The Unveiling of the Church

Pastors Message. “The unveiling of the Church”


But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.    2Corinthians 3:15-18


That is a report of what is happening in River City Church and right across the body of Christ, in every place where Christians are reckoning themselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ (Romans 6:3-11). The Veil is being taken away, the veil of guilt and condemnation that lies over the hearts and minds of all believers who have not seen themselves as righteous but still as sinners.

Why does this veil need to be taken away? Because a veil is a hindrance to intimacy.

When a man and woman are married, the moment the words are spoken, “I now declare you husband and wife” what is the very next thing that happens? The Groom desires to kiss His bride. Traditionally that is the moment when her face must be unveiled for the veil is a barrier to intimacy.

The Lord wants intimacy with His Church. He didn’t die to gain church-goers. He didn’t die to start a new religion, but a new creation, a Spirit-filled body. The work of the Holy Spirit is to draw back any veil that lies over our hearts that is preventing us from boldly drawing near into the fullness of the intimacy, the sharing of the Father’s love that Jesus died that we would know (Jn. 17:23)

The moment Jesus died on the Cross, the curtain/veil in the temple was torn in two, signifying that the way was open for man to live in the presence of God, for union with God to be a reality. This is so incredible that the Spirit of God has to exhort believers to draw near with boldness through the veil (Hebrews 10:19-22) We have to be exhorted to draw near, to go through the veil, because something is holding us back and to understand what that is we must remember why the Hebrews had to be exhorted to draw near to God (Hebrews 10:19-22).

For generations they had lived with guilt in their hearts over sin and the belief that if they could only become more obedient to God’s commands, then they could know the presence and the blessing of God in their lives to a greater degree (Deuteronomy 28.v1,2). The beginning of Hebrews 10 describes the system these people had been living under for years. It was a system based on sacrifices atoning for sin, but crucially not dealing with sin consciousness and the guilt and condemnation that goes with sin (Hebrews 10:1-4) No matter how many sacrifices were made, a veil of sin consciousness remained between them and the presence of God.

How many of us in the Church too have been making sacrifices for God for years and still haven’t found the intimacy with Him that our hearts are searching for? A veil of condemnation remains that causes us not to enter fully into the liberty that Christ won for us (2Cor.3:17), for any life whose hope is based on their own sacrifices for God cannot be freed from sin consciousness.

The Jews retained a consciousness of sin. They retained guilt and condemnation over their sin, because they knew that under their sacrificial Law system their sins may have been covered over by the blood of sheep and cattle but they still weren’t getting through that curtain into the holy of holies. There would be no communion with God in His presence for them, rather all the continual sacrifices did was to constantly remind them of their sin (Hebrews 10:3)

Old time religion, the belief that it is the sacrifices we make for God that gain us His presence, His blessing, may make us feel good/righteous temporarily, but they cannot take away the veil, the consciousness of our own sin that prevents us from “drawing near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

That condemnation, that feeling that no matter how hard you try you still aren’t good enough for communion with God is a killer. It kills intimacy with God which is why Paul declared to the Corinthians that “the Law Kills” (2Cor.3:6) Under a Law mind-set the Bible says that people live with this veil between them and God that they can’t break through. This belief in their hearts that they are not good enough for God, effectively acts as a barrier to them drawing near Him and knowing intimacy with Him.

When we recognise sin consciousness in the believer as a barrier to intimacy with God, we can see that far from accusing the brethren and continually reminding them of their sin, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church is to lift up the power of the Cross to unveil to believers that they have been made righteous in God’s sight. To see what Christ has done in you is a life changing experience. It is to see as in a mirror that your primary identity is no longer the first Adam (sinner) but the last Adam (righteous). As the Spirit continues to draw our attention away from the sin in us and onto Christ in us (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1:18, Colossians 1:27) we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory (2 Cor.3:18)

So River City Church, let the Holy Spirit pull back the veil. Reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11), so that we can look with unveiled faces as in a mirror the glory of God and so this generation will see the image of Christ shining from His Church.