The knowledge of the glory of God is a treasure indeed. A treasure that was given to us by way of Christ Jesus. We have this treasure in earthen vessels according to 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (the verses we’ll be looking at in this post).
Here they are.
2 Corinthians 4:
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
There’s nothing like picking apart a good verse to truly grasp the levels of meaning behind what’s being said. This is going to be particularly true for verse 6.
It’s THAT God
The apostle Paul opens up verse six letting us know exactly what God he’s talking about. He’s also reminding us of how big the Lord is, and how comparatively small and meagre we are.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness…”
Notice the particular piece of creation that Paul brings up? He’s reaching back into chapter 1 of Genesis.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
In these verses from Genesis that Paul was referring to, “light” didn’t mean the sun and the moon. He makes those further down the chapter. The light and darkness that the Lord was talking about are spiritual.
A Light we Can’s Observe Physically
Think about it this way, things of a spiritual nature don’t require things of a carnal nature to operate. Spirits of Saints gone by don’t have to jump into the domain of the flesh in order to grab a bite to eat, right? No, they don’t. They get what they need from the Lord, where they’re at- in the plane or dimension they’re in.
With that same understanding, why would things of a spiritual nature need to depend on physical things in this dimension, such as the sun and the moon, in order to have a light? They don’t.
Things of a spiritual nature have no need of the sun, moon, and stars because the light was among the first things that the Father created in the beginning. It was a spiritual-based light. After that, he moved forward with the firmaments and separating the waters, and so forth.
Later on, he created the great light to rule by day and the lesser light to illuminate the night. The sun and the moon.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
We can’t see that light made in Genesis 1:3 which separated the darkness, as it is experienced spiritually. To prove that, we can take a look at what is being said further into the verses above, that this light has been shed in our hearts. We don’t see saved people walking around shining like torches, do we?
No, we don’t. However, things of the spirit do, which is why it is important for us to have a sound understanding of our authority in Christ Jesus. Our enemy isn’t of flesh and blood but is spiritual. This is the true battleground.
A Threat and a Target to the Powers of Darkness
Those of us who are saved, washed by the blood of the Lamb, and harbour Christ in us, has had this light shed into our hearts. This paints us as a target as well as a threat to the powers of darkness. Our walk with the Lord will determine in which category we land.
If you’re saved but tend to remain a fair-weather friend to the Lord and starve yourself of the Word of the Lord, you’ll find yourself being much more of a target to the enemies of the Lord.
Demonic forces have had thousands of years of practice pushing people to see what they can get out of them. Some people think that being saved means that wicked forces will leave you alone. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Lord has shed light and life into your spirit. Demonic forces can see you from a mile away, and they will eventually come to see whether or not they can push you without receiving any push back.
Someone spiritually weak might get themselves involved with things that create openings, or lands them outside of the will of the Lord, leaving them open. In these circumstances, the person has willingly (though perhaps ignorantly) made himself a target.
When someone is targetted by the enemy, a few things can happen.
- It can snap the person into remembrance of the height from which he might have fallen, and start him back on the path the Lord wants him to be on.
- Being targetted can cause a believer to be fearful, which opens more doors for the enemy to come and do their work.
- They can be less overt and use situations and circumstances to sway you from the truth of the Lord.
- At worst, through spiritual conditioning and oppression, someone can become bitter toward the Lord, and reject the Lord who saved him.
All but the first point above knocks the Saint out of the game, and puts them on the sidelines- or even working for the opposing team!
A Threat to the Enemy
The Father has given us the tools to deal with attacks that come from our spiritual enemies. The weapon of our warfare is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Also, the Father is there with us to help us if we call upon him either before (preempting a spiritual attack), or during an attack from the enemy. He’s there afterwards as well, but his role varies depending on how we handled the situation that has past.
People who wind up a target from the enemy have every opportunity to become a spiritual threat to the enemy. It falls upon the shoulders of the believer as to whether or not the sword of the Spirit will be involved. By the power of God Almighty through the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus, who dwells in us, we can turn an attack against us into an assault against the Kingdom of Darkness.
