The Faithful Have Vanished
To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.1 A Psalm of David.
12 Save, O Lord, for mthe godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
2 Everyone nutters lies to his neighbor;
3 May the Lord cut off all oflattering lips,
the tongue that makes qgreat boasts,
4 those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
5 “Because rthe poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
sI will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the tsafety for which he longs.”
6 uThe words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7 You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us2 from this generation forever.
8 On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.
Ministers of the New Covenant
3 qAre we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, ras some do, sletters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 tYou yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our1 hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of uthe living God, not on vtablets of stone but on wtablets of xhuman hearts.2
4 ySuch is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 zNot that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but aour sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be bministers of ca new covenant, not of dthe letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but ethe Spirit gives life.
7 Now if fthe ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory gthat the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in hthe ministry of condemnation, ithe ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
12 Since we have such a hope, jwe are very bold, 13 not like Moses, kwho would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But ltheir minds were mhardened. For to this day, nwhen they read othe old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when pone3 turns to the Lord, qthe veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord4 is the Spirit, and where rthe Spirit of the Lord is, there is sfreedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,5 vare being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another.6 For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.