1 Am I beginning again to 'commend' myself? Do I need, like some people, to be commended by written certificates either to you or from you? 2 Why, you are my certificate yourselves, written on my heart, recognized and read by all men; 3 you make it obvious that you are a letter of Christ which I have been employed to inscribe, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of the human heart.
4 Such is the confidence I possess through Christ in my service of God. 5 It is not that I am personally qualified to form any judgment by myself; my qualifications come from God, 6 and he has further qualified me to be the minister of a new covenant ??a covenant not of written law but of spirit; for the written law kills but the Spirit makes alive.
7 Now if the administration of death which was engraved in letters of stone, was invested with glory ??so much so, that the children of Israel could not gaze at the face of Moses on account of the dazzling glory that was fading from his face; 8 surely the administration of the Spirit must be invested with still greater glory. 9 If there was glory in the administration that condemned, then the administration that acquits abounds far more in glory 10 (indeed, in view of the transcendent glory, what was glorious has thus no glory at all); 11 if what faded had its glory, then what lasts will be invested with far greater glory.
12 Such being my hope then, I am quite frank and open ??13 not like Moses, who used to hang a veil over his face to keep the children of Israel from gazing at the last rays of a fading glory. 14 Besides, their minds were dulled, for to this very day, when the Old Testament is read aloud, the same veil hangs. Veiled from them the fact that the glory fades in Christ! 15 Yes, down to this day, whenever Moses is read aloud, the veil rests on their heart; 16 though whenever they turn to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 (The Lord means the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is open freedom.) 18 But we all mirror the glory of the Lord with face unveiled, and so we are being transformed into the same likeness as himself, passing from one glory to another ??for this comes of the Lord the Spirit.