GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Do we have to show you our qualifications again? Do we, like some people, need letters that recommend us to you or letters from you that recommend us to others? 2You're our letter of recommendation written in our hearts that everyone knows and reads. 3It's clear that you are Christ's letter, written as a result of our ministry. You are a letter written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, a letter written not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4Christ gives us confidence about you in God's presence. 5By ourselves we are not qualified in any way to claim that we can do anything. Rather, God makes us qualified. 6He has also qualified us to be ministers of a new promise, a spiritual promise, not a written one. Clearly, what was written brings death, but the Spirit brings life.
7The ministry that brought death was inscribed on stone. Yet, it came with such glory that the people of Israel couldn't look at Moses' face. His face was shining with glory, even though that glory was fading. 8Won't the ministry that brings the Spirit have even more glory? 9If the ministry that brings punishment has glory, then the ministry that brings God's approval has an overwhelming glory. 10In fact, the ministry that brings punishment lost its glory because of the superior glory of the other ministry. 11If that former ministry faded away despite its glory, how much more does that ministry which remains continue to be glorious?
12Since we have confidence [in the new promise], we speak very boldly. 13We are not like Moses. He kept covering his face with a veil. He didn't want the people of Israel to see the glory fading away. 14However, their minds became closed. In fact, to this day the same veil is still there when they read the Old Testament. It isn't removed, because only Christ can remove it. 15Yet, even today, when they read the books of Moses, a veil covers their minds. 16But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17This Lord is the Spirit. Wherever the Lord's Spirit is, there is freedom. 18As all of us reflect the Lord's glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.