Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

In Other Words. . . Acknowledge Sin - Gain Freedom!

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 04 November 2008

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
~ II Corinthians 3:17

. . . in its proper and accurate context, this verse is an explanation of the previous several verses.

In verse 13, Paul points out that back in the Old Testament when God spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses’ face shown with a reflection of the Glory of God, and Moses would put a veil on his face so that the people would not see the glory fade away. . . for whatever reason. I think theologian's debate over this. Nonetheless. . .

Paul interprets this as a picture of the hardness of the minds of the people: "Their minds were hardened" (v. 14). And he compares it to the fact that there is still a veil between the people’s minds and the true meaning of the law of God in Scripture. Verse 14b: "Until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted."

In other words. . . the true meaning of the law is veiled (i.e., hidden) to the minds of the Jewish people (and Gentiles!) -- until they turn to the Messiah. Verse 14c: "Because [the veil] is removed in Christ."

Verse 16 says: "Whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." In other words, in Christ the mind is freed to see the true meaning of the Old Testament law. The veil of hardness is removed.
. . . And verse 17 gives an explanation of why that is -- because

". . . the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

The apostle reminds the Corinthians that, though the veil is over their minds, the Lord is in their hearts and the hope of freedom comes from that great fact. He also brings out the fact that the Lord IS the Spirit.

He’s not confusing the Trinity here. He’s just saying that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are so identified in both purpose and function that they seem to be the same.

“Walking in fellowship with Christ,” and “Walking in the fullness of the Spirit” are not two separate experiences. They are the same.

When we walk in fellowship with Christ, the veil has been removed and we have liberty.

We have freedom!

We have nothing to hide!

What do you hide? Anything? I have often thought that the blog-world is a wonderful place to hide.

In fact, there have been many times over the last 3 years that I have regretted using my real name because I’d like to be more hidden.

This is exactly what Paul is talking about. When a person if free, they don’t have to defend their reputation. They don’t have to hide behind an image. They have nothing to preserve. They can be themselves. That is what freedom is.

Here’s the sad part of living in today's society: “Having freedom” is interpreted as “Being Yourself.” And we're told that the way to be achieve this is to think about “me" and "my" goodness and "my" needs and "my" advantage, "my" efforts, and then defend and demand them.

Good Grief! Does this sound remotely familiar? Does the word "entitlement" mean anything? Does the phrase "felt-needs" mean anything? How about "New Evangelicalism?"

I won't go here now. If you're interested in that, just visit the Index.

The Word of God teaches freedom as an entirely different process. . . . Altogether different from the world's way.

The way to be yourself . . . the way to have real freedom . . . is to NOT be afraid to look at -- acknowledge -- and accept all the evil that is possible in our hearts and in our lives.

To the world, "having freedom" often (way too often!) includes freedom from the condemnation of sin. That's just flat-out against Scripture. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." To reject sin is to reject God and His Glory and . . . Freedom!

Unless we acknowledge and look directly at the sin in our lives, we have no way to comprehend - appreciate - realize - and receive the acceptance and approval of God. And without Him, there is no freedom, because . . .

. . . the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
~ II Corinthians 3:17

~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2008 The Heart of a Pastor’s Wife

For More “In Other Words,” visit Karen at In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus


Denise said...

You are very wise, be blessed.

Lynnette Kraft said...

What an awesome post. I know, there was SO much more to the scripture than it first appeared. I was just kind of like - okaaaay???

But, with my daughter's help (ha! She studied it very thoroughly and is joining us today) - I began to understand it at least a little bit. Your post is exactly what my daughter explained to me! (Humbling experience) :)

Anyway, thank you for sharing!

I always enjoy your take on the quotes!

Have a great day.

Karen said...

We have freedom, we have nothing to hide, PRAISE THE LORD!

MiPa said...

Well said. Thank you!

Ava Semerau said...

Your post brought to mind 1 Corinthians 10:23 - "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive." True spiritual freedom is listening to God's voice telling us which is which.

It's another thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Thanks - AVA

Betsy Markman said...

Amen! So nice to see a strong Biblical approach to the text. And I'm 100% with you on the need to see our sin and get away from self-absorption! Always a pleasure to find a kindred spirit. Thanks for posting!

Abigail Kraft said...

Lovely interpretation of this scripture. I'm so glad that you got into the context of the verse...I think it is just that much more powerful taken in the way it was originally meant.

I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. :)

In His arms,

Laurie Ann said...

Wise words, Esthermay. I'll take freedom in Christ over freedom in the world any day!

Laurie Ann said...

Not usually a P. S. 'er, but I wanted you to know I corrected Hebrew to read Greek. Something in your post made me think...urp.

Your comment was precious to me! Thank you so much for your encouragement, Esthermay!

Barbara said...

You got it right! But you just get going at the end and then sign your name. Most of us can't hear a sermon about sin to save our soul. We've got to go to the bloggers to hear the salvation mesage. No wonder the world's a mess. Thanks again for wonderful post.

Susan said...

wow, this was great!!! Thanks for taking the time to share this.

Blessings to you this day.

mholgate said...

Praise God for Freedom in Christ! What a wise, insightful post. Tell me, what tools, if any, do you use to study your bible?

kalopoieo said...

Don't know what "In Other Words" is all about, but you do have great discernment and I agree with Barbara - you quit too soon. And I agree with mholgate too because I'm always interested to know what study tools good teachers use.

Freedom in Jesus Christ is the only thing that keeps some of us sane in this world. Great post.

Candy said...

I visited your blog last month when you addressed the abortion issue. I'm just back to let you know I voted today for McCain-Palin. I went with my mom and she cried.

I hope you and your husband can dance in the street tonight!
Thank you for the incredible ministry you have with your blog.


Andrea said...

I always enjoy reading your posts. This was good.

I'm praying praying praying that you can dance in the street with your husband. That's sweet. :-)

Heather said...

i've been reading your posts the last several days. i very much enjoy them. i've been forwarding them to my husband and he's been enjoying them too. i added you to my favorites on my blog. oh, and i left you an award tonight on my blog. enjoy!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Keep speaking the truth. Question: what do you make of the veil over believers eyes yesterday?

Page Navigation