You Can Be Transformed

Experiencing God's Glory Transforms Us Into A New Person

Dan Franklin
Jul 3, 2022    42m
In the old covenant there was a veil between God's glory and the people of Israel, but with the new covenant, there is no longer the need for the veil because God is transforming us into a new person. So as we begin experiencing God's glory, he will keep working on us and move us from glory to glory. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Dan Franklin: [00:00:19] All right, so Moses is up on the mountain with God and they're having a conversation. And as Moses and God are having this conversation, God says something to Moses that crushes him, that just breaks his spirit. What he says to Moses is, I will not go with you. And this is a shocking thing for God to say because a big part of how God is at this point revealed himself to Moses and to the people of Israel is that he's consistently said, I will be with you. But now he's face to face with Moses and he's saying, I will not go with you.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:57] And if you're trying to think, how did we get here? We got here because of something that happened in the previous chapter, in Exodus 32. Moses was up on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments from God, but when he came back down with the Ten Commandments, he witnessed a scene that chilled him. While he'd been up on the mountain, the Israelites had made an idol, made a golden calf, and they were having a wild party celebrating idolatry and drunkenness and immorality, basically celebrating everything that God had commanded them to avoid. And by the end of this wild party, there not only had been the idolatry and the immorality and the drunkenness, but there had been slaughter and death, it was a complete mess. And so when Moses goes up on the mountain to speak with God again, God says, I will not go with you. He said I promised this land, I'll send you on ahead to the land, I'll even send my angel ahead of you to clear the way and defeat your enemies, but I'm not going to go with you. And it's actually mercy from God, he's saying, If I go with you, you might not make it because this is such a stubborn, stiff-necked people that I may destroy them along the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:13] Now, for a lot of us, we might think, if God says it, that's it. But Moses doesn't treat this conversation this way, Moses decides to push back, and he says to God, if you're not going with us, we're not going. Now I want you to just pause and think about this, we don't know exactly what Moses knew, but there was something that drove him to argue with God about this. Maybe he sensed that this was a test, and that God really was going to go with him, but he was saying he wasn't, and so he had to sort that through. Maybe Moses just had the sense with God that God was the sort of God that wanted engagement and wanted back and forth. Or maybe Moses was just desperate, he was like, I may die by talking back to God, but I'm going to talk back to God. And I'm going to say, God, we are not going unless you go with us.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:11] Have you ever had a moment where you have...And if you've been a Christian for a while, you probably have thought about this. Where you think, all right, if God is sovereign, which means he's the King, he's in charge of everything, he's planned the end from the beginning, he has everything sorted out and everything planned, why do we pray? Like if he's going to do what he's going to do, why do we even pray? And I'm not here to solve that mystery in this moment, but what I am here to say is that despite the fact that we deal with that conundrum, that we try to deal with why do we pray if God knows everything, and he knows what he's going to do? What we get consistently in the Bible is not only people that seek God in prayer, but we get left with the impression that our prayers actually change things.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:56] Because Moses says to God, we're not going unless you're going with us. And God responds by saying, I'll go with you, which is a great moment. Has anybody here had a great answered prayer before? That's a great answered prayer. Like, all right, God's going with us. You would say, in this moment, you would look at Moses and you would say slowly, ease off the mountain before he changes his mind. Like, quit while you're ahead, you got God to do what you wanted him to do, slowly slip away before He changes his mind. But Moses doesn't do that, he decides to go for broke. And what he does next, is he utters five words that I think may be the boldest and most audacious prayer request that has ever been prayed, he says, "Now show me your glory." Maybe he thought I'm already on a roll here, now I'm going to ask for what I really want. God, I want to see your glory. I want to see your full greatness, your full beauty, your full splendor, I want to see your glory. Five words, the boldest request ever prayed, "Now show me your glory.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:04] And here's how God responds to Moses, he says, All right, well, first things first, if you see my full glory, you won't survive. You will be incinerated if you see my full glory, but here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to grant this request. So I'm going to take you, and I'm going to put you in the cleft of a rock, kind of in a cave. Which God does, he puts him in a cave, and he says, you're not going to see my face, but you're going to see my back? Or the idea might be you're sort of going to see my shadow, you're going to see the aftereffects of my glory. You're not going to look it in the face, but you're going to see my glory as I pass by. And God puts him in the cleft of the rock, he passes by, Moses sees the shadow, sees the after-effects of God's glory while God goes by, he proclaims who He is. He tells Moses that He's the God who's gracious and compassionate and keeps his promises and forgives sin, but also doesn't leave the guilty unpunished. Moses experiences an answer to this prayer request and sees the glory of the Lord.