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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—


The argument of 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 gives the superiority and permanence of New Covenant ministry. It is set in contrast to Old Covenant ministry.


“Therefore” draws a conclusion from verses 7-11 that the ministry of the Spirit has more glory than the Law ministry.

since we have such hope [confidence],

Christians have confidence in God because the New Covenant is eternal. It is important to note that “hope” does not refer to wishful thinking. That is a North American idea. Biblical hope is confidence based on God’s promises. This is a confidence that the gospel is certain to transform a person’s life. “Hope” here is the assurance that the provision of the New Covenant was realized in Christ (Ro 15:13; Eph 1:18, 4:4; Co 1:5; 1 Th 5:8; He 6:19; 7:9; 1 Pe 1:3, 13, 21).

The “hope” here is that New Covenant ministry imparts “glory” to Christians. Glory is God’s manifestation of Himself to believers. Ultimately believers will be glorified, which is our “hope.”

The supernatural work of the Spirit will show the glory of God to Christians and the world. The specific hope here is that the nature of the New Covenant is permanent and lasts for eternity. Christian hope carries unconditional certainty within itself. God’s promises will fulfill His guarantee without question.

we use great boldness of speech—

The Greek word for “boldness” related to the right of a Greek citizen to speak freely. Paul’s team was public and open with their ministries. The dynamics of the New Covenant produces confidence in sharing its message. Paul’s ministry was open and clear, not hidden like the way the veil hid the glory on Moses’s face. He exercised his ministry transparently and without fear.


The height of biblical erudition is to be transparent with our message.


If the ministry of the Spirit has greater glory, then ministers of the gospel will have greater boldness. Hope in the New Covenant produces confidence. Confidence makes a person more outspoken about his or her faith. This kind of person is “bold” in speech. There is no fear of what others think. Cultural pressure does not daunt a person who has come to grips with truth. This is a person of conviction. Those who preach error tend to obfuscate, hide, or conceal their belief.

There are preachers who minister in such a way that no one can understand them. I guess the purpose is for people to say, “My, that pastor is well educated.” This is not a good thing in the eyes of God (Neh 8:8; 1 Co 14:8-9).