How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be more glorious?
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It is obvious that the grace of the law of faith is greater than that of the law of Moses. For although the law of Moses was intended to be beneficial, it became the law of death because it was flouted. Then, because there was no way it could make provision for sinners to be saved, there came the law of faith, which not only forgives sinners but also makes them righteous. There is therefore a great deal of difference between one law and the other. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles. ...
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? This glory of the evangelical law of righteousness was seen in the mighty wind and the different tongues of fire which, when the new law was promulgated, glorified the Apostles before all nations. It was seen too in the gifts of tongues, of prophecy, &c, which used to descend visibly on Christians, as appears from 1 Corinthians 14:26; even as now the graces, gifts and virtues of the Holy Spirit are received invisibly.
So that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance. God as a sun so brilliantly shone on the face of Moses on the mount that his face shone as a second sun. The Vulgate rendering of Exodus 34:29 is that "he wist not that his face was horned while He talked with him," where the "horns" of course refer to the appearance of rays of light.
Which glory was to be done away. This bright glory left Moses when he was dying, to signify that the old law wou...
Now by ministration of death he means the Law. And mark too how great the caution he uses in the comparison so as to give no handle to the heretics; for he said not, 'which causes death,' but, the ministration of death; for it ministers unto, but was not the parent of, death; for that which caused death was sin; but [the Law] brought in the punishment, and showed the sin, not caused it. For it more distinctly revealed the evil and punished it: it did not impel unto the evil: and it ministered not to the existence of sin or death, but to the suffering of retribution by the sinner. So that in this way it was even destructive of sin. For that which shows it to be so fearful, it is obvious, makes it also to be avoided. As then he that takes the sword in his hands and cuts off the condemned, ministers to the judge that passes sentence, and it is not he that is his destruction, although he cuts him off; nay, nor yet is it he who passes sentence and condemns, but the wickedness of him that is...
Paul shows the results of both dispensations, but whereas in the former instance he concentrates on those results—death and separation from God—in the latter case he concentrates on the Spirit himself.