We all know that Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church was pretty harsh. Paul spoke very boldly concerning their divisiveness that was driving Christians back into their former paganism. There was little tolerance for such behavior in the church. Christians were fighting over spiritual gifts, were living in rampant sexual sin–the kind that even pagans were ashamed of, they were getting drunk at the Lord’s supper and excluding the poor, their worship was complete chaos, and women and men volleyed for status in the church, to name a few.
In Paul’s second letter, he reminds them again that that behavior belongs to a former life. Now they have hope through Christ Jesus. Then he made an extremely bold statement: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end” (2 Cor. 3:12, 13 ESV). We are very bold, not like Moses! Now that’s a bold statement! Last time I checked, Moses sort of led the Israelites across dry ground in the middle of the Red Sea. Moses also appeared and spoke with Jesus when he was transfigured on the mountain!
Speaking of being transfigured, Paul goes on in 2 Corinthians 2, after telling them that they are bolder than Moses, to say that they “are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (Vs. 18). The word he used is the same word Matthew and Mark used to say that Jesus was transformed or transfigured in front of them! So now we Christians, through the Spirit, are also being transformed with Christ the same image. In other words, we are becoming just like Christ by mirroring his image. This, in turn, gives us absolute boldness to tell other people about Christ.