- ¶ DO we begin again to commend ourselves?
Or do we need, as some others do, epistles of commendation concerning us written to you, or that you should write commending us?
- You are our epistle written in our hearts, well-known and read by all men;
- For you are known to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God;
not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of the living heart.
- Such is the trust that we have through Christ toward God.
- Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves;
but our strength comes from God,
- ¶ Who has made us worthy to be ministers of the new covenant;
not of the letter, but of the Spirit;
for the letter of the law punishes with death, but the Spirit gives life.
- Now if the ministration of death, as contained in the letter of the law and engraved on stones, was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was not lasting,
- Why then shall not the ministration of the Spirit be more glorious?
- For if there be glory in the ministration of condemnation, much more will the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
- Just as that which was not glorious became glorified;
in comparison with that, this excels in glory.
- For if that which was not lasting was glorious, much more glorious will that be which endures.
- ¶ Seeing therefore that we have such hope, we conduct ourselves bravely;
- And not as Moses who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel might not look upon the fulness of the glory which was not lasting;
- But their minds were blinded;
for to this day, when the Old Testament is read, the same veil rests over them, and it is not known to them that the veil has been removed through Christ.
- But even to this day, whenever the books of Moses are read, the veil is upon their hearts.
- Nevertheless whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
- Now the Lord is that very Spirit;
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
- But we all, with open faces, see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, and we shall be transformed into the same likeness, from one glory to another, just as the Spirit comes from the Lord.