We are treasure in clay jars

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We are treasure in clay jars      

2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

Extra Reading: 2 Corinthians 1-15

This ministry, which Paul and his colleagues have received, is the ministry of the new covenant (2 Cor. 3:6). It is through God’s mercy that Paul has received this great ministry (see 1 Timothy 1:12-14). Therefore, he does not lose heart. Paul understood that faithfulness to this commission requires believers to avoid presenting speculations, human traditions, or pleasant sounding words to entice others to become committed followers of Christ. Paul here (verse 2) gives the description of a true apostle. Paul does not follow the shameful ways of the false apostles, who use deception and distort the word of God (see    2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5). Like milkmen who add water to their milk before they sell it, these false apostles mix false teaching with the word of God. On the contrary, writes Paul, “we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience.” All men have heard Paul ought to know in their hearts and consciences that his word is sincere and true. God also knows that Paul’s word is true, because Paul does everything openly “in the sight of God” (see John 3:20-21). According to verse 3, the only ones who cannot see the truth of Paul’s Gospel are those whose minds and hearts have been covered with the “veil” of unbelief (2 Cor. 3:14-15). Thank God that the veil is not covering the Gospel; it is covering the minds of unbelievers. Their spiritual eyes have been blinded to the truth. To proclaim the Gospel to such people is like giving a mirror to a blind man.

According to verse 4, the god of this age is Satan (see John 12:31) He has blinded the minds of unbelievers (see John 8:42-47); 1 John 4:6). Because of their blindness, unbelieving men cannot see the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Paul’s main work as an apostle was to make blind men see, and to turn them from darkness to the glorious light of God (see Acts 26:17-18; 1 Peter 2:9). Christ is the “image of God.” In Christ, the invisible God has been made visible (see John 14:9; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3). But only those who have not been blinded by unbelief can recognize who Christ is. In verse 5, Paul writes, “For we do not preach ourselves.” That is, Paul and his colleagues did not puff themselves up with pride, they did not seek honour from men (1 Thessalonians 2:6). Instead, “setting forth the truth plainly” (verse 2), Paul preached the Gospel of Christ and nothing else (see 1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Even though Paul was an apostle, he was not the Corinthians’ master; rather, he was their servant (see 1 Cor. 4:1). In one way, Paul was the servant only of Christ, and not of any other man (1 Cor. 7:23). But in another way, Paul made himself a servant of all men “for Jesus’ sake” (1 Cor. 9:19).  In so doing, Paul was following the example of Jesus Himself, who, “being in the very nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (see Philippians 2:5-8). Verse 6 states, In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Ad even today God continues to say to all men: “Let there be light.” “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God “made his light shine in our hearts.”

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for making us vessels of honour. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise  

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