Consider the following scriptures and then ask yourself, “Why doesn’t Christendom (or the Christian religion) have the real answers?”
Nor do you really allow his word to find a home in your hearts, for you refuse to believe the man whom he has sent. You pore over the scriptures for you imagine that you will find eternal life in them. All the time they give their testimony to me, but you are not willing to come to me and have real life! (John 5.38-40).
Remind your people of things like this, and tell them as before God not to fight wordy battles, which help no one and may undermine the faith of those who hear them. For yourself, concentrate on winning God’s approval, on being a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, and who knows how to use the word of truth to the best advantage. But steer clear of these unchristian babblings, which in practice lead further and further away from Christian living. (2Tim 2.14-16).
Then consider these verses:
It is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the prudence of the prudent will I reject.
For consider, what have the philosopher, the writer and the critic of this world to show for all their wisdom? Has not God made the wisdom of this world look foolish? For it was after the world in its wisdom had failed to know God, that he in his wisdom chose to save all who would believe by the “simple-mindedness” of the gospel message. For the Jews ask for miraculous proofs and the Greeks an intellectual panacea, but all we preach is Christ crucified – a stumbling block to the Jews and sheer nonsense to the gentiles, but for those who are called, whether Jews or Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. And this is really only natural, for God’s “foolishness” is wiser than men, and his “weakness” is stronger than men (1Cor 1.19-25).
It is these things that we talk about, not using the expressions of the human intellect but those which the Holy Spirit teaches us, explaining spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
But the unspiritual man simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with – they just don’t make sense to him, for, after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things. The spiritual man, on the other hand, has an insight into the meaning of everything, though his insight may baffle the man of the world. This is because the former is sharing in God’s wisdom, and
Who hath known the mind of the Lord,
That he should instruct him?
Nevertheless, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ! (1Cor 2.13-16)
The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness – the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son to live in sinful human nature like ours. (Rom 8.3).
For the grace of God, which can save every man, has now been shown for all men, and it teaches us to have no more to do with godlessness or the desires of this world, but to live, here and now, responsible, honourable and God-fearing lives. And while we live this life we hope and wait for the glorious denouement (untangling of the plot) of the great God and of Christ Jesus our Saviour. For he gave himself for us, that he might set us free from all evil ways and make for himself a people of his own, clean and pure, with hearts set upon living a life that is good (Tit 2.11-14).
God, who gave to our forefathers many different glimpses of the truth in the words of the prophets, has now, at the end of the present age, given us the truth in the Son. Through the Son God made the whole universe, and to the Son he has ordained that all creation shall ultimately belong. This Son, radiance of the glory of God, flawless expression of the nature of God, himself the upholding power of all that is, having effected in person the cleansing of men’s sin, took his seat at the right hand of the majesty on high – thus proving himself, by the more glorious name that he had been given, far greater than all the angels of God (Heb 1.1-4)
So it could be said that Jesus actually used the Old Covenant to underline the failure of all works based religion.
For while the Law was given by Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1.17).
And while it is true that the former glory has been eclipsed by the latter, we do well to remember that it is eclipsed because the present and permanent is so much more glorious than the old and the transient. With this hope in our hearts we are quite frank and open in our ministry. We are not like Moses, who veiled his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing its fading glory. But it was their minds really which were blinded, for even today when the old agreement is read to them there is still a veil over their minds – though the veil has actually been lifted by Christ. Yes even to this day there is a veil over their hearts when the writings of Moses are read. Yet if they “turned to the Lord” the veil would disappear. For the Lord to whom they could turn is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, men’s souls are set free.
But all of us who are Christians have no veils on our faces, but reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord. We are transformed in ever-increasing splendour into his own image, and this is the work of the Lord who is the Spirit (2Cor 3.11-18).