Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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it is through the Spirit that we behold-and are being transformed into-the glory of the Lord

It is in the flow of It 10:32 AM Tuesday morning West Michigan. I am down in the lower level writing on one of my lap top computers. I am down here because upstairs Carol is having a coffee time with some of her cousins on her Dad's side of the family the Taylor's. So I am down here looking at my books and waiting to go out into the rain soaked world.

I have been looking at these books this morning down here in the lower level (open basement).

"The End Of The Law: Mosaic Covenant In Pauline Theology" by Jason C. Meyer

"Sanctification: Explorations In Theology And Practice" Edited By Kelly M. Kapic

"The King In His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments" by Thomas R. Schreiner

"Commentary On Hebrews" by Thomas R. Schreiner (Biblical Theology For Christian Proclamation)

"Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God" by Gordon D. Fee

I think the rain has cleared up and some sun is appearing out of the clouds. I will close with a quote from the book "Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God" by Fee.

"The Spirit and the New Covenant
Even though it was God's presence that distinguished Israel as God's own people, their identity as that people was bound up with their obedience to the Torah, the law. Itinerant Jewish Christians were forever dogging Paul's heels, entering his churches and arguing that for believers in Christ to be identified with God's people they must also observe Torah. On the contrary, Paul argues, the Spirit, and the Spirit alone, identifies the people of God under the new covenant.

The failure of the former covenant, the covenant of law, was that even though the Torah was "Spiritual" in the sense that it came by way of Spirit-inspiration (Rom 7:14), and even though it came with glory (2 Cor 3:7), it was not accompanied by the empowering Spirit. Indeed, it was written on stone tablets, which for Paul represented its deadness, its basic inability to set people free. It has become a covenant of letter (a merely written code of laws requiring obedience) leading to death (Rom 2:29; 7:6; 2 Cor 3:5-6); and a veil like that which covered Moses' face to hide the fading glory now covers the hearts of all who hear it read (2 Cor 3:14).

In contrast, the new covenant, by means of the life-giving Spirit, is written on "tablets of human hearts" (2 Cor 3:3); its rite of "circumcision" is by the Spirit and "of the heart" (Rom 2:29). The gospel and its ministry are accompanied by a much greater and more enduring glory, the ministry of the Spirit himself (2 Cor 3:8). The new covenant is life-giving, because its content, Christ, is administered by the Spirit. It is through the Spirit that we behold-and are being transformed into-the glory of the Lord (2 Cor 3:4-18). The promised new covenant has replaced the old, and the gift of the Spirit proved it.

Essential to this view of things is Paul's understanding of the gift of the Spirit as fulfillment of the new covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which had come to be read in light of Ezekiel 36:26-37:14. The reason for a new covenant was the failure of the old to produce a truly meaningful righteousness, a righteousness coming from an obedient heart, rather than dutiful observances-as though God's people could be identified by circumcision, the observance of days, and food laws. The Old Testament itself is abundantly clear that God's intent with Torah was for his character to be revealed in the way his people worshiped and lived, hence the crucial role to be played by the Spirit.

The Spirit promised as part of the new covenant would produce the righteousness the former covenant called for but failed to produce. The Spirit has now been experienced by Jew and Gentile alike, and that quit apart from Torah. Thus the Spirit, as the eschatological fulfillment of the promised new covenant, plays a central role in Paul's argumentation whenever Gentiles inclusion, Torah-free, is the issue." pg. 100, 101 Gordon D. Fee "Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God"

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