2 Corinthians 3 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 Does it sound like we're patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we're not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. 1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?
2 You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.
3 Christ himself wrote it - not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives - and we publish it. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 We couldn't be more sure of ourselves in this - that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. 4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.
5 We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
6 His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives! 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses' face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,
8 How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit? 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
9 If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? 9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
10 Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
11 If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity? 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
13 Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn't notice that the glory was fading away - 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.
14 and they didn't notice. They didn't notice it then and they don't notice it now, don't notice that there's nothing left behind that veil. 14 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.
15 Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can't see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there's nothing there. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are - face to face! 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.