2 Corinthians 3:13-18
2 Cor 3:13 (KJB)
And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
Abolished - Done away with or nullified
Stedfastly look - Look intently or fix ones eyes
The comparison here is that of the openness of the covenant of Grace and the temporary character of the law. The glory on the face of Moses was definitely glorious which made it impossible to look into his face for any period of time but the nature of this glory was one which was going to be done away with, it faded with time. When God gave Moses the law, his face had become so bright that a veil was needed but just as Calvary did away with the law, time did away with the temporary glory on the face of Moses.
2 Cor 3:14 (KJB)
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
Minds - Mind as in the area of thoughts or purposes
Were blinded - Made hard, stubborn, or covered with a callous
The conduct of the Israelites had shown that they did not really have an understanding of the ministry of Moses and the law. Over time, their hearts had become very hard, to the point that Paul uses a word which means “covered by a callous.” A callous on the skin may be hard and thick but metaphorically it means that they became a people with no feeling or emotion. Their hardness was handed down to each subsequent generation and as a consequence, they had become very hard to the point they could not even recognize who Jesus was, never mind Paul. Whenever they read the Hebrew Scriptures, their mind is still attuned to the law which means their blindness is still in effect. The veil on their mind is removed when one becomes saved because they will see much clearer and then they will understand the ministry of Moses and what the law was all about. As long as the veil remains in effect, they will believe that they have the ability to attain salvation by keeping the law. When one becomes saved, they will also understand the nature of the true Gospel.
2 Cor 3:15 (KJB)
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
Paul states that even up till his time which would have been about 1500 years after Moses, whenever the law is read, the veil of blindness and hardness is still upon their heart. Part of the hardness was that they thought by having the law given to them, they had some kind of special relationship with God but because of the veil, they did not understand that they were responsible to keep the law, and of course, they could not. They did not realize that the law was to teach them they could not keep the law and therefore needed a personal Savior, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 3:16 (KJB)
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.
Here is the great promise that anyone under the law who becomes saved, the veil will be taken away by the Lord and then they will understand spiritual things. (Exo 34:34 KJV) But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. When Moses communed with the Lord, the veil came off and that is a great symbol that when a person comes out of a mindset of trying to keep the law and they become saved, the veil comes off of them and they are able to commune with the Lord. A great example of this was Paul’s own conversion. He was vehement about destroying the church of God because he thought it was blasphemy, but when he became saved the veil was taken away. On the road to Damascus, he was able to commune with the Lord because the veil was quickly removed. This principle applies to anyone who comes out of a false religion which is hostile to the Lord Jesus. As soon as they become truly saved, they begin to see the error of their ways and realize how blinded they were to the truth. Their blindness had kept them in bondage to the law but once they became saved, they were free.
2 Cor 3:17 (KJB)
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Liberty - Freedom
(John 4:24 KJV) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. As John had declared that God was Spirit, Paul is also declaring that the Lord Jesus Christ is also Spirit. Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit. This means that true worship of God does not come from the keeping of the law but it comes only after a person has become truly saved. When one reads the Scriptures under the law, they are blinded with that veil but when one reads the Scriptures under the illumination of the Spirit, then true understanding will come and no veil will be in the way of understanding the Scriptures. Not only does the Holy Spirit illumine the Scriptures, but he also enlightens our minds to understand those Scriptures and see them in line with the rest of the Bible. Now the liberty which is being spoken of here is in no way speaking of license to sin. That idea is never spoken of in Scripture. The liberty is freedom from the rituals of the law. This liberty is also freedom from keeping church rituals as well which are thought to bring a person to salvation. Once a person becomes saved, they will see that church rituals are also a means of blinding people to the truth.
2 Cor 3:18 (KJV)
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
With open - Uncovered, unveiled, made manifest
Beholding in a glass - Reflect (as in a mirror), contemplate
Are changed - Are being transformed
Here Paul compares the Christian to those under the law who are still blinded and veiled. He states that we are unveiled because when a person becomes truly saved, the veil is removed and everything is made open to them. As one contemplates the Lord, through the Scriptures, worship, and prayer, the Spirit of God changes them. Those who are under the law, who become saved, are considered as going from glory to glory, that is, they are going from the temporary glory of the law, to the permanent glory of the eternal covenant of Grace and that is how a person is transformed, when they go from temporary glory to permanent glory. The image which we are changed into is the image of Christ. This is because the Holy Spirit now dwells in us and we are made spiritually alive from the spiritually dead. (Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Right now that image is remade within the framework of our bodies but when the Lord Jesus Christ returns on the last day, our transformation will be complete. (1 John 3:2 KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.