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:02] And then He heads back down the mountain, but as he's heading back down the mountain, he's not getting the normal greeting that he gets when he returns to the Israelites. They're not running up to him and welcoming him back and wondering what God told them. Instead, they're retreating away in fear, they're freaked out because they see something that Moses has not yet seen, and that's that his face has been transformed, he looks different. His face is reflecting the brightness, the radiance of God's glory, and the people are freaked out. And by the way, you would be, too, if I got up here today and my face was glowing, you guys would be like, what is happening now? The people were freaked out about the glowing face of Moses, but then Moses came up with a solution to how to deal with this. He got a veil, and he put the veil over his face to obscure the glory, to hide the brightness of God's glory so that the people wouldn't be afraid. And then Moses started a new routine, and he carried on with this routine. And the routine was this, he would wear the veil until it was time to go back up to the mountain and speak with God, and then when he went back up to the mountain to speak with God, he took the veil off and God instructed him. And then Moses would come back down from the mountain, he would leave the veil off and instruct all of the people about what God had said, and then he'd put the veil back on until the next time he would go up the mountain.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:35] Now, here's the reason why I'm filling us all in on this story from Exodus 33 and 34. This is the story that the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote the words that we're going to go through today in Second Corinthians chapter 3 verses 12 through 18. We will not understand what Paul is getting at today unless we have the story in the back of our mind. And here's the reason why this is so significant, Paul wants us to understand that God has done something new. God wants us to understand that as amazing as that story is, and as amazing as the visual of Moses' glowing face is, that God has done something new and even better and He wants to invite us in on it.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:26] And you can see right away in the passage that he's looking to do this, that he's looking to draw on this story of Moses because, in verses 12 and 13, he starts off the passage by saying this, "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses." And does it strike anybody funny that Paul is like we're not like Moses? Because maybe all of us would be like, I want to be like Moses, a great hero of the faith. I mean, he's up there with Abraham and Noah and Esther and Mary and all these other heroes of the faith. But Paul says, no, no, we're not like Moses, and he's going to get into why they're not like Moses.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:04] But first of all, look, three times he's already said we. "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses." Who is he talking about? Well, the ‘we’ is not all Christians, the ‘we’ specifically in this part of the passage is Christian messengers. Moses was the messenger of the old covenant, which he's going to talk about. Paul and Timothy and the Apostles are the messengers of the New Covenant, that's who is included in the, we. And he says, all right, since we are messengers of this new covenant, since we have such a hope, hope is about confidence, he says, we have this ground level hope and confidence. Since we have this hope, we are very bold, and what that means is we are absolutely wide open, hiding nothing. Paul wants to contrast himself with Moses to let us all know about how amazing the message is that he's about to tell. In some ways, you might think Paul could be showing some arrogance here. It's like we're not like Moses, we are very bold. But I want to make sure, you know, Paul does not think that he is better than Moses, Paul doesn't have any arrogance and pride as he talks about this. But here's what he does think, he doesn't think he's better than Moses, but he thinks the message that he has is better than the message that Moses had.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:35] This is one of the beautiful things throughout this series that we're going to go through in Second Corinthians that we're calling Glory and Frailty, that the thing we keep talking about, the thing we keep being pointed back to is that God shows the world His glory through the frailty of his servants. And Paul wasn't bragging because he thought he was something, Paul was bragging because he thought the message that God had given him was something. In fact, in a couple of weeks, when when we're in the middle of Chapter four, there's a famous verse where Paul says, we have this treasure, and the treasure is the Gospel. He says we have this treasure in jars of clay and pots, clay pots. He says, there's nothing impressive about the container, but there is something impressive about what it contains, and Paul knew and understood this. He says, we have something better because the old covenant has to do with living by the law, and the new covenant has to do with living by the Spirit, and Paul knew he had something that even Moses wasn't in on. And so he says, we're very bold, we're very open, and we're not like Moses.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:44] Let's find out in what way they weren't like Moses. He says, "We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away." And there it is, there's the veil, there's the reference to Exodus 33 and 34 and the story where the veil comes into play. And it's a little cryptic, scholars actually debate exactly what Paul is saying about Moses' motivations here because he says that Moses put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. And the controversy all kind of surrounds that word 'end' up there. And some will say, well, here's what Moses was doing. Moses didn't want them to notice that the glory was fading in his face. Because he would come back down from the mountain, his face would be radiant and glowing, but over time it would start to fade, and he didn't want the Israelites to notice that it was fading.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:42] And it's possible that that's what Paul is saying but if you read Exodus 33 and 34, that idea is nowhere in there. And so it would have to be sort of a special insight from Paul that that was Moses's motivation. It seems like there might be something else going on because there's a different way to understand that word end both in English and especially in the Greek. We don't talk this way a lot anymore, but the word end can mean the final part of something, but it can also mean the purpose of something. Like, I don't know if you talk to your kids this way, but if you're a parent and your kid does something and you can't believe they did it, you might say, why did you do that? To what end was that action? And it could be great to do that as a parent because your kid might look at you really confused, but you'll sound sophisticated. To what purpose, to what end is this being done?

