In Earthen Vessels

2_Corinthians_4_5t7_Earthen_Vessels.jpg

Audio of Sermon: 

Bible Notes: I was watching something disgusting on television the other day, not because I wanted to watch it, but it was forced on me in the middle of the show I was watching.

It was called – I think – a commercial.

It was a new commercial for one of these diet drinks I never drink because – quite frankly – they taste like battery acid. Anyway this young woman came on and told me how good her diet soda was — that it was “delicious” — then proceeded to tell me that

If you want to live in a yurt, live in a yurt”

I thought at first she was saying “If you want to live in the dirt live in the dirt” which I thought was weird. But with people and their belief structure today – who knows? At least I know what DIRT is. I had to look up YURT. It’s a round, portable tent made of animal skins that Turkish nomads invented.

I don’t want to live in a YURT. I want to live in my house sitting in my recliner loving my wife. The young lady went on to say

Life is short. Just do what you want. Just DO YOU!”

That is the attitude of most of the world today, and most of the world of yesterday. Jesus asked the question one day:

Mark 8:36-37 (NKJV) For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

What indeed. People have given up their souls for money, food, sex, fame, and have done so since the beginning of human history. The attitude of this and the previous generations of people is that I should live to do what I MYSELF want to do.

Live in a YURT.
Eat DIRT.
Do whatever YOU want because life is short.
This life is short.
But life itself is not really short.

Life Is Not A Commercial

God tells us that there is another life beyond this life. That life can be light in the Lord for those who love the Lord:

Psalm 89:11-16 (NKJV) The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them. 12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name. 13 You have a mighty arm; Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. 15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. 16 In Your name they rejoice all day long, And in Your righteousness they are exalted.

But there is a life beyond this one of eternal darkness for those who do not live in the light of God’s love:

John 3:19-21 (NKJV) And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Life is short NOW, but not THEN.
Every human is created in the image of God, and as such our souls are eternal.
Where will I go when I depart this place?
I go to
Whom I love.
If I love Jesus I will go to Jesus.
If I love ME I will go to a place where people only love themselves and God is not in it.

The Gospel is in direct opposition to every commercial – I say EVERY COMMERCIAL – on television today. The Gospel shouts out to all who say “Life is short – do YOU” and says “No, this is not life. Life is in God. Life is in Christ.”

Commercials preach US. Every commercial is about YOU. YOU should buy this car. YOU should drink this drink. YOU should come to this bank and get our credit card. YOU deserve it. This is the message that the world brings to us. When you watch a television show and it says just prior to your show:

This show is brought to you by …

and they fill in a company or manufacturer telling you who the sponsor is, what they should tell you is that …

This show is brought to you by the devil and his servants.

You say “But brother, that seems a bit harsh”. Maybe it does. But the Scripture says:

Read Together 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (KJV) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The devil – the god of this world, the one that the world worships – blinds the minds of the lost. He tells them just as this young girl did on the commercial

Life is short!”
“Just do YOU”

Jesus told a parable one time about a rich man that had all kinds of things. Rather than praising God for what he was given he wanted more and more. As he accumulated stuff – buying whatever the crappy commercial was selling – he said to himself:

Luke 12:19 (NKJV) … Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.

Jesus said that this man was rebuked by God Who said:

Luke 12:20 (NKJV) … you Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?

Everything belongs to God. Everything. This is why:

Read Together 2 Corinthians 4:5 (KJV) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus is LORD. We preach “Christ Jesus the Lord”. What does this mean?

  • We preach CHRIST. Not OURSELVES, but CHRIST. He is the Messiah sent from the Father, the Only Atonement for sin. Jesus is THE Christ. The Bible tells us that there is but One Christ, and that He was sent from God to be both King of His people. Daniel called the Messiah …

Daniel 9:25 (NKJV) …. Messiah the Prince

and the Angel Gabriel told Joseph that Mary would …

Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) … bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will SAVE His people from their SINS.

He is Lord.
He is Lord.
He has risen from the dead, and He is Lord.
Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.

He is Christ the Lord. We preach Him as Lord, the Lord Who saves His people. Christ Jesus saves us from our sins – and from the PENALTY of sin.

Romans 6:23 The Wages of Sin is DEATH …. but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ OUR LORD!

When you die in this life without Christ you go to a place of DEATH where sin’s wages are paid. But you need not go there, for

Romans 5:8 (ESV) God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ DIED FOR US.

  • We preach CHRIST, and we preach JESUS. God the Son took upon Himself humanity so that He could pay for our sins. The Scripture declares:

1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

He Who was eternal God the Son became temporal but perfect Man. Jesus came preaching Himself as the One and Only Anointed Savior.

Luke 4:17-21 (NKJV) {Jesus} found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus is God lowered to human flesh. The Son came to do His Father’s will. What was the Father’s will?

