] plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end [or to the phasing out or the fading] of that which is abolished ( 2 Corinthians 3:11-13 ):

You see, here it declares that it was because it beginning to fade away and they didn't want them to see this thing fading out.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day [there] remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ ( 2 Corinthians 3:14 ).

So "blindness has happened to Israel in part, until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in" ( Romans 11:25 ). Even when they read the law, there is a veil over their faces, that they don't really understand the law. A very sad thing has taken place among the Jewish people. For though they still verbally hold to the law, they do not practice or follow the law in establishing a righteous standing before God.

Under the law, under the old covenant, it was necessary that there be a death of a substitutionary animal to atone for their sins. You would bring the animal to the priest. You would lay your hands upon its head. You would confess your sins over the animal, and then the priest would slay the animal and offer it as a sacrifice, a sin offering for you. And thus, your sins would be covered, and you would then be able to approach the holy God.

Now today, the veil is over their faces, for they are endeavoring to approach God through their own good works, ignoring the fact that God required the sacrifice of an animal. "For the wages of sin is death" ( Romans 6:23 ). "And without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" ( Hebrews 9:22 ). They have substituted, now, the sacrifice of the animal, and are trying to instead place their good efforts and their good works as the basis for their coming to God and their righteous standing before God. Nowhere in the law are substitutes ever suggested for the sacrifices. And thus, a veil is over their face even when they read the law today, as they think that by their good efforts and good works they can atone for their sin. But their minds were blinded. For until this day, there remains the same veil that's not taken away. Their minds blinded to the truth. Israel is blind in part.

Now, this veil is really done away in Christ. When you see Jesus Christ as our perfect substitute for our sins, our sacrifice, we come to an understanding of the righteousness of God being satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ.

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart ( 2 Corinthians 3:15 ).

They are just blinded to the truth.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty ( 2 Corinthians 3:17 ).

Though there are couple of passages here that the Pentecostal people really grab onto, this is the second one. The first one is, "The letter killeth, the spirit gives life" ( 2 Corinthians 3:6 ). This is another one that they latch on to, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." And they interpret that in a very broad way. There is liberty to do all kinds of things. Liberty to scream out and to shout out and to run up and down the aisles, and you know, whatever happens to suit their fancy. Again, it is taking it out of context. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty from the law and from the bondage of the law. Free from the law, there is no condemnation, for Jesus provides a perfect salvation. And so, this is freedom from the requirements of the law. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [or as in a mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changing into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ( 2 Corinthians 3:18 ).

The work of God's Spirit within our heart is to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ. When God first made man, He made man in His image. God said, "Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness" ( Genesis 1:26 ). And so was man created in the image of God.

But through sin, man fell and no longer was in the image of God. The image of God being a spiritual image. God is a spirit. Man was created a spirit being, dwelling in the body, possessing a consciousness. But God said, "In the day that you eat, you will surely die" ( Genesis 2:17 ). When man sinned, his spirit died.

And so, Paul writing to the Ephesians said, "And you hath He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" ( Ephesians 2:1 ). God's chief emotional attribute is love. God made man with a capacity to love, a need for love. God is light, and so God created man with a light and mind and a consciousness of God. But through sin, man came into darkness. His foolish heart was darkened. And so man made in the image of God, fallen from that image. But now, the purpose of God is to restore man into His image again. That man might receive a restoration of that which God intended him to be before he fell. And that is what the Spirit is doing in our lives tonight as we yield ourselves to the work of God's Spirit within us. He is conforming us into the image of Christ.

Now we all with open face or unveiled faces. The children of Israel have a veil. Every time they read Moses, a veil is over their heart and their eyes are blinded. "But we, with open faces as we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord." As I am looking in the mirror, seeing my reflection, I can see the work of God that is taking place in my life as the Spirit of God is changing me and bringing me into the image of Jesus Christ. How beautiful it is to look at God's work in our own life, and just to marvel at what God has done.

There have been areas in my life, the old nature, that were extremely ugly. I used to have an ugly temper. Easily ignited at the slightest provocation. And it was ugly. And I didn't like what I saw in me. I hated that nasty demonstration of that temper. And I tried to control it, but I just couldn't. Things would happen, and before I knew it, poof, it was gone and I'd blown up. And here I was ashamed, embarrassed at the things I did and the things I said. Guilty, defeated. With all of my efforts, I couldn't control it. And one day I said, "God, I'm sorry. I just can't do it. I've tried, Lord. I just can't do it." And I gave up in despair ever hoping to have control over that temper.

