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Pastor Chris: In Christ Alone

Treasure in Jars of Clay

jars of clay

2 CORINTHIANS 4:7 We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.




"Struck down…"

In this broken world, sometimes our bodies feel like weak earthen vessels. 2 Corinthians 4 describes our bodies as cracked, fragile, flimsy jars of clay.

Jars of clay were the throwaway containers of the ancient world. The expected lifespan of a jar of clay was just a couple of years. They were used to store olive oil, wine and grain. These earthen vessels were a daily part of life, but were ultimately expendable. A jar of clay would be equivalent to tupperware in today's society.

To put it simply, no one in the ancient world would become despondent if their jars of clay were broken.

Similiarly, no one in our society today would lose all hope if they misplaced their tupperware. 

Yet why is it that our physical health seems much more important to us than our spiritual health today?

It is true, our bodies are miraculous gifts from God. The Bible says our bodies were designed fearfully and wonderfully in our mother’s womb by God (Psalm 139:13-14).

Each face and fingerprint is unique.

Each person’s DNA was designed to the last microscopic detail by our Creator Father.

God made bones to be strong, eyes to see, hears to see, hearts, minds and internal organs to work together in a physiological symphony.

Yet due to the Fall, sin has introduced death to the once good and perfect planet God created. Now that the virus of sin has infected every part of creation, James 4 says life is a vapor, Psalm 144 says life is a breath, Ecclesiastes 3 says all come from the dust and to the dust all return.

2 Corinthans 4 proclaims we are jars of clay, but there is treasure inside these fragile bodies. Even as our bodies betray us, Christians have new life, abundant life, ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord! For those who believe in Jesus and are born again, we become the temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16)!

This treasure is greater than anything inside Fort Knox.

This treasure is greater than anything inside Buckingham Palace.

This treasure is greater than any treasure this world can offer - it is even greater than perfect health.

This treasure reveals our real source of power.

This "SURPASSING" power has the power to surpass the weakness of our flesh. It has the power to give us strength in times of sickness, peace in our pain, virtue while battling viruses, and even hope while facing death itself. That is why the Bible can say we are…

Afflicted, but not crushed.

Perplexed, but not given to despair.

Persecuted, but not forsaken.

Struck down, but not destroyed.

As one pastor put it…

Christians are squeezed, but not squashed.

Bewildered, but not befuddled.

Knocked down, but not knocked out!

2 Corinthians 4 concludes, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison"!