Are we beginning again to tell you how good we are? Some people need to bring letters of recommendation with them or ask you to write letters of recommendation for them.
But the only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves! Your lives are a letter written in our a hearts, and everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ prepared by us. It is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on stone, but on human hearts.
We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God.
He is the one who has enabled us to represent his new covenant. This is a covenant, not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old way ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives life.
That old system of law etched in stone led to death, yet it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.
Shouldn't we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life?
If the old covenant, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God!
In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new covenant.
So if the old covenant, which has been set aside, was full of glory, then the new covenant, which remains forever, has far greater glory.
Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.
We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory fading away.
But the people's minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.
Yes, even today when they read Moses' writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away.
Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.
And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect b the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)