And then the Spirit took over. And He did for me what I couldn't do for myself. And He took away the inward boiling, the inward steam. It wasn't a thing of my keeping the cap on the pressure, seething inside, ready to just explode, but just holding tight and keeping the lid on, you know. But somehow, the Spirit from within took away the pressure, the steam. And I could look at a situation or I could experience a situation where at one time I would have exploded violently into that ugliness. And there were no more explosions. And as I look from the mirror, I saw the Spirit's work in my life changing me into the image of Jesus.

How glorious it is when God works in us by His Spirit, bringing to pass those changes, removing the ugliness of the self-life and of the old life and conforming us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. And as David, "And I shall be satisfied, when I awake, in His likeness" ( Psalms 17:15 ).

Someday when I look in the mirror and I see the Lord, I'll be in glory at that point, but what a day that's going to be when the Spirit's job is finished in my life and I am completely conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, it does not yet appear what we're going to be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we will be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" ( 1 John 3:2 ). But thank God each day there are changes that are taking place, as the Spirit of God continues His work in my life, conforming me into the image of God's dear Son.

How does it happen? By just continuing to look to Jesus. When I look to myself, I can't do it. When I look to others to aid me, they can't do it. The only place that I can find really effective help is by looking to Jesus Christ. It seems that we want to look to man so quickly. "Oh, let's run down and counsel with a pastor on this. Let's see if he has some magic words that will change us."

We're always getting calls. The story goes basically like this: "I've talked to seven other pastors and they haven't been able to help me. Now I want to talk to Chuck." Hey, I'm sorry, friend, but I don't have any help either. I don't have any magic formulas. I don't have any magic words. Your changes that are so necessary are not going to come to pass through counseling sessions. Looking to man. Those changes that are necessary can only come to pass when you look to Jesus Christ.

I don't know where the church ever got messed up in these counseling programs. Getting people to depend upon the counselor to solve their problems. There is an interesting study that has just been released by, I think it's the Sells Eisnick report. Oh, it's really stirring things up something fierce. For they have made a pretty comprehensive study of people with mental problems who have turned to psychoanalysts to solve their problems. And they have found that when a person turns to a psychoanalyst to help them with their problem, in 45 percent of the cases, by the end of a year's therapy with a psychoanalysis, only 43 percent could quit counseling, were helped enough that they needed no more counsel. Only 43 percent.

Those who went to psychotherapists, it was a little better: 52 percent did not have to continue after a year. Those who could afford a psychiatrist came off a little better. For 61 percent who went to psychiatrists did not have to continue counseling after the year. However, those who didn't go to anybody, 73 percent didn't need any counseling at the end of the year.

As I said, this study is turning the whole field of psychology on its ear right now. It's really the big buzz through all the universities, the release of this report. But it's just pointing out what I am telling you. Your help is going to come from the Lord. It's looking unto Jesus that you're going to find your answers. And as long as you're looking unto man and trying to make a crutch out of some counselor, you're not going to make it. You've got to turn to Jesus and find the help that He offers. So, "we with open face beholding the glory of the Lord are then changed from glory to glory into the same image," as His Spirit is working within our hearts.

The best thing any counselor can do is make you dependent upon Jesus Christ. The greatest service any counselor can do for you is to bring you to Jesus Christ and to a dependency on Him, because He's the only One who's going to bring you any help.

Several years ago when I was counseling a psychiatrist, he made me a very lucrative offer to go into business with him. He wanted me to begin counseling in his offices. He had a clinic and he said, "I can give you the technical problem with that person. I can tell you what's gone wrong." But he said, "Having done that, I can't do much more." He said, "You have the answers. I want you to work for me."

But the answer is just pointing people to Jesus Christ. Get people to trust in Him. Get people to look to Him. "We with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being changed from glory to glory." The changes do take place as God's Spirit works in my life.


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The openness of Christian ministry 3:12-18

"If the keyword in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 is ’glory,’ the keyword for 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, of which 2 Corinthians 3:12-15 form the first part, is ’veil’; ’veil’-related words occur six times in these verses." [Note: Barnett, p. 188.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

One meaning of parrhesia ("boldness") is barefacedness. Paul could be barefaced in his confidence because of the permanent character of the covenant under which he ministered. Moses, in contrast, could not. He ministered with a literal veil over his face much of the time (Exodus 34:29-35). He removed the veil when he spoke with the people (Exodus 34:33) and when he spoke with God in the tabernacle. He wore it at other times evidently to teach the Israelites’ their unworthiness to behold God’s glory. Paul used this difference in ministry to illustrate the superior nature of the New Covenant.

