for if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. [2 corinthians 3:9]
the ministry of condemnation, the law, the old covenant. no one can obey the law perfectly (james 2:10) thus it has earned its name.
condemnation: (katakrisis from kata = against + krino = judge) refers to a judicial verdict involving a penalty. it refers to the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment. this was the effect of the old covenant.
the ministry of condemnation is the trial to just do it, to fulfill the law in your own efforts. the thought that if you could just be good enough, smart enough, kind enough, but depending on your own efforts and resources will always fall short.
there is glory here, the glory is that it shows us our need, it shows us who we need. God did not create the law to hate us, rather he created it to show who he is.
the goal of the old covenant isn’t to tell you to buck up, rather, it is to foreshadow the coming of the new covenant, the ministry of righteousness. this is the gospel, the truth that Jesus came so that we could be counted as the righteousness of God.
there is so much to understanding the old covenant, of course I don’t expect you to become an old testament scholar (though all the power to you). but look to the old testament, because it only exists to speak of God and Jesus. the is so much richness in understanding the life and laws of the israelite nation. don’t be scared, and don’t give up before you even try. ask your lot family leader, ask your discipler, ask me, there are so many resources to help you understand and read the old testament well. when you do read it well, I promise you the glory of God and the work of Jesus only become more awe inspiring.
~ holy russell