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2 Corinthians 3:12

ESV Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,
NIV Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
NASB Therefore, having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,
CSB Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness.
NLT Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.
KJV Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
NKJV Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—

What does 2 Corinthians 3:12 mean?

Paul has shown in previous verses that the new covenant—between God and those who trust in Christ for salvation—far outshines the fading glory of the old covenant. That arrangement was based on human attempts to follow the law of Moses in order to be acceptable to God. It's not that the law served no purpose. It revealed the human need for God's grace and forgiveness: exactly what is made available through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sin.

One result of this new agreement between God and those who come to Him through faith in Christ, Paul writes, is boldness. The old covenant, by design, caused men and women to become deeply aware of their own sinfulness and inability to do what was right before God. The result was a lack of confidence before God. The new covenant, though, removes the need for people to trust in their own ability to do right. Believers are not bold because we are confident in ourselves. A Christian places all his or her confidence in Jesus' right choices and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Because we come to God in Christ, who is perfect and sinless, we do not need to veil our faces before Him. We have the "hope" that we are in good standing and at peace with God right now. The word "hope" as used here does not mean "wish." It means confidence that God will keep His promises.

Paul, then, is bold in how he lives and bold in what he says. This includes a boldness in rebuking the Christians in Corinth when they are wrong or sinful.
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