John 6:29 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

John 6:40 (NKJV) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

We preach that Christ is the promised Messiah, and that Jesus died for us. We preach salvation as a gift of God. And where Christ Jesus is preached as the only Savior and only Lord, God works.

We Are But Earthen Vessels – The Potter’s Creation

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (KJV)  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  [6]

Read With Me 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.

It is God Who reveals Christ to the lost, Who opens the mind of the darkened, Who brings light to the darkness. The same God Who in the beginning:

Genesis 1:3 (KJV) …. said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Is the same God Who saves the soul of the lost. He must open the eyes. Every part of man is corrupted by the old sin nature. The Bible says that …

Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

The Bible makes it clear that WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES – totally unable to do anything to help ourselves. Sin enslaves and entraps. Jesus told the self righteous Pharisees (which are populating many Churches today):

John 8:31-34 (NKJV) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

People are enslaved by sin. But Jesus said “If I MAKE YOU FREE you will be free indeed”. It is through Christ Jesus that freedom is found. As Christ is preached lives are changed. It is through the glorious Gospel that Christ calls to the dead to make them alive. That is how I was saved. That is how you were saved. That is how all are saved – through His Work in our lives.

There is no personal merit in salvation. But once we are saved, we are bound to Him by love. Read with me:

Read Together 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The TREASURE of eternal life and the Gospel that secured it is IN EARTHEN VESSELS. I want to think about this for a moment. What is an EARTHEN VESSEL?

  • An EARTHEN VESSEL is FOUND by the Potter.

When I was a young boy I used to play near a creek with my friend Benny. We wallowed in that creek, and often slipped and fell on the clay banks. I can remember that clay, gray, with its stink. What we played on would be a gold mine for a true artist, a Potter to find. The Potter finds the clay then shapes it into a work of art, or an item of use. The Bible says:

Isaiah 64: 6-8 (NKJV) But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. 7 And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities. 8 BUT NOW, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

The Father found us in Christ. We heard the Gospel, He called to us, and dug us out of this broken world.

We are IN the world but not OF the world (John 17:14-16).
We are not the clay of the bank of the creek, but found by Father.

  • An EARTHEN VESSEL is FORMED by the Potter.

The Bible says in Romans 12:2 “Do NOT be CONFORMED BY THIS WORLD”.
It is not the hand of the world that shapes God’s clay, but God Himself.

Galatians 1:4 Christ gave Himself FOR OUR SINS that He might DELIVER US FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE!

We are not the mud of the bank, nor children of darkness, but creatures of His light. God forms us just as a Master Potter forms the lump of clay.

Our world spins. Sometimes we are tossed, beaten, deluged with water, pressed down. Read with me:

Read Together 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (KJV)  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  [9]  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  [10]  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

As we are pressed down, afflicted, troubled, we never despair. We see every rough action that occurs in our lives to be the work of God in us. We bear about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus. We are ever mindful that He died for us so that we can live in Him. Let me say that again:

He died for us so that we can live in Him.
He died for us so that we can live in Him.
He died for us so that we can live in Him.

  • An EARTHEN VESSEL is FIRED by the Potter. You cannot allow an earthen vessel to just air dry then expect to use it for anything substantial.

It must be placed in the kiln.
It must be fired to convert it from gray clay to white porcelain.

Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV) Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

There needs be MORE Cross Preaching and less Prosperity Preaching if the Church will grow as Christ intended. The Church today is preaching a welfare Gospel, a Gospel with a little “g” and not the glorious Gospel the Apostles preached. Trials will come. Tribulation will come. The world will hate us. Let it. Let’s quit trying to please the world and let’s please our Lord. Let’s be as clay in His hands, but to the world let us be IRON.

  • An EARTHEN VESSEL has it’s FUTURE determined by the Potter. Though afflicted in this life God saved us so that we will one day have eternity in Him. Let’s read together:

Read Together 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (KJV)  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  [17]  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  [18]  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The Apostle saw the trials that he was presently undergoing as “light afflictions” and “but a moment”. He viewed all things through the lens of eternity.

If you look through the binoculars through the BIG LENS everything you see out there will be tiny. But if you look through the binoculars through the LITTLE LENS – as it was designed to be – then you can see very far away. Too many are looking through the binoculars through the wrong lens.

You need to turn your binoculars around.

God has made you for eternity. This current EARTHEN VESSEL is FRAGILE, but the soul He is working on will one day be deposited in an ETERNAL VESSEL. You are God’s Masterpiece if you are saved by faith in Christ Jesus. You have an eternal destiny.

This world is not my home – I’m just a passing through,

My treasures are laid up – somewhere beyond the blue,

The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Oh Lord you know I have no Friend like you,

If Heaven’s not my home then lord what will I do,

The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in 2 Corinthians and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s