“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Paul is making a reference here to when Moses would meet with God face to face, his face shone so brightly that it would frighten the Israelites so Moses would actually put a veil over his face. You will find the story in Exodus 34:29-35. Moses went up on Mount Sinai to meet with God, this was when Moses wrote the ten commandments that God had given him on the tablets. He had met with God and been alone with God for forty days and forty nights. He came down the mountain with the tablets and he didn’t know that his face shone because he had been with God. The Israelites were afraid to come near him because of how his face shone so brightly. So when Moses finished telling them what God had told him, he put a veil over his face (v. 33). After that, whenever he went in to speak with the Lord and to meet with him, he would remove the veil until he came out again. When he came out he would tell the Israelites what God had said and he would replace the veil.
What Paul is saying here is the that we don’t need the veil anymore. You see Moses had to have the veil, because God’s glory shone all over him after meeting with God and the Israelites couldn’t handle it. Remember, not everyone had the opportunity to have the Spirit of God living inside of them. So it was huge that the Israelites could see God’s glory on Moses but it scared them too. We, on the other hand, have the Holy Spirit living inside of us so that we can meet with him in our prayer closets, prayer chairs, on our way to work, in our sitting down, in our going about our day. The veil has been removed for us. We get to gaze on God’s glory quite like Moses did in his day. And as we behold his glory, we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
Yesterday we studied the process of being sanctified. This goes hand in hand, I think. The Sanctification process increases our desire, our “want to” if you will, to spend time with Jesus. We are much the same way as Moses. Oh our faces may not literally shine with the glory of the Lord, but when you spend time with Him daily you will shine your light for Him in such a way that people will see God’s glory on you. And friends that is where and when we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
I think the key word here is time. It is the time we spend with Him that will transform us. It is the time spent with him, that will make us more into the image of Christ. And it is the time spent with Him that will cause us to shine for Him.