Dan Franklin: [00:13:35] It's possible, and a lot of scholars think this, and I think that they're probably right. It's possible that what Paul is saying is that the veil actually kept the Israelites not from simply seeing the last parts of what was fading away but kept them from seeing the purpose of what was fading away. And we'll see this as we get to the next verses, but a big part of what's going on here seems to be that the Israelites, as great as it was to receive this message from God through Moses, they misunderstood why it was given in the first place. They made the mistake of thinking that it was a covenant that was always going to be there, instead of a covenant that had its purpose but eventually was going to fade away. In fact, the fading of Moses' face, Paul uses it almost as a parable for the fading glory of the law and of the old covenant. That it's good, it's something good and given from God, but it's more like the opening act, and you're waiting for the headliner to come out.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:37] But the Israelites didn't understand that, and they got stuck on the opening act. And that's what Paul says in verses 14 and 15, he says, "But their minds..." And the 'they' here is the Israelites, starting with the Israelites under Moses. He says their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read, it's not removed, but only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:09] And so you might notice a couple of things in what Paul is saying here. And the first is this, he starts by focusing on the difference between Christian messengers and Moses. And he says, we're very bold, unlike Moses who veiled his face. And now he's moving on to the recipients. He said, all right, the recipients, the Israelites who received the law, he says they saw the veil involved with this, but the veil has moved from Moses' face to the hearts and minds of the Israelites. Both in Moses' Day, and Paul says to this day, so in Paul's Day also, I mean, you might notice in verse 14, he talks about the old covenant being read. And in verse 15 he talks about Moses being read; he means the same thing in both cases.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:53] When Moses is talked about this way, this usually refers to the first five books of the Bible, and in particular, the law, the Ten Commandments and all of the other laws given. So he said, all right, in synagogues today, in Jewish settings today, the old covenant, the law, the books of Moses, are still read. And he says, when they're read, the veil remains, and he says it's over their hearts because it can only be taken away in Christ.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:19] So if we're going to get this, let's pause and let's try to make sure we're getting what Paul is saying, and we'll pause on a couple of things that are part of this verse. The first is that we'll pause, and we'll talk about the veil. We've already talked about this a little bit, but let's make sure we understand the imagery that Paul is getting at here. Just pause and think, and you're allowed to answer out loud at this time. What does a veil do? Yeah, it covers, it obscures. a Veil is a barrier. The veil was there on Moses's face to obscure, it wasn't to make things more clear, it was actually to make things less clear because the glory freaked them out, so it obscures, it covers, it's a barrier.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:08] Now, some of you may have already been going here in your minds. But we spent about two years dealing with veils. Now, some of you still are probably in settings where you need to wear a mask or wear a face covering of some kind, they're not as much a part of our lives right now, but most of us dealt with at least some settings, if not a lot of settings where we had to wear masks.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:29] And just as a pause real quick, some of you right now are like, oh, no, where is this going? I want to tell you; you don't need to worry. Throughout the time of COVID, we were very clear as a church. We said, you know what, some of us are going to respond to all this by saying, hey, when in doubt, wear a mask, just if there's any possible reason to wear a mask just go ahead and wear the mask. And others of us responded by saying, unless I am utterly and absolutely required to wear a mask, I will not wear a mask. And what we as a church leadership said is seek the Lord, be guided by him, make sure that your conscience is clear, make sure that your motives are good, and then we're going to respect each other even though we handle this differently. So my point in talking about this is not at all to evaluate our decisions with this, but my point is to say this even if you thought masks were very effective and you wore masks a lot, we all should notice that there are some downsides to wearing masks, and the biggest downside is that it makes human connection confusing. There were sometimes where masks were required in different settings where I'd be in Target or the grocery store, not a lot. Right now Karina is like, when did that happen? Like three times during COVID it happened, not a lot, but something would happen whenever I was in one of those spots, something would happen that I was used to having happen. And many of you have had it happen where we're going down an aisle and somebody else is in the aisle and they're not super aware of the fact that they're blocking the aisle, and so you've got to sort of scoot past them. And so this would happen, and somebody would be in the aisle and I'd kind of scoot past them. And you always want to let people know that you're not upset with them for scooting, and so they'd notice that I was there, they turn around and look at me, and I would smile at them to let them know, no hard feeling, I just need to scoot by. And then it would occur to me a couple of steps later, that they didn't see the smile, I have a mask on, what they saw was basically this. And you know, if they're really good, they might be like, I think that was a smile because the eyes kind of scrunched. Or they might be like, that was a stare down and this is a fighting moment. It obscured, we had frequent situations where normally, if we were face to face, we would have been able to communicate clearly even without words, but because we were obscured, it was confusing. And so, again, here's the thing, I'm not making a big statement about the whole mask issue over COVID. but what I am saying is this, all things being equal, if you want meaningful human connection, unmasked is better than masked, unveiled is better than veiled.