LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: LIVING BEYOND CONDEMNATION
We continue our series “Liberty and Justice for All” with the sermon, “Living Beyond Condemnation.” This has been an unparalleled time in our society. Everyone can sympathize and mourn the injustices of our past, but each day brings a weight of condemnation and an attempt to shame a person, a past, or a political view. Many of us feel overwhelmed by the pandemic and the protests that have engulfed our nation! Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:9-4:2, has come through a season of being overwhelmed. He was brought so low, that he wanted to give up! But he did not, because of the power of the Holy Spirit. To make matters worse, the Corinthians had received letters condemning this Apostle and the Gospel that he preached! In these verses, Paul tells the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit makes our spirit come to life through grace and forgiveness. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we find hope and transformation! He shares with them a path to lift the weight of condemnation and to be infused with God’s goodness. As you read 2 Corinthians 3:9-4:2, we pray that your burden of fear will be lifted by the presence of the living God. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 4:1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.