but we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of power may be of God and not out of us


Last night we were praying over Matt. 6:20-21 regarding the treasure and our heart – where our treasure is, there will our heart be also:

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not dig through nor steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

and there was this sweet realization and prayer in us – Lord, You are our treasure! May everything fade away, and may You take the first place in us! May our heart seek You and be with You, Lord! And there is another verse that goes a little further – 2 Cor. 4:7, which says

1But we have this 2atreasure in earthen bvessels that the 3cexcellency of the dpower may be of God and not out of us.

I thoroughly enjoyed the notes on this verse – see note 1 on BUT:

God’s shining in our hearts brings into us a treasure, the Christ of glory, who is the embodiment of God to be our life and our everything. But we who contain this treasure are earthen vessels, worthless and fragile. A priceless treasure is contained in worthless vessels! This has made the worthless vessels ministers of the new covenant with a priceless ministry. This has been accomplished by the divine power in resurrection. The excellency of the power is surely of God and not out of us.

In the apostles’ speaking concerning their ministry for God’s new covenant, five very significant and expressive metaphors were used to illustrate how they, as the ministers of the new covenant, and their ministry were constituted, how they behaved and lived, and how their ministry was carried out:

  1. Captives in a triumphal procession for the celebration of Christ’s victory (2:14a);
  2. Incense-bearers to scatter the fragrance of Christ (2:14b-16);
  3. Letters written with Christ as the content (3:1-3);
  4. Mirrors beholding and reflecting the glory of Christ in order to be transformed into His glorious image (3:18);
  5. Earthen vessels to contain the Christ of glory as the excellent treasure (v. 7). These vessels are like today’s camera, into which Christ the figure enters through the flash of God’s shining (vv. 4, 6).

Wow – through God’s shining, we receive the treasure, which is Christ Himself! Now even though we are earthen vessels, we contain a marvelous treasure and this makes us ministers of a new covenant with a priceless ministry! And this is not out of us, but it is of God! Here is note 2 on this treasure:

This treasure, the indwelling Christ, in us, the earthen vessels, is the divine source of the supply for the Christian life. It is by the excellent power of this treasure that the apostles as the ministers of the new covenant were capable of living a crucified life that the resurrection life of Christ, whom they ministered, might be manifested. Thus, they manifested the truth (v. 2) for the shining of the gospel.

Wow again – the supply and the source of supply for our Christian life is not our own effort, faithfulness, or endurance – it is this treasure in us, that is, the indwelling Christ! How can we live the life Christ lived today, daily under the killing of the cross and in resurrection for the expression of the Father? Only by enjoying this treasure in us. O, Lord, shine more today on us that we may have an increased appreciation of the treasure in our earthen vessel! May we see this treasure – may we see the Wonderful Amazing Glorious All-Inclusive Christ that dwells within us! May we enjoy this treasure! May we eventually express like a mirror / transparent crystal this Christ that lives within!

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16 thoughts on “but we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of power may be of God and not out of us

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