“But we have this treasure in earthen containers, so that the extraordinary greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; ” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
God in His mercy generously let us in on what He is doing in world, and has given the church work to do on His behalf. This work is not tedious as some as may think. He has empowered us through the Holy Spirit to accomplish all that He intended from the foundation of the earth. Apostle Paul encourages the church in 2 Corinthians 4:1-13 to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ knowing that we have this treasure in earthen vessels to share the good news of the gospel of the kingdom with others as ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-2), just as Christ was in the world reconciling mankind to “Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and he has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
“God in his mercy has given us this work to do, and so we are not discouraged. 2We put aside all secret and shameful deeds; we do not act with deceit, nor do we falsify the word of God. In the full light of truth we live in God’s sight and try to commend ourselves to everyone’s good conscience. 3For if the gospel we preach is hidden, it is hidden only from those who are being lost. 4They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 5For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6The God who said, “Out of darkness the light shall shine!” is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ.
7Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. 8We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; 9there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. 10At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies. 11Throughout our lives we are always in danger of death for Jesus’ sake, in order that his life may be seen in this mortal body of ours. 12This means that death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13The scripture says, “I spoke because I believed.” In the same spirit of faith, we also speak because we believe. 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus to life, will also raise us up with Jesus and take us, together with you, into his presence. 15All this is for your sake; and as God’s grace reaches more and more people, they will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving” (2 Corithians 4:1-13 Good News Bible – GNB).
The word thesauros means literally, a “deposit,” so wealth and treasure. Evidently throughout the New Testament it has a twofold usage as describing
(1) material treasure, either money or other valuable material possession, and
(2) spiritual treasure, e.g. “like unto treasure hid in a field” (Matthew 13:44); “good treasure of the heart” (Matthew 12:35).1
It also describes the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up2
God has deposited this spiritual treasure within the heart of every Believer. He has not spoken in secret. He speaks righteousness, declaring things that are right. There is no other God besides Him. The word has gone out from His mouth in righteousness, and will not turn back, that to Him every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance to Him and not to man. They will say of Him, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’(Isa. 45:19, 21, 23, 24).
“For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father ( Phil. 2:9-11).
Apostle Paul’s characterization of the church is that we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22). The word “saint” is derived from a Greek verb (hagiazo [aJgiavzw]) whose basic meaning is “to set apart, ” “sanctify, ” or “make holy.” They are living individuals who have dedicated themselves to the worship and service of the one true God as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ. 1Corintians 1:2 “those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [saints — Jewish Christians], together with all those [Gentiles] everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Lord and ours.” 3
Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing’ (Isa. 45:9)? May it never be, “For this is what the Lord says, He who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it as a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited): “I am the Lord, and there is no one else” (Isa. 45:18). God, Creator of the heaven and earth made earth to be inhabited by mankind in which every ethos (nation) could thrive. Because of the fall earth became something other than what God intended.
In this time of great upheaval we must know that we have this treasure in jars of clay, and look to God in prayer for wisdom and understanding of how to engage today’s culture, never forgetting that we were once lost. God wishes that none should perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Sadly, people are perishing everyday whom may not have had the opportunity to hear the gospel message. Let’s make every effort to make the fruit of our lips good so that the Lord will be glorified in the earth (Matt. 12:33; Heb. 13:15) so that many will be drawn to the light.
In His Service,
Min. Dr. A. Francine Green
Notes: All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard (NASB) unless otherwise noted.
- Bible Study Tools online, Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. “Entry for ‘TREASURE; TREASURER; TREASURY'”. “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. 1915.
- Bible Study Tools online, Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Thesauros”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon“. . 1999.
- Bible Study Tools online, Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell, Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell.