Unveiled Faces

Second Corinthians 3:18 says,

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (NIV).

Paul is taking the readers back to Moses. Moses would walk up to this mountain called Mount Sinai. There he would meet with God face-to-face. It was the place where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Each time Moses went to meet with God on this mountain, he came back glowing.

He had an encounter with God on Mount Sinai, and this encounter was so remarkable that Moses was transformed. His appearance was altered. He shone. He looked different. The first time he came down from the mountain, people were even afraid. The change was that significant.

Moses would wear a veil over his face when he came down from the mountain. He wore a veil to cover the fading glory (2 Cor. 3:13). Once Moses left the presence of God, the glory would fade. With each step away from the mountain, the glory would decrease.

Moses had a veiled face. We have unveiled faces.

We do not have to wear a veil because the glory is not diminishing. In fact the opposite is true. The glory is ever increasing. It is so because we never leave the presence of God. We never come back down the mountain.

The mountain is in us.

His Spirit lives within us. We have a relationship with God that even Moses did not have. We are in the new covenant that brings righteousness, not the old covenant that brings death (2 Cor. 3:9). Moses had to go to the mountain to behold the glory of God. We don’t. We have a greater level of intimacy.

Just as God transformed Moses, He transforms us when we place ourselves in His presence. The word for transform is in the passive voice and present tense. The passive voice indicates that we do not transform ourselves. God is the one who does the transforming.

The present tense indicates that this transforming is currently taking place. Right now. As you read this. Transformation is not only a past event. God is also about right now.

The word from transformation is metamorphosis. It means to change the essential nature of something. It is a real change, not just a change on the outside. The core of something is changed. The word is used to describe the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. The nasty, wormy, creepy, crawly insect becomes a beautiful butterfly. The process is metamorphosis.

God desires to bring His people through this morphing process. He seeks to transform the people in your church into His image. And He wants to do so with ever-increasing glory. Meaning He wants the people you serve to be more like Him tomorrow than they are today.

Congested churches and stagnant believers are the antithesis of God’s plan.

Since God is the one who transforms the people in your church, what is your part?

Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)