Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 3:18 Paul says, “And we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” We have seen that, as a pattern of a person who lives Christ for the church, Paul was daily experiencing transformation. Transformation in 3:18, a metabolic change, is from glory to glory, that is, from the Lord Spirit to the Lord Spirit. We covered these matters in the previous message. In this message we shall consider how to be transformed from glory to glory.
As the title of this message indicates, we are transformed by beholding and reflecting the glory of the Lord. We are transformed not only by seeing the Lord, but also by reflecting Him. A mirror has the capacity both to behold an object and to reflect it. The English words “beholding and reflecting as a mirror” are the translation of a single word in Greek. The use of this word in 3:18 is metaphorical. On the one hand, a mirror beholds a person or an object. On the other hand, a mirror reflects what it beholds. These are the two aspects of the function of a mirror. Whenever you stand before a mirror, that mirror beholds you and also reflects you. Because the mirror functions in these two aspects, you can see yourself in it.
In our experience we all should be mirrors looking at the Lord and reflecting Him. However, if we would be mirrors beholding and reflecting the glory of the Lord, we must not have any veils over us. Suppose a mirror is proper in every way. It is in the right position with respect to the object it is to behold and reflect. But the mirror is covered with a veil. As long as a mirror is covered with cloth, veiled, it loses its function. The veil keeps the mirror both from beholding and from reflecting. Likewise, if we are veiled, we cannot behold and reflect the Lord’s glory.
If, by the mercy and grace of the Lord, all the veils are removed, we shall be mirrors beholding and reflecting Him with unveiled face. As a mirror, are you veiled or unveiled? If you are veiled, you may call on the name of the Lord and still not behold Him. If we would behold and reflect the Lord, all the veils must be removed. Every one of us needs to be fully unveiled.
Many Christians cannot behold and reflect the Lord because they are covered by a thick veil or perhaps several layers of veils. Consider how many people there are in today’s Catholicism, and how many have been veiled by the influence of Catholicism. Suppose there were no such thing as Catholicism and all those in Catholicism were unbelievers who did not know anything about God. How much easier it would be to preach the gospel to them and bring them to the Lord! Many would be quick to receive and understand spiritual things. However, if you try to speak to those in Catholicism concerning God’s New Testament economy, you will discover that the majority are veiled. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for them to see the things of Christ in a genuine way.
A particular brother in the Lord’s recovery was raised a Catholic. As a child he even served as an altar boy. But when he was in high school, he received the Lord Jesus into him and was genuinely saved. Happy and very excited, he told others of his experience with the Lord. He said, “Now I have the Lord Jesus!” But one of his relatives pointed to an image of Jesus on the wall and replied that they already had Jesus. To be sure, that person was covered by a thick veil! I use this as an illustration of the fact that religion has caused a great number of people to be veiled. These veils keep them from seeing the Lord.
Those without a religious background often find it easier to enter into the truths of the New Testament than those who were raised in either Catholicism or Protestantism. Nevertheless, even those without a religious background may still be under the influence of religion. Even before certain ones became Christians, they had some concept concerning the way people worship God. They may already have the thought that in a Christian service of worship there is a pastor who does certain things and that the congregation will pray or sing in a certain way. Even those who are not Christians are affected or influenced by religious concepts. These concepts can be veils.
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