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The way you now live proves that we teach the truth about Jesus Christ.

1As I write these things about myself, I am [RHQ] not doing it to boast about how good I am, as some of you say I do. Some people always carry letters with them that other people have written that tell how well they work. But I do not [RHQ] need to bring letters like that when I come to you. Nor do I need to ask you to write letters like that for me when I go to other congregations.

2You yourselves are [MET] like a letter that recommends my work for God to everyone. People see how Christ changed your lives when you believed the message that I taught you. Everyone who knows you can see the result of my work for God.

3You are [MET] like a letter that Christ himself has written that says good things about my work for God in your lives. You show people by the way you now conduct your lives that God has changed your lives as a result of my work among you. People did not find out about you by reading a letter that was written to them on paper with pen and ink. Instead, they saw how the Spirit of the all-powerful God has changed your lives. Nor did people find out about you by reading a letter that was carved on stone slabs like the stone slabs that God gave to Moses. Instead, it was the change that God’s Spirit made in your lives [MET] that they saw.

4I can very confidently write these things about the work that Silas, Timothy, and I did among you, because God knows that what I write is true. We(exc) are true workers for Godbecause of what Christ has done for us.

5We(exc), by ourselves, do not have the ability to do this work. None of us apostles can say, “I have changed the lives of these people.” God is the one who has given us this ability.

6He is the one who enables us(exc) to be his messengers. He has enabled us to tell people the message about the new agreement that he is making with them. This is not a message about obeying all the written laws of his old agreement that he made with the Jewish people. Instead, it is a message about God giving us his Spirit. Previously, God condemned people to be separated from him forever if they did not obey his laws. But by God’s new agreement his Spirit enables people to live eternally.

Our work of teaching people about God’s New Agreement is much greater than the work of teaching peop

7Moses taught the people that if they did not obey God’s laws completely they would be separated from God forever. God wrote his laws on stone slabs. Then he gave them to Moses to teach them to the people. Although God’s laws condemned the people to die, when Moses brought those laws down from Mount Sinai, God caused Moses’ face to shine with radiance to show the people that these laws were God’s laws. The radiance was so bright that the people of Israel could not keep looking at Moses’ face. They had to look away. But although the radiance was bright, it was slowly fading away.

8So, since God showed in such a wonderful way that those laws that condemned them to die were from him, surely when we(exc) teach people about how God’s Spirit will change their lives, …God will show in an even more wonderful way that it is his message./will not God show in an even more wonderful way that it is his message?† [RHQ]

9The message that Moses taught them was wonderful, but when people heard that message, they realized that they were sinners and that God would punish them. But God’s message that we(exc) teach is a much more wonderful message. We teach people that God will …erase the record of/declare people no longer guilty for† the sinful things that they have done.

10The truth is that, although the work of teaching the people to obey God’s laws was once important, it is not as important now, because with the work of teaching people that God will forgive them and enable them to live to please him is far more important.

11Furthermore, the message that Moses taught was not a lasting message, just like the brightness on his face was not lasting and soon faded away. But when God gives his Spirit to people, the wonderful work that God’s Spirit does in their lives is much greater because it lasts for ever.

We teach a message that transforms peoples’ lives. So we teach it with great confidence.

12We(exc) know that the message that we teach is a much more wonderful message than the message that Moses taught. So we can preach boldly.

13We do not need to put a veil over our faces when we teach people, as Moses did. Moses put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not see that the radiance on his face soon faded away. Similarly, the glory of the old agreement has also faded away.

14But the Israelites stubbornly refused to understand that the old agreement would end. Even now, when they read the old agreement, they still do not realize that it has ended. It is as if [MET] that same veil that Moses put on his face is now over their minds, keeping them from understanding God’s true message. They will understand that message only when they come to trust in Christ. Then it will be as though God has removed the veil.

15Throughout all these years, even until now, when the Israelites read the laws that God told Moses to write down, it is as though a veil is covering their minds.

16But when any of them believes in the Lord Jesus, God removes that veil from them.

17It is by the power of his Spirit that the Lord works in our lives, and the Lord’s Spirit has set us free from trying to obey the all the rules and rituals that God gave Moses.

18It is as though God has removed the veil from our faces [MET]. We realize how awesome Jesus is. As we realize that, we are continually being changed {the Holy Spirit is continually changing us} to become more and more like Jesus, so that people can see, more and more, how awesome Jesus is. It is the Spirit of the Lord who does this.

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