Moses also put a veil over his face so the departure of the fading glory that he had received would not discourage the Israelites. The Old Testament does not say that was his reason. It implies that Moses covered his face so the Israelites would not see the glory that was there. Perhaps Paul meant that the consequence of Moses’ putting the veil over his face was that the Israelites could not see the fading of his facial glory. [Note: J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 4 vols., vol. 3: Syntax, by Nigel Turner, p. 144.] Paul’s implication then was that Christians can behold God’s glory more fully in the New Covenant, and it will not fade away.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face,.... This he did, because there was such a glory upon his face when he came down from the mount, that the Israelites could not bear to look upon him; and also to take off that dread of him which was upon them, for they were afraid to come nigh him; and that so they might be able to hearken and attend to the words of the law, he delivered to them: the account of Moses's putting on this veil is in Exodus 34:33 where Onkelos renders it by בית אפי, "the house of the face", or a "mask": and Jarchi on the place says it was a "garment", which he put before his face; and both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it

סודרא, "a linen cloth": now this veil upon his face had a mystery in it; it was an emblem of the Gospel being veiled under the law, and of the darkness and obscurity of the law in the business of life and salvation; and also of the future blindness of the Jews, when the glory of the Gospel should break forth in the times of Christ and his apostles; and which was such,

that the children of Israel, the Jews, as in the times of Moses, so in the times of Christ and his apostles,

could not steadfastly look to; not upon the face of Moses, whose face was veiled; not that they might not look, but because they could not bear to look upon him; but they could not look

to the end of that which is abolished; that is, to Christ, who is the end of the law, which is abrogated by him: to him they could not look, nor could they see him to be the fulfilling end of the law for righteousness; which being fulfilled, is done away by him; and this because of the blindness of their hearts, of which blindness the veil on Moses' face was typical: though the Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, "to the face of him which is abolished".

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Superiority of the Gospel. A. D. 57.

      12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:   13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:   14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.   15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.   16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.   17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.   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.

      In these verses the apostle draws two inferences from what he had said about the Old and New Testament:--

      I. Concerning the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness or clearness of speech. They ought not, like Moses, to put a veil upon their faces, or obscure and darken those things which they should make plain. The gospel is a more clear dispensation than the law; the things of God are revealed in the New Testament, not in types and shadows, and ministers are much to blame if they do not set spiritual things, and gospel-truth and grace, in the clearest light that is possible. Though the Israelites could not look stedfastly to the end of what was commanded, but is now abolished, yet we may. We may see the meaning of those types and shadows by the accomplishment, seeing the veil is done away in, Christ and he is come, who was the end of the law for righteousness to all those who believe, and whom Moses and all the prophets pointed to, and wrote of.

      II. Concerning the privilege and advantage of those who enjoy the gospel, above those who lived under the law. For, 1. Those who lived under the legal dispensation had their minds blinded (2 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 3:14), and there was a veil upon their hearts,2 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Corinthians 3:15. Thus it was formerly, and so it was especially as to those who remained in Judaism after the coming of the Messiah and the publication of his gospel. Nevertheless, the apostle tells us, there is a time coming when this veil also shall be taken away, and when it (the body of that people) shall turn to the Lord,2 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:16. Or, when any particular person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away; the blindness of the mind, and the hardness of the heart, are cured. 2. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is much more happy. For, (1.) They have liberty: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, and where he worketh, as he does under the gospel-dispensation, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 3:17), freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, and from the servitude of corruption; liberty of access to God, and freedom of speech in prayer. The heart is set at liberty, and enlarged, to run the ways of God's commandments. (2.) They have light; for with open face we behold the glory of the Lord,2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18. The Israelites saw the glory of God in a cloud, which was dark and dreadful; but Christians see the glory of the Lord as in a glass, more clearly and comfortably. It was the peculiar privilege of Moses for God to converse with him face to face, in a friendly manner; but now all true Christians see him more clearly with open face. He showeth them his glory. (3.) This light and liberty are transforming; we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18), from one degree of glorious grace unto another, till grace here be consummated in glory for ever. How much therefore should Christians prize and improve these privileges! We should not rest contented without an experimental knowledge of the transforming power of the gospel, by the operation of the Spirit, bringing us into a conformity to the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.