The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Here is the physical description of a spiritually discerned thing; a physical description of the aforementioned light. This light is generated by knowledge- but a very specific knowledge. It’s only generated by the knowledge of God’s glory.
None of us can attain this knowledge, or this light, in and of ourselves. Only through Christ Jesus does this become available. He sees the face of the Father; Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, and the physical embodiment of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God- dwells within us.
This light of the knowledge of the glory of God was also in Moses’s face. His face shone brightly enough that it needed to be covered! That’s because he a had witnessed through his physical eyes that which nobody else was allowed to see in the flesh- the glory of God.
But Moses died and that light went with him, and yet Christ is alive!
He is throned at the right hand of the Father, constantly basking in God’s glory. Through the Spirit of the Lord, we are also partakers in this as Jesus takes it with him into our hearts. If that isn’t enough to get a Saint excited I don’t know what could.
Treasure in Earthen Vessels
The knowledge of the glory of God is indeed a treasure. It has a way to sort life out appropriately and give us the discernment to see the will of the Lord more clearly. The glory of God is light indeed, that shines upon things that physical lights can’t help with- like the difference between what’s evil and what’s good; not in our own eyes, but in the eyes of the Lord.
This treasure is at our disposal. But like every gift that is provided to us by the Lord, it isn’t imposing and doesn’t make our decisions for us. Free will is always at play, and we have just as many opportunities to ignore the knowledge of the glory of God as we do to adhere to it, or to Him.
Deciding to Be Led
We also have control over the extent that the Lord is in charge of our lives. Free will gives us this power as well- mostly to our own detriment. We are in control over what we decide to do or refuse to do.
Salvation gives us an edge over life’s decisions, but not a failsafe. We have the right to choose against what the Lord shows us or to decide to be obedient. What we don’t have control over, is the ramifications of our decision. You reap what you sow, and you can’t change that in the middle fo the game.
The Lord can level forgiveness if we realize that we’ve done something wicked and ask for it & repent, but that’s spiritual. We’re in the physical. Here’s an exaggerated example of what I mean:
Evel Knievel makes a decision to do a stunt. The Lord says not to do it- he does it anyway. Something goes wrong and he breaks his leg and does damage across his body.
In the hospital bed, he asks for forgiveness for being disobedient, and the Lord is faithful to forgive. When he goes by way of the grave, this offence won’t be counted against him.
But, he’s still got to get through the pain, the suffering, and the time it takes to heal, from making that decision. There are circumstances where the Father will intervene and remove you from those kinds of circumstances (healing, miracles, etc.) as there is nothing impossible with the Lord.
But that is all up to him as a disciplinarian who knows your future. Probably the most common thing that he’ll do (that we hear about and experience), is speed up recoveries as it relates to physical ailments or injuries, and present opportunities as it would relate to other types of bad repercussions from poor decisions.
Also, for all we know, the Lord has already intervened! In the fictional example above, it’s the Lord who might have allowed Evel Knievel to sustain injuries but saved him from death.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, yet the power is of God, not of us. We are without it when we reject it or deny it. But when we dig in and feast upon the Word of the Lord, and adhere to it as well as the lessons given to us simultaneously by the Holy Ghost; when we let the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shine through us in the person of Christ Jesus, not only do our lives change for the better, but we avoid a multitude of trouble that the enemies of the Lord would love for us to fall into.
The Word of the Lord is alive and packed with knowledge from God himself. Through it we get to know the Father better, we get closer to him, we gain understanding into his will, and we become stronger spiritually.
Without Jesus, none of the above is opened up to our understanding. Unsaved people might gain a superficial understanding of God’s Word without Jesus, but remain blinded to the spiritual truths when looked upon by spiritually dead eyes. Without Jesus, the Bible is a book of stories with lessons.
That’s not to say that the Father can’t intervene and use scripture to hook in someone’s craw till they get saved, but that’s according to his will or his plan. Let’s not forget how the scriptures above began! “For God” is how verse six began.
It’s God that shed the light into our hearts. It’s his will for us to be saved, and enjoy all that he has to give. He’s a loving Father, that is just to forgive us of our ignorance and foolishness, and give us the treasure of his only begotten Son. What a treasure indeed, and evidence of his love for us, his creation.
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