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:04] And here's where Paul is going with this. He's saying, yeah, veiled connection with God, that's good. I mean, any connection with God is good, a veiled connection with God, that's good. DO you know what's better than a veiled connection with God? And unveiled connection with God, and that's where he wants to go. So that's what he's talking about with the veil.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:24] But let's also make sure we take a pause and really understand what he's talking about when he talks about the old covenant. And once again, if we're boiling it down, the whole idea with the old covenant is, in the old covenant you were led by the law. In the New Covenant, you are led by the spirit. And what I want to make sure that we understand is regardless of whether or not you have any Jewish ethnicity in your family, or if you've ever been to a synagogue, or if you've ever thought of converting to Judaism, even if none of those things are true of you, each one of us in this room is in danger of living under the old covenant.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:01] In fact, let me share something about the old covenant that some of you will know, but some of you may not know. When the Israelites got the Ten Commandments, we might not be all super familiar with their response to the Ten Commandments. Because it would be easy to think Moses came down with these ten rules and the Israelites were like, oh my gosh, we've got to obey these? Now we're really impinged upon. Now we've really got to change our lives. But if you read the Book of Exodus, the Israelites were not upset about the Ten Commandments, they celebrated when they got the law. They said this is good, they said this is great, God has spoken, and then they said, we will do everything that God has told us to do. They were pretty optimistic, they said this is great, this is the kind of connection we're going to have with God, God will speak, and we'll obey, this is wonderful. They welcomed the law.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:58] And let me just share, there are probably some of us in this room that either from time to time or as a whole in our lives, that's how we've responded to the law. And one of the things for any of us who are leaders here, the elders and the pastors here, one of the things that have been a deep sense and source of joy over the past year is seeing how many new people God has brought around here. I mean, I know some of you are veterans, some of you are old-timers here, and some of you are newer, snd it has just been so fun to see what God has been doing. Any time God is doing something new, it's exciting. And so it's been fun, I've gotten to know a lot of you, there's a lot of you that I haven't got to know yet. There's a lot of you with young kids and young families, and that's been really fun to see the families and the kids here. So it has been exciting to see God bring a lot of new people around.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:47] But for those of us who are leaders, there's also been the sense of saying, we want to make sure we all know what it is that we're gathering around. Because maybe for some of you, sort of coming back to church or coming to our church went a little something like this, something came up in your life that made you realize things were disordered and you needed to do something about it, you're like, I need to get my life in order. You know, COVID exposed a lot of things, so maybe COVID started, and you were like, we thought we had a good marriage, and then we had to be around each other all the time and we realized we were in trouble. And so we were like, wait, we've got to go back to church, we've got to go to church because we've got to get our marriage right. Or maybe it had to do with parenting, and you're like, gosh, now we feel like we're not quite sure what we're doing, and if the church isn't meeting for a while and we can't rely on Sunday School to train our kids, we've got to do that, so we've got to get to church. Or maybe you just experienced something in your life or you're like, you know, I thought this habit was under control, but it turns out I drink a lot, or it turns out I can't stop looking at porn, or it turns out I'm just a very angry person and all of this is coming out. And your response to all that was saying, I need to get my life right, and the way that you went to try to get your life right is you said, I got to show up at church again. And what I want to say is, if that's how God led you, thank God for that. Getting into a crisis and saying, maybe I should show up at church, that is great. But there is a danger and here's the danger, the danger is that your life is disordered, you show up in church and you're like, oh, thank God for the rules. Thank God for the morality that we're being taught. Thank God they're telling me how I need to behave as a husband or as a wife. Thank God they're telling me I need to stop these destructive habits, and that I need to start handling my money that way. Thank God for the rules, because now my life is more ordered. And that's been your experience, and you're loving that you've got the rules.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:48] The Israelites loved when they got the rules, but then things started to go wrong. Because it wasn't very long after when they got the rules, that they started to realize they weren't very good at keeping the rules. That very optimistic, God, we're going to do everything you've told us to do, quickly fell apart. And one of the things that God had told the Israelites was the person who perfectly obeys all of this law will have eternal life because of obeying these commands. The Israelites started off by saying, this is how we know we're in good with God, this is how we know we have eternal life; we obey all God's commands.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:27] And then as days and weeks and years and decades and centuries went by, the Israelites utterly failed over and over again to obey God's law. And the reason that kept happening was not because there was a problem with the law, it was because there was a problem with them, and that's true of them, and that's true of all of us.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:47] In fact, Brian, last week, when he taught us through the middle part of chapter 3 of Second Corinthians and did a great job just helping us understand the reality of what the law does. The law is a terrible savior, and that's not because anything God commands is wrong, it's because we can't obey it, we're not capable. The law is a terrible savior, but the law is really good at showing you that you desperately need a Savior. And I wonder if there are some of you right now, that you're still kind of in that old covenant phase. You're like, you know what, this is good, our marriage was in disorder, and now there's some more order because we found out the rules and we're treating each other better. And I was all out of control with addictions, and now I'm starting to have some more progress because I'm following the rules and I'm behaving better. And you're starting to experience some good things from it, but you're tempted to stay there, you're tempted to say the old covenant is good enough, that the veil is good enough, I'll just stay here, this is a good place to be.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:47] The Old Covenant is the opening act to the grand opening. The opening act is meant to get us ready for what God was going to reveal, and the law came around so that we would all realize we desperately need a Savior, and then Jesus showed up on the scene. So here's the deal, if you're saying, gosh, I may never have actually gone beyond the old covenant, you might be at a place where you're like, I thought I was a Christian because I came around, and I thought Christianity was sort of like obeying Christian rules. And you're starting to have the wheels turn right now and you're like, apparently there's something more.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:24] There is something more, and I want us all to be clear on this, the Christian message is not, you go do it; the Christian message is, Jesus did it. Jesus Christ, the Son of God took on flesh, and he is the only human being ever who perfectly obeyed God's law, and He gives that perfect life as a gift to all who place our faith in Him. And then Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for every sin each of us has ever committed and gives that forgiveness to us as a gift to us. And then Jesus Christ conquered death through His resurrection so that eternal life could be open to all of us. The message is not, you can do it. Sorry, you can't do it. But the message is, that Jesus did it. The law gets us ready for a Savior who's going to come in.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:21] And once again, some of you may be in a spot where you're like, I've never got beyond, I'm still living in the idea that I just do the right things, and in the end, God is going to say that you did enough right things, so you get into heaven. That's not the purpose of the law, the purpose of the law is to show you that you are so broken, that you are so sinful, that you are so lost, that you are so hopeless on your own, that your only hope is that God loves you enough to do something about it himself. And good news, God loves you so profoundly that He sent his son to do what you couldn't do.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:55] Paul wants to warn us that the old covenant had a purpose, but we're not supposed to stay there. In fact, he gives us the solution in verse 16 when he says, "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, whenever anyone turns to Jesus, the veil is taken away." We move from a barriered relationship with God to a close face-to-face relationship with God.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:21] And then he gets into what this looks like in verses 17 and 18. Verse 17 is a little confusing, I'll get to that. He says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." The second part of this is pretty easy to understand, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Where the Holy Spirit is, he brings freedom because we're no longer living our lives, just desperately trying to figure out how to follow God's rules, but the Holy Spirit is leading us through all the tricky situations that we find ourselves in and he's also empowering us. Where the Holy Spirit is, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:55] The first part of the verse is kind of confusing because He says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit." And normally the word Lord in the New Testament means Jesus, so we're like, did he just say Jesus is the Spirit? Because if we've learned about the Trinity, we've learned that God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, one God, three persons, Jesus is the son, Jesus is not the spirit, so what's he saying here? Well, Paul is actually being very clever in drawing a parallel from the Moses story to our story, because the word turning was in verse 16 when you turn to the Lord, and what happened in Exodus 33 and 34 is Moses kept turning to the Lord and experiencing the Lord's glory. And so what Paul is saying is now we all turn to the Lord, but for us, turning to the Lord means turning to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit who was given to us. So He says, hey, for us, turning to the Lord means walking with the Spirit, turning to the Lord means that we live our day in and day out lives connected to God through the Holy Spirit.