“For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:9)
More often than not, the Law of God is completely misunderstood. For the world, this can be understandable; but for the Church, which is to be the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), this ought not to be.
When the world looks at the Law of God, usually what will come to mind are ten steps for them to earn God’s approval. So they try to follow these steps, fail in their endeavor to do so, and eventually give up; finding themselves running the same circle over and over again. They fail to see the principle which the Law of God teaches to every true born-again saint of God.
“The ministration of condemnation” was the office of ministry in which Moses stood, being “faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:5). Though Old Testament Israel of Moses’ day was blind, as the world of our day is; the Church has been granted the perception of truth. The vail has been removed from the Bride of Christ; and we are now “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:19).
As we do so, the Word of God says, we are being changed into the same image, moving from the glory of the ministration of condemnation unto the glory of the ministration of righteousness; which we know to be accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord.
“And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
As the ministration of righteousness has a law which is known as “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25), or “the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2); the ministration of condemnation has a law as well, known as “the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones” (2 Corinthians 3:7). The focus of this law being “the letter (that) killeth” (2 Corinthians 3:6c); while the focus of the Law of Christ through the ministration of righteousness being “the spirit (that) giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6d).
As there is a purpose in the ministration of righteousness, that purpose being to manifest the love and life of Christ through the Spirit; so there is also a purpose in the letter of the ministration of condemnation.
Observe the following:
The first thing we’ll see in the Scriptures that the letter of the ministration of condemnation accomplishes is revealing to mankind the knowledge of sin.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
God did not intend for His Holy Law to be a ten step guide to salvation. No, Never! God’s Law cannot save anyone – neither was it meant to. The purpose in God’s Law was to give us knowledge of God’s righteousness; but it has no power to manifest that righteousness, because of the weakness of the flesh. As God uses His Word through the Spirit, uses the law of sin and death in the nature of the flesh, and uses the painful agonizing experiences within the life of an Elect Child of God – the child will come to realize the next purpose of God’s Holy Law.
Secondly, the letter of the law reveals to us that we are sinners by nature. We come to the realization that in us (that is, in our flesh), dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). The reason the world keeps looking to God’s Law with an attempt to perform it, but finding their inability to do so – is in the fact that they have a nature that is at enmity with the Law of God (Romans 8:7). God’s Law is holy and just and good (Romans 7:12). It was ordained to life; but humanity finds it to only reveal death, because of the law of sin and death in our members (that is, in our flesh).
Take a child, for example. If you put a child in a room by himself and give him the command, “Don’t touch the red button”; you do nothing but entice the child to do exactly the opposite. Then you have the God-given responsibility to discipline the child; giving him understanding of the love and best interest you have in your heart for the child.
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
The child’s spirit must be broken, because his nature is rebellion and lawlessness. In our natural state (that is, in our flesh), the passion for sinning is aroused by the law, bringing a manifestation of sinfulness. But once we are born of the Holy Spirit, we then are empowered by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. This bring us to our final point of the purpose of the ministration of condemnation.
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;” (Romans 3:21)
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)
Finally, we see that God’s Holy Law points mankind to Jesus. We need a Savior; One who can pick us up out of the muck and mire of our sin; One who can set our feet on a solid rock, and establish our goings.
Jesus was born of a virgin to become the very Manifestation of the Law of God in the flesh; being tempted in all points, as we are; yet without sin. He then went to Calvary as the Lamb of God, bearing the sin of the world, and taking the Judgment of God for a broken Law that He honored unto death. Fifty days later, after rising from the dead, on the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2; we find the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus swallowing up the law of sin and death in Victory. Christ is the Solution that fixes our sin problem. And He is calling on us to call on the Name of the Lord from our hearts. And the Scriptures declare:
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
The world, which continues to go in circles, endeavoring to keep ten commands to merit God’s favor, needs to look in the mirror of God’s Holy Law and see themselves as sinners in the Light of that Law.
In doing so, they will find themselves at the foot of Calvary’s Cross, as God crucifies their old man in Christ, so that they can live the Life of God through Christ by the Power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.