Rudy Ross and I produce a daily YouTube video that can be seen on the Bob Spradling channel. Rudy and I have been talking about the Bible for 20 years.
Our relationship began by praying together and expanded to a Holy Spirit-inspired friendship.
My knowledge of the Bible and my spiritual life has been enriched by our friendship.
Recently, Rudy introduced me to an article by C. S. Lewis on Transposition. In today’s video, we explain the concept of transposition and use it to understand Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians 3.
What is transposition?
Imagine the musical score for an orchestra. The composer writes sheet music for every instrument in the orchestra.
Suppose someone wanted to play the orchestral song on the piano. The composer would have to reduce the musical score to accommodate a single instrument.
C. S. Lewis describes the changes that are made from orchestra to piano as transposition.
Paul’s use of transposition
Paul used a common argument of lesser-to-greater or transposition to explain the impact that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have made in our world.
— 2 Corinthians 3.7-11 – Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’s face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside,
How much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory?
For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!
Indeed, what once had glory has in this respect lost its glory because of the greater glory,
For if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!
Just as an orchestra and a piano can play the same song, God’s purpose in the Old Testament was the same as that in the New Testament.
To use our analogy, the Old Testament is the “piano,” and the New Testament is the “orchestra.”
The Ten Commandments were God’s gift to humanity. They set the standard of behavior for humans. Imagine what our world would be like if everyone followed God’s directions that were carved in stone.
The Day of Pentecost and the day on which the Ten Commandments were given are the same day on the calendar.
The Ten Commandments came with glory (think beautiful piano music), but the gift of the Holy Spirit was even more glorious (think of the orchestra).
It was no fault that the Ten Commandments do not produce life. Humans who willingly transgress God’s gracious guidance are to blame.
Because of our sin, they became a “ministry of death” and a “ministry of condemnation.”
God promised to remedy the situation. “I will give them one heart and put a new Spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11.19).
The gift of the Holy Spirit transforms our willfulness into willingness.
“I will put my Spirit within you and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances” (Ezekiel 36.27).
The greater glory of life in the Spirit is that humans are enabled to follow God’s guidance and live life to the fullest.
The same song, only far better.
Returning to the piano/orchestra analogy, it was never God’s purpose to eliminate the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) are the two best guides for living in existence.
If I can express it like this, God’s written word is the piano version of plans for humanity.
When the Holy Spirit enables humans to incorporate God’s guidance into their daily lives, the full orchestra of God’s glory plays the song.
Our job is to surrender to the Spirit and live the best life possible.
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