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:54] And then He really drops the bomb in verse 18, he says, "And we all..." A quick pause, remember back to the beginning, the first couple of verses that Paul kept saying, we, we, we, and the ‘we’ wasn't us, now the ‘we’ is us. "We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory." The literal and the Greek is from glory to glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. So he says, there's transformation happening, there's more than just rules, rules can help you and rules can give you some guidance, but rules are not going to transform you. But he says we are transformed, and I love how he puts it, the ever-increasing glory, it's a good translation. Because the idea here is you're walking with the Spirit, and God is making you new, and the newness that comes is glory, you're experiencing more of God's glory. And then He keeps working on you and you keep walking with him, and you move from glory to glory. And then he keeps working on you, and you move from glory to glory, and you keep experiencing ever-increasing glory, every step is more glory. And the same way that Paul is saying that Moses's his face was transformed by that encounter with God, we are transformed more and more into God's glory. We're not just a bunch of rule followers desperately trying to keep up, we're new people made new by God's glory.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:30] And I just want to make this clear, if we really want to experience the transformation Paul is talking about here, we're like, you know what, I want that, I want not just a veiled relationship with God where he's out there and I'm here and he's kind of telling me rules and I'm trying to do the rules, but I want a real encounter with God where I'm made new from the inside out. Being made new, being transformed by God has a lot less to do with striving for God and a lot more to do with resting in God. And I do need to give a warning because some of you are like, sweet, I love resting in God. And what you mean by that is I just sort of wait, and if God is going to do something, he's going to do something, and if he's not going to do something that's on him. So yeah, I'm happy to rest in the Lord, just sort of do my thing and wait for him to do what He's going to do. That's not what Paul means by any of this, and that's not what it means to rest in the Lord.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:23] In fact, one of my verses, because it's kind of mind-boggling, is in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. The author of Hebrews is talking about finding rest, and he says, "Be all the more diligent to enter into that rest." It is a kind of a funny verse, if you want to get rest, do you know what you have to do? You've got to work really hard at it. If you want to rest in the Lord, then that means that you have to feverishly fight against all of the distractions and all of the hard-heartedness in your heart. The idea here isn't that you're sitting, putting your feet up, and saying if God's going to do something, he's going to do something. The difference is that you are saying, I am after God, and so I'm not looking at Bible reading and saying, well, I guess I'm supposed to do it. I'm saying I can't get enough Bible because I want to know God and what He said and what He's done and who He is. And I can't get enough prayer, not just because I'm supposed to go through a prayer list, but because I want God in my life, and I want my heart to be connected to him. The idea is that we're putting ourselves around other believers in Jesus, that we're worshiping, and that we're praying together because we want closeness with God. But if we're really going to be transformed, it's going to have a lot more to do with us being in God's presence, because he talks about contemplating the Lord's glory, and then having ourselves transformed. Not into the literal glowing face, but into the kind of person that others look at and they say, I'm not impressed with you, and so it must be that God is at work in some way. The vessel, the packaging is nothing impressive, but the glory that's coming through this packaging, and the way you're able to deal with trials, the way you're able to love people who are cruel to you, the way that you're able to keep persevering even when things are hard, there's glory, even in the unimpressive packaging.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:15] But there's one other thing that I want to make sure that we get from that, and that's a haunting question that we've all got to deal with. We've got to deal with the question, do we prefer the veil? Remember what happened when Moses came down from the mountain with the glowing face, did the people run up to him and say, this is amazing? No, they retreated, they were like, this is too much. We're not sure we want this, put something over it, cover that up, put on a veil, it's too much. And we have to come to grips with the fact that there may be some of us that we're like, I'm fine with the veil. I'm fine with the idea that God will tell me what to do, I'll do it, mostly, and that will be how we relate. Tell me the rules, I'll kind of follow the rules, and then God will leave me alone and I'll leave him alone, and we'll call things all good, we'll interact through a veiled relationship.