Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

When Moses Is Read 

But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.    2 Corinthians 3:15


In this chapter, Paul contrasts the fist and second covenants. When he says, “When Moses is read,” he means when the law is read for the purpose of seeking to obey it to please God.


The veil is a reference to the veil Moses put over his face so the Israelites could not see the glory that had come upon him fading away. The fading away of the glory on the countenance of Moses was a symbol of the fading away of the first covenant, which God was establishing with the Israelites through him.


Earlier in the chapter Paul had written that the law “kills” (verse 6), and the law was “passing away” (verse 13). In 1 Corinthians 15:56, Paul writes, “The strength of sin is the law.”


Paul writes in verse 14, “For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament,” and in verse 15, he writes, “But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.” With these two statements, Paul is saying that anyone reading and attempting to keep the Ten Commandments in his own strength does not know that the first covenant has passed away.


In verse 16, Paul writes, “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”


He adds in verse 17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” With the presence of the Spirit of God in our lives, we follow His directions, and we are free from the law.


Romans 8:4 says that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in those who walk according to the Spirit but is not fulfilled in those who walk according to the flesh—meaning trying to keep the law in their own strength.