Skip to main content

2 Corinthians 3:18 meaning...

Paul begins by emphasizing a significant change in the new covenant. Unlike the Old Testament, where Moses veiled his face after encountering God's glory on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:33-35), believers in the new covenant have unveiled faces: "But we all, with unveiled face...". This symbolizes unrestricted access to the glory of God through the redemptive work of Christ.

  • Beholding as in a Mirror: Reflecting God's Glory

"...beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord..."

The metaphor of a mirror suggests an intimate and reflective encounter with the glory of the Lord. Believers, through the Spirit, have the privilege of gazing upon and absorbing the transformative radiance of God's glory. The mirror reflects not only the external but also the internal transformation happening within the believer.

  • Transformed into the Same Image: The Process of Transformation

"...are transformed into the same image from glory to glory..."

The essence of the transformative journey unfolds in this phrase. Believers, as they behold God's glory, are undergoing a continual process of transformation. The goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ—the ultimate representation of God's glory. The repetition of "from glory to glory" emphasizes the ongoing nature of this transformation, signifying a progressive and continuous change.

  • From the Lord, the Spirit: The Agent of Transformation

"...even as from the Lord, the Spirit."

The source and facilitator of this transformation are identified as the Lord, specifically the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, given to believers, is the divine agent actively working within, bringing about the metamorphosis into Christlikeness. The emphasis on the Spirit underscores the divine nature of this process.

Theological Significance: Conformity to Christ's Image

  • The Image of Christ:

The ultimate goal of transformation is conformity to the image of Christ. Christ serves as the perfect representation of God's glory, and believers are being progressively shaped to reflect His character and attributes.

  • Continuous Process:

The repetition of "from glory to glory" highlights the continuous nature of transformation. It's not a one-time event but an ongoing process, a journey that unfolds as believers walk with the Lord.

  • Role of the Holy Spirit:

The mention of the Spirit emphasizes the divine agency in the process of transformation. The Spirit is not only the revealer of God's glory but also the active participant in shaping believers into Christ's image.

Practical Implications: The Transformative Christian Life

  • Intimacy with God:

The call to behold God's glory suggests the importance of cultivating intimacy with God through prayer, worship, and the study of His Word. It is in the closeness of relationship that transformation occurs.

  • Mind Renewal:

The parallel with Romans 12:2 underscores the role of mind renewal in the transformative process. Believers are called to align their thoughts, attitudes, and perspectives with the truth revealed in God's Word.

  • Patience in the Journey:

Understanding that transformation is a continuous process encourages patience. It's a journey marked by growth, maturation, and the unfolding of God's purposes in the believer's life.


Romans 12:2: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." This passage from Romans aligns with the theme of transformation, emphasizing the renewing of the mind as a key aspect of the process.

Colossians 3:10: "...and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him." Colossians echoes the idea of being renewed according to the image of Christ, emphasizing the transformative work happening within believers.

Conclusion - The Beauty of Transformative Gaze: 2 Corinthians 3:18 unveils the beauty of the Christian journey—a journey of beholding God's glory and being transformed into the image of Christ. The unveiled faces, the reflective gaze, and the ongoing process from glory to glory underscore the profound nature of this transformative work initiated and sustained by the Spirit of God.

2 Corinthians 3:18. We all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness