New American Standard Bible
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
King James Bible
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Darby Bible Translation
Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
World English Bible
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Young's Literal Translation
And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;
2 Corinthians 3:17 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Now the Lord is that Spirit - The word "Lord" here evidently refers to the Lord Jesus; see 2 Corinthians 3:16. It may be observed in general in regard to this word, that where it occurs in the New Testament unless the connection require us to understand it of God, it refers to the Lord Jesus. It was the common name by which he was known; see John 20:13; John 21:7, John 21:12; Ephesians 4:1, Ephesians 4:5. The design of Paul in this verse seems to be to account for the "liberty" which he and the other apostles had, or for the boldness, openness, and plainness 2 Corinthians 3:12 which they evinced in contradistinction from the Jews. who so little understood the nature of their institutions. He had said 2 Corinthians 3:6, that he was a minister "not of the letter, but of the Spirit;" and he had stated that the Old Testament was not understood by the Jews who adhered to the literal interpretation of the Scriptures. He here says, that the Lord Jesus was "the Spirit" to which he referred, and by which he was enabled to understand the Old Testament so as to speak plainly, and without obscurity. The sense is, that Christ was the Spirit; that is, the sum, the substance of the Old Testament. The figures, types, prophecies, etc. all centered in him, and he was the end of all those institutions. If contemplated as having reference to him, it was easy to understand them. This I take to be the sentiment of the pas sage, though expositors have been greatly divided in regard to its meaning. Thus explained, it does not mean absolutely and abstractly that the Lord Jesus was "a Spirit," but that he was the sum, the essence, the end, and the purport of the Mosaic rites, the spirit of which Paul had spoken in 2 Corinthians 3:6, as contradistinguished from the letter of the Law.
And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty - This is a general truth designed to illustrate the particular sentiment which he had just advanced. The word "liberty" here (ἐλευθερία eleutheria) refers, I think, to freedom in speaking; the power of speaking openly, and freely, as in 2 Corinthians 3:12. It states the general truth, that the effect of the Spirit of God was to give light and clearness of view; to remove obscurity from a subject, and to enable one to see it plainly. This would be a truth that could not be denied by the Jews, who held to the doctrine that the Spirit of God revealed truth, and it must be admitted by all. Under the influence of that Spirit, therefore, Paul says, that he was able to speak with openness, and boldness; that he had a clear view of truth, which the mass of the Jews had not; and that the system of religion which he preached was open, plain, and clear. The word "freedom," would perhaps, better convey the idea. "There is freedom from the dark and obscure views of the Jews; freedom from their prejudices, and their superstitions; freedom from the slavery and bondage of sin; the freedom of the children of God, who have clear views of him as their Father and Redeemer and who are enabled to express those views openly and boldly to the world."
Liberty is the heirloom of all the sons and daughters of Adam. But where do you find liberty unaccompanied by religion? True it is that all men have a right to liberty, but it is equally true that you do not meet it in any country save where you find the Spirit of the Lord. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Thank God, this is a free country. This is a land where I can breathe the air and say it is untainted by the groan of a single slave; my lungs receive it, and I know there has …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855
How to Become Like Christ.
The Two Covenants: the Transition
The Image of God in Man.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
2 Corinthians 3:18
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 from the Lord, the Spirit.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
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