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:05] Some of you, when you saw that word transformation, you thought, yes, I want this. And some of you, if you were honest, said, I'm not quite sure I want that. I kind of want God, and I want him there, and I want to make sure I'm going to heaven, but I'm not sure I want him transforming my relationships because that might be painful and that might take sacrifice. I'm not sure I want him transforming my finances, I kind of have a good thing going here. I'm not sure I want him transforming my habits because that would be pretty uncomfortable. Transformation doesn't come cheap, we've got to all decide if we really want this because Satan wants to tempt us to stay in the veil, to stay in the old. To say it's good enough to just find out the rules, keep God at arm's length, do what he says, and then he'll leave you alone and you'll leave him alone.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:57] We've all got to recognize that the old covenant was a great gift from God, but it's not where any one of us was meant to stay. It was meant to be a step to get into a relationship with God where we actually know him in a deep and intimate way, where every day we're walking with the Holy Spirit. And while we may have a sense of all right, I kind of know what the Spirit's going to lead me today, you're living in the crazy adventure of I don't have any idea if at some point during this day the Holy Spirit is going to scrap the entire plan and I'm going to be doing something different. I don't know if he's going to prompt my heart to suddenly reach out to somebody that I don't really want to reach out to. I don't know if he's going to prompt my heart to suddenly be much more generous with my money. I don't know if he's going to prompt my heart to suddenly change my career or my career trajectory. I don't know if he's going to prompt my heart that I need to break up with this person because they're not leading me closer to Jesus. To be totally honest, if you choose this, if you choose the unveiled relationship with God, buckle up for things to be disordered because you're not in control. But are you willing to miss out on the deep, close relationship with God because you say the glory is too bright, I prefer the veil?

Dan Franklin: [00:38:13] Here's what I want to do with our last couple of minutes. I want to invite you just to bow your heads in prayer. Maybe this question that I have up here is not totally answerable to all of us yet.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:26] I want to say maybe for some of you, you're at a point that God has brought you through some great things and sort of an old covenant way that you've recognized your life is disordered and you need God, but you haven't yet embraced faith in Jesus, you've just embraced some level of morality. And if that's the case, I want to allow time right now for you to bring yourself to God and say, I want more, I want Jesus fully.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:52] And there may be some of us that are veterans, that we're genuine believers in Jesus, but there's a realization that we prefer the veil a lot of the time because it feels safer. And so I'm just going to allow about a minute of quiet right now for us to bring ourselves before God and bring our hearts to him, and to be honest with where we're at, and to cry out that he will help us to want what he has to offer.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:49] Father, thank you for the law, thank you for the old covenant, and that you didn't leave your people without a testimony, but you did something that would allow them to see how desperately they needed a savior. Thank you that you do that work in us today in a variety of different ways, you bring us to the end of ourselves, we get your law, and we think that we're all good to go, and then we come to the realization that we are empty and bereft and unable to fulfill what you've commanded us to do. Thank you that you have loved us so deeply that even though we are sinners, you have sent in Jesus for us. And Father, I just want to pray for each one of us, keep us from the temptation of saying the old is good enough and keep us from the temptation of saying a veiled relationship with God feels safer. I pray that you rock our world through the Holy Spirit. I pray that you give us a taste of something that's so powerful that it will be irresistible, that your glory will emanate from us and through us in a way that will draw more people to the glory that you've given for us to hold in these jars of clay. Father, I pray for liberation, I pray that you set us free. And I pray right now, especially, that you set us free from all of the fears that we have about what our lives will be if we really give ourselves over to you. Help us to know your deep love, and that when we place ourselves in your hands, we're in the safest, best place that we can possibly be. We pray this in the name of our great Savior, and the one who brought about the new covenant, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:36] As we close this service, let me just say, if something hit you today in a big way and you're like, I need to pray, I need to talk, I need some guidance, I need to understand, I'm not totally clear, we're going to have some elders and leaders up on either side of the stage, and we would love to talk with you and pray with you about that.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:52] God bless you. Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday, and a wonderful holiday tomorrow.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848