Changed into Jesus’ Image

Key Verse: “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
—II Corinthians 3:18

Selected Scripture:
II Corinthians 3:1-18

IN TODAY’S LESSON, PAUL asserts the best “epistle,” or message, which can be given as respects reaching the hearts of men is the life of a true Christian who is living to glorify the Heavenly Father. This will be beneficial to himself and to the person to whom he ministers.—II Cor. 3:1,2

“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament [Greek: covenant]; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”—vss. 3-6

In elaborating further on this matter, Paul explains that the Law Covenant ministered only condemnation to death to those under it. However, the glory of the New Covenant, as yet only apprehended by faith, will be far superior to the typical character of what Moses portrayed as Israel’s mediator.—vss. 7-9

All of the present advantages of health, comfort, or worldly joy will be nothing when compared to the spiritual glory. The Apostle Paul’s life exemplified this attitude. He said of himself, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: … not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:7-11) This will be far more wonderful than the human perfection to which mankind in general will be restored, and it will also surpass the resurrection of the faithful worthy ones of old.—Heb. 11:39,40

We must possess a faith that will earnestly endeavor to bring our whole life into harmony with our beliefs. Thus, if we have received the spirit of sonship and have become children of God, we must walk as such, being “followers of God, as dear children,” rather than walking as others walk, “in the vanity of their mind.” (Eph. 5:1; 4:17) If we believe we have been honored by being made the Lord’s ambassadors, we will “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”—Col. 3:17

Since our faith is based on the fact that Jesus gave himself “a ransom for all,” we must tell how, in due time, a blessing is to come to all. (I Tim. 2:5,6) If we believe the end of the age has come, we must live in accord with its implications: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?” (II Pet. 3:11) Our Key Verse foretells the glorious future of the saints who will make their calling and election sure by being conformed to the image of God’s dear Son.