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Who Do You See in the Mirror? 

Second Corinthians 3.18 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 16, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. Undoubtedly everyone today looked into a mirror.
    1. At least it appears that most of you did.
      1. We can tell when someone has, because 
      2. he does not have that morning face anymore.
        1. Hair is fixed, 
        2. faces are washed.
    2. When you look into the spiritual mirror what or who do you see?
      1. Have you done anything about what you see? 
      2. Do you know who you should have seen? 
  2. Do you know what is God accomplishing in you?
    1. Remember that

      13 …it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

      – Philippians 2.13
    2. If God is working in you and 
      1. you cooperate, 
      2. who will you see in the mirror? 
  3. Have you been able to tell when someone has a new friend?
    1. He may have started talking differently. 
      1. He may have started wearing different clothes. 
      2. He may have started exhibiting different attitudes. 
    2. What was happening? 
      1. He was absorbing someone else. 
      2. He was with a new person enough 
        1. that he started losing himself and 
        2. started taking on the character of the new person. 
    3. Now let me show you what the Bible says about the mirror of the spirit. 


  1. Second Corinthians 3.1–4.6 | The Glory of the Lord
    1. 3.1–3 – The proof of the preacher’s authenticity.
      1. We need to be convinced that Christ authorized Paul.
      2. When we accept it, we will see the glory of the Lord in Paul’s preaching.
    2. 3.4–6 – Trust is in Christ.
      1. For that is the only place of true glory.
      2. Trust in anything or anyone else, and you will fail to see glory.
    3. 3.7–13 – the glory of the old versus the glory of the new.
      1. Yes, there was glory associated with the Old Testament.
      2. Yes, there is glory associated with many things in this world.
      3. However, all forms of glory, except the glory of God in Christ, fade.
    4. 3.14–17 – A veil upon the heart.

      14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

      – 2 Corinthians 3.14–17
      1. When the veil is lifted off the heart, a wonderful thing happens.
        1. You see glory, and 
        2. participate in it in a breathtaking way.
      2. This phenomenon is revealed in verse 18. 
    5. 3.18 – What happens when we do not have veiled faces or hearts.

      18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

      – 2 Corinthians 3.18
  2. With an Unveiled Face We Look in a Mirror
    1. According to the context our faces can be veiled in two ways:
      1. By failing to understand the Law of Moses. 
      2. By the god of this age (4.4). 
    2. If you have turned to Christ, you are removing the veil from your face. 
      1. You should see clearly the liberty in Christ (3.17). 
      2. What Paul argued in 3.18 
        1. is that you should be able to see 
        2. the face of Christ in yourself more and more.
  3. We Should See in the Mirror the Glory of the Lord
    1. We use a mirror to see ourselves.
    2. In this context, Paul identified the spiritual mirror. 
      1. In 3.3, Paul said that our brethren in Corinth were epistles of Christ, 
        1. having been ministered by Paul, and the other apostles.
        2. The Spirit used them to reveal Jesus Christ. 
      2. In 3.4–6, Paul argued that we are not sufficient in and of ourselves, but 
        1. that we receive our sufficiency from Christ, 
        2. who made us ministers of the new covenant. 
      3. 4.2 mentions the preaching of the Word of God. 
        1. Verses 3 and 4 speak of the gospel. 
        2. Verse 5 says that Paul preached Christ. 
      4. The mirror in which we look and 
        1. should see the Lord 
        2. is the Word of God. 
    3. James 1.23–25 uses the mirror to picture listening to the Word of God,

      23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

      – James 1.23–25
      1. James and Paul referred to the Scriptures as a mirror because 
        1. we see a reflection of ourselves. 
        2. The Bible reveals our true spiritual looks. 
      2. However, the point of our main text in Second Corinthians, 
        1. is that the more I look into the Mirror of God’s Word, 
        2. the more I should be transformed 
          1. from looking like me 
          2. to looking like Christ.
  4. We Are Being Transformed into the Same Image From Glory to Glory 
    1. A radical change occurs in me as I learn more about Jesus. 
    2. Paul argued that we take on the image of Christ. 
    3. When I am transformed into the image of Christ, it is from glory to glory.
      1. I am trading my personal glory for the glory of Christ.
        1. I am trading the glory of the world for the glory of Christ.
        2. I am trading the glory of sin for the glory of Christ.
        3. I am trading the glory of my possessions for the glory of Christ.
        4. I am trading the glory of man’s knowledge for the glory of Christ
      2. Paul taught that the process takes time. 
        1. If you were converted last week, 
        2. you will be more like Christ this week, but 
          1. you still have a long way to go. 
    4. Now go back to Second Corinthians 3.13,

      13 …unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.

      – 2 Corinthians 3.13
      1. The glory Moses received decreased
      2. The glory we receive increases
      3. Moses and the Law came from God. 
        1. Nevertheless, it experienced fading glory. 
        2. What would you say then about anything else? 
      4. Consider that 
        1. Moses received outward glory, his face glowed. 
        2. We receive inward glory, because 
          1. our inward character is changed into the character of Christ. 
          2. Therefore, it lasts forever. 
            1. The glorious change that happens inwardly,
            2. does show up outwardly, but 
              1. not in a shinning as with Moses, rather it is 
                1. in the way we are and 
                2. in the way we live
        3. Like what Solomon said about the wise man:

          1 A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
          And the sternness of his face is changed.

          – Ecclesiastes 8.1
    5. What greater wonder exists than a sinner becoming like Christ? 
      1. When a person is transformed into the image of Christ, 
      2. it is more than a withered arm restored. 
  5. By or From the Spirit of the Lord 
    1. These things happen because 
      1. the Spirit of the Lord works right through His word because 
      2. the word of God is living and active. 
    2. Look back at Second Corinthians 3.14,

      14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

      – 2 Corinthians 3.14
      1. Notice the key is reading. 
        1. The Jews who have not accepted Christ, 
          1. read only the Old Testament. 
        2. Gentiles who have accepted Christ, 
          1. read both the Old Testament, and 
          2. the New Testament. 
    3. Reading the Bible is not a superstitious good luck charm. 
      1. Non-Christian Jews read the Old Testament, but 
        1. it does not cause them to see Christ. 
        2. The same thing can happen to us. 
      2. I am not teaching 
        1. that if you sit down for 15 minutes everyday and read the Bible 
        2. that magical things will happen in your life. 
      3. Many people read the Bible, 
        1. even as the Jews read the Old Testament, and 
        2. it has little to no effect on them. 
      4. To appreciate what is being said in the Bible, 
        1. to be thrilled with what it is saying, 
        2. to believe that it has all the answers for life, 
          1. a person’s heart must be seeking 
          2. to be like the heart of God. 
            1. Would you be moved by a patriotic 
            2. Angolan story of Angola to be a better Angolan?
              1. You might read the story for its education value, but
              2. a patriotic story of America would more deeply affect you. 
          3. Likewise, if you are of this world, 
            1. the spiritual nature of the Scriptures 
            2. will have little effect on you. 
      5. Barnes said,

        “We imbibe the opinions, we copy the habits, we imitate the manners, we fall into the customs of those with whom we have daily conversation, and whom we make our companions and friends. Their sentiments insensibly become our sentiments, and their ways our ways.”


  1. Who do you see in the mirror? 
  2. If you cannot see yourself being transformed into the glory of the Lord: 
    1. Have you placed a veil between you and the mirror? 
    2. Have the cares of this life turned off the light so that you cannot see? 
    3. Has earthly-mindedness fogged the mirror? 
    4. Have the works of the flesh cracked the mirror? 
    5. Has dust settled on the mirror? 
  3. Put away the obstruction.