Paul proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom in terms of relationships. In 2 Corinthians 3 his focus is on God’s relationship with His Old Covenant people under the Law in contrast to God’s relationship with us in the Spirit.
1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men, 3 being revealed that you are a letter of Messiah, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh. 2 Cor 3:1-3
Paul tells the Corinthians and us we are a letter of Messiah written with the Spirit. The Law of the Old Covenant was written on tables of stone. The grace of the New Covenant is written in our hearts with the Spirit of the living God.
4 Such confidence we have through Messiah toward God, 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:4-6
The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Paul proclaims the difference in Romans 8.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; 4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; 7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile toward God; for it is not subject to God’s Torah, neither indeed can it be. 8 Those who are in the flesh can’t please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Messiah, he is not his. 10 If Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory? 9 For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses. 11 For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13 and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. 14 But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Messiah it passes away. 15 But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:7-17
The Law written engraved on stones came with glory.
When Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, Moses and the Israelites saw the glorious presence/Sh’kkinah/shechinah of God. God’s presence terrified the people. “All of Mount Sinai smoked, because the LORD descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly” (Ex 19:18). “All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance” (Ex 20:18). While Moses was on the mountain, they made a golden calf to worship. When Moses came down and saw their idolatry, he thru down the tablets of stone and broke them. God was going to destroy them, but Moses interceded and God relented. Then God called Moses to the mountain a second time and again gave him the tables of stone. When Moses came down from the mountain the second time, his face was so radiant the people begged him to put a veil over his face (Ex 34:29-35).
The service of the Spirit is with much more glory.
The glory of the old covenant was passing away and the service of the Spirit is more glorious. “For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.”
Our righteousness is God’s covenant justice in action. Through the act of God’s covenant justice, God declares us to be in the right (Ro 3:25). He also gave us faith to believe it (Eph 2:8-9).
In Messiah, the mental veil passes away and we are transformed into the His image from glory to glory
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:16-17
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers [adelphos-siblings, brothers and sisters, fellow Christians]. 30 Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified. Ro 8:28-30
All Scripture quoted is from World Messianic Bible WMB