For today’s devotional, I wanted to remind my readers that we are under the new covenant. What I mean is simple, being under Christ in the new covenant means that we are no longer to be hidden under the veil of the Old Testament. We are no longer under “The Law” because Christ fulfilled it. Yet, what is turning more people away from the church today is the church itself. More specifically, the body of believers that have become legalistic and their hearts have hardened just like the early Jewish people.
In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, Paul is speaking to the church in Corinth. He was reminding the early church that the law of Moses hardened the hearts of the people and was of condemnation. What he meant by this is that “The Law” opened the people’s minds to know what sin was and how to act, however, it also hardened their hearts because they were always judging one another. This led to so much legalism and the creations of so many laws that no man could honestly be found righteous. So, the people grew cold towards one another and to outsiders. Paul called this having “a veil over their hearts.” Their minds were free to see the Lord and know His commands but their hearts kept them from feeling the love through His Spirit.
Paul then continues to explain to the church that through Christ is liberty. There is freedom no longer living under the veil of the Old Testament because we are all provided the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our sins are forgiven and we are able to exchange that sin with Christ’s righteousness. This exchange allows for the transforming power of Jesus Christ to work in us and through us. However, why are so many of us forgetting to lift the veil over our hearts? Our covenant is not one of condemnation but of mercy, grace,and forgiveness. Yet, I keep seeing believers just as legalistic as the Jewish people in Paul’s time. We as a church body have placed so many rules and regulations on the people that have led them feeling so short that they won’t even grace the doors of a church building. We judge, we gossip, and we condemn others in such a manner that I wonder if we truly lifted the veil over our hearts when we said “I do” to Christ. Why hasn’t our change taken place? We are no better than we were without Christ if we do not allow Him to work in us.
The reason why I am writing this is not to condemn people but to bring this real issue to light. Our Gospel is not one of legalism, ceremony, and tradition; it is a Gospel of the glory of our savior Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that allowed us to be in fellowship with the Father once again. It is a Gospel of the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, modesty, self-control, and chastity). Our Gospel is not one of condemnation and judgment, and we need to remember this simple truth. When we can do this, our actions will reflect the Gospel instead of our words. This is what it means to be a new covenant believer. The old is dead and gone, and we are made into a new creation. This can not happen if we continue to allow our hearts to stay hardened. We need to be able to walk out our faith instead of speaking about it with others. This is what Paul was telling the early church and this is what I want to share with you all today.
So for today’s prayer, I just ask for the Lord to remove the veil that covers many of our hearts. I pray for the Holy Spirit to allow us to share our personal transformation in Christ with others. I pray that the same mercy, love, and grace that we hold dear in our hearts to be mirrored to those around us. I pray that we can be the generation to stop allowing our own legalisms (traditions) from keeping the church pews from growing, and people from being reached. I pray that we can all come together in prayer and live out our faith instead of just talking about it. This is how we can change this generation for the better. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.