Just Earthen Vessels

2 Corinthians 4:6-7


We must all face the fact that flesh is flesh. Though all who believe are saved by the grace of God, washed in the blood, and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, so long as we are in this world, we are just earthen vessels. When Paul talks about that salvation which brings into our hearts Ňthe light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,Ó he reminds us that Ňwe have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.Ó


            The more we think of the utter weakness of our flesh, the more thankful we are that our security and preservation in Christ is not dependent upon our own weak nature, but upon GodŐs constant power and sustaining grace. We are so feeble that if the matter were left in our hands, we would all fall and perish very soon. Many cannot endure the teachings of Holy Scripture regarding this matter of our security and preservation in Christ, because it makes the whole of salvation a work of divine grace from beginning to end. It allows no room for human merit and works.


            We do not pretend to live above sin. Sin is a sadly common fact of life. You will never find one of those men who lived and walked with God in the Bible bragging about his righteousness or his perfection. In fact, they all struggled with sin in their flesh. All of GodŐs people are like Paul. We have two natures within us, two principles struggling for supremacy; the one is good, the other evil; the one is righteousness, the other sin; the one is spirit, the other flesh. If we could avoid it, we would never sin. We abhor our sin as an infinitely evil thing! We long for the day when we shall be totally free from sin. But, for now, we have the treasure of GodŐs saving grace in these earthen vessels, so that the excellency, the greatness, the power, and the glory of our salvation may be attributed to the Triune God alone and not to us.


            Israel may flee before her enemies at times; but she enters the land of promise triumphantly when her journey is over. So, too, the true believer falls many times; but the Lord raises him up, and he shall finally enter into heaven triumphantly through the blood, the righteousness, and the grace of Christ. It is utterly unthinkable that one of GodŐs elect should fail to enter into eternal glory. Like Jonah, we all may at times flee from the will of God; but grace will pursue us, preserve us, and cause our hearts to return to him who loved us and gave himself for us.


            I am like you, a man struggling with sin. At times, my sinful thoughts and my sinful deeds almost cause me to despair. But I am reminded by the gospel and by the Spirit of God that his grace is sufficient even for me. My salvation and my acceptance with God is not in myself, but in my Substitute. Like you, I am just an earthen vessel; but Christ is the Lord our Righteousness. He is all my Salvation, all my Desire, and all my Assurance. I hang all my hope upon him. Do you?









Don Fortner



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