We Have this Treasure in Earthen Vessels – 2 Corinthians 4 Part 4

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

That GodThe 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 meager 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. 

Genesis 1:
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.

Genesis 1:
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 harbor 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. 

A Target

Fiery Darts of the EnemyIf 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

A threat to the EnemyThe 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 afterward 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

The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus ChristHere 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 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.

We Have this 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 offense 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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Thanks for Reading!

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4 thoughts on “We Have this Treasure in Earthen Vessels – 2 Corinthians 4 Part 4”

  1. Hi Brian, thank you for this latest teaching. I have often realized how often our free will can cheat us out of a blessing such as drawing closer to God. One scripture I always found to be helpful is about the two sons whom the father asked to go into the field to work. The one said no he would not go, but later did, and the second one said he would go, but never did. I was the the first one & was always blessed in receiving knowledge of God within the unity of the Trinity . I must say though it is more productive when I say yes & come to the Lord the first time He calls, & i’m sure more satisfying to God. Another scripture I think of is “My people parish for lack of knowledge.” & what Jesus says to the five unwise virgins. “I don’t know you.” Thinking about the first two chapters of Genesis always helps me get into God’s glory. There is no way to measure so many things about Him. His loved is not the only thing we can’t measure. His intelligence, creativity, management skills etc . Thank you again & God bless

    Reply
    • Hi there Janet,
      Thank you so much for your comment and kind words! Amen & Amen! Free will isn’t always free, right? Free will can be extremely costly, and time-consuming when you use it to get yourself in a spiritual hole. I wish I could say that I fell into the category that you do (the smart category), of saying yes to the Lord and proceeding as instructed. When I look back, I’ve been them all (to my own shame). Sometimes smart enough to see the nose past my face, other times not so much. I’ve gotten much better over the years, and have proven that though the patience of the Lord isn’t without an end, it is far greater than I ever deserved.

      Those are my most favorite parts of the Old Testament if I really think about it Sister. There is so much there, the beginning of it all! The Father is a father indeed, and there are none like him- nor ever will be. Praise his holy name! Thank you again for your comment, and may the Father bless you with every blessing in Jesus mighty name!

      Reply
  2. Thanks Brian…as usual, you have put a lot on our plate! This is the spiritual light, that our Lord has put into us when we are saved through faith. But the demons do perceive this light, as you have said. And they have attempted to hurt me, as well as members of my family. My immediate reaction is to put a strangle hold on these imps from hell, I wish that I dould put a body lock on them, pick them up, and slam them head first into the pavement. ARRGGG!!! (at 250 lbs, my knick name in the Marine Corps was Sledge Hammer, for obvious reasons LOL). Anyway, I calm down, and realize that I need the Lord’s protection/provision to remain safe. As I have told you, Brian, for many years, I have played the audio cd King James Psalms and Proverbs on my sound system, and I play it loudly. It is not by the flesh, but by faith, that we do battle with the imps of darkness. I do try to stay as close to the Father as possible. I like it in Psalm 18, where it states “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Staying close to our Father, and our Lord Jesus (a friend who sticketh closer than a brother), is the only way to live. Thanks again, Brian…stay strong Brother!!

    Reply
    • Hi there George,
      Amen & Amen! I’m right there with you as it relates to being spiritually violent against the enemies of the Lord! Haha

      I like to take heart in the fact that there will be a day, where we will be riding into battle behind the King of Kings. We’ll have a chance to execute some of that pent up aggression against spiritual wickedness in high places- woe to them. I’m honored to know such a warrior in the Lord such as yourself Brother! Be safe and may the Lord keep you, your family, property, and possessions safe from all retaliation that comes your way in Jesus name! Thank you for the comment and kind words George!

      Reply

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