A country’s constitution is the document that describes how the government will work and details the rights and protections enjoyed by citizens. After a two-year process, in 2014 Tunisia adopted a new constitution that protects freedom of religion, banning apostasy campaigns that previously permitted a death sentence for any Muslim charged with apostasy. The constitution also protects the rights of women under the law.
Believers in Jesus have been given the new covenant, which brings life and freedom through the Spirit. We are no longer bound by an old regime of sin and death. In the same way that a change in the Tunisian constitution enacted more freedoms for its citizens, the new covenant guarantees spiritual freedoms for believers in Christ.
The apostle Paul uses a rhetorical device in this passage that we might call “from good to great” or “good compared to best.” The old covenant, established by God with His people through the Mosaic Law, was good. It was given by God (see Exodus 19). In receiving the Law, Moses also received part of the glory of God and had to veil his face in order for others to be able to look at him (vv. 7, 13). If the old covenant was good, then, we have confidence that the new covenant is even better.
The Law highlighted human sinfulness and how far we fall from God’s glory, but the Spirit of God saves us from sin and allows us to be in a relationship with God (v. 6). The Law was always an external set of rules to govern behavior; the new covenant transforms our hearts, desires, and habits to change
us into being more like Jesus (vv. 3, 18).
The new covenant means we now are free to know God.
Apply the Word
Our cultural notion of freedom often means doing whatever we want. Biblical freedom, however, is so much better: It’s the freedom to know God and have the desire to do what He wants. Thank the Lord today for the freedom to worship Him, read His Word, communicate with Him in prayer, and share His love with others.