Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Jesus Christ is the treasure living in these earthen vessels)
Who is the treasure in earthen vessels? How is the treasure manifested in us? What characteristics does the treasure have? What does revelation and mind renewal have to do with the treasure? How is the treasure associated with faithfulness and fruitfulness? How is the treasure associated with the Father's love and glory? Let us look into the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit show us about Jesus Christ -- the treasure in earthen vessels!
THE TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS
"But we ever have this treasure in earthenware vessels, that the excellence of the power may ever be of God, and not of us" (II Cor. 4:7, author's translation).
First, Christ is the Treasure of Life and Light in Earthen Vessels
"In Him ever was life, and the life ever was the light of men" (John 1:4). Every Spirit rebirthed son of God, now has Christ living inside of them as their very life. Christ Himself is the Treasure. We are just the old earthenware vessel or clay pot. We are the container of the treasure, not the treasure itself. What a wonder and what a treasure – Christ, and His eternal life in us. That God our Father would choose to put His Holy and Righteous Son inside of this old clay pot to live His life in and through us – is simply amazing grace. What a treasure He is. Paul said, "For it is God, who once then spoke absolute purity to hereafter illuminate out of darkness, who once then illuminated in our hearts to give the illuminating purity of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 4:6, author's translation). Christ is the absolute purity of God. His life of absolute purity, righteousness, and holiness is the light or illumination that shines out of us. The life and light of Christ is what illumines others that we contact or have relationships with in this world. Christ is the Treasure of Life and Light that we are carrying in our clay pot containers – these earthenware vessels.
Second, Christ is the Treasure of Wisdom and Power of God in Us
Paul declared, "but to them who are the called out ones, both to Jews and to Greeks; Christ, the dynamic power of God, and the wisdom of God" (I Cor. 1:24, author's translation). The called out ones are the members of the Body of Christ, the Church – the rebirthed sons of God. The Incorruptible Seed, the Word of God – the Son who has been placed within us is the dynamic power of God and wisdom of God in us. Again, we are simply the clay pots or containers of the treasure. Christ is the treasure of wisdom. Christ is the treasure of the power of God in us. This is why Paul declared, "For I once then decided not to have already known anything within you, except Jesus Christ and Him having already been crucified" (I Cor. 2:2, author's translation). Paul did not want us to stand in "the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (I Cor. 2:5). Paul only wanted to see and talk about Christ and Him crucified living in and through them. For that is the real answer to every problem of every earthenware vessel.
Third, Christ is the Treasure of Knowledge and the Mind of the Father in Us
Paul also informs us that, "the full knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in Whom ever are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:2b, 3, author's translation). Not just some, but all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. He is the Source. Paul also commands us to, "Let this mind ever be in you which ever is in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). Why? The mind of Christ is the mind of the Father. If we are going to have a relationship with the Father, it is through the knowledge of Christ and through the mind of Christ. Christ is the treasure source for these.
Fourth, The Father and Christ is the Revelation by the Holy Spirit in Us
Paul prays, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may at intervals give to you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the full knowledge of Him" (Eph. 1:17). Not only do we have Christ living in us as wisdom and knowledge, but Paul prays that we may be given the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation in the full knowledge of the Father and the Son. He, Him, His, and Himself are used 31 times in Ephesians chapter 1 – all centering around the Father and the Son as the focus and source of all things. The Holy Spirit at intervals through this earthly walk, reveals what we already have in Christ and what Christ has in us. Without the revelation of the full knowledge of our Father and the Son, it is difficult for the container to be "conformed to His image," like the glove on a hand (Rom. 8:29). Certainly, that is our Father's intention.
Fifth, The Father is our Understanding and We are His Inheritance
Paul tells us that this spirit of revelation in the full knowledge of the Father and the Son will open "The eyes of your heart then having been completely enlightened, that you should then ever know what continually is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Eph. 1:18, author's translation). The Father and Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit will enlighten our heart. The Father and Christ are the center and circumference of all things in the eternal plan of God. Christ isn't our inheritance. We, as the Spirit rebirthed clay pots, are the inheritance of the Father (Eph. 1:18). Christ points us to the Father – our understanding, for a Father-son relationship.
Sixth, Christ is the Treasure of Faithfulness and Fruitfulness in Us
Jeremiah declares, "Great is Your Faithfulness" (Lam. 3:23). David in the Psalms sings to make known the faithfulness of God to all generations (Psa. 89:1), and states that God's faithfulness is declared or established in the very heavens (Psa. 89:2). John even saw heaven opened up, and saw Christ sitting upon a white horse and "was called Faithful and True" (Rev. 19:11). Make no mistake, the only faithfulness we have as rebirthed Sons, comes from the faithfulness of Christ and the Father in us. We are simply clay pots, conformed to His image. Apart from Him – in our flesh, dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). Concerning Christ, John tells us, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). The truth of the gospel is that Christ comes into us to live His faithful and fruitful life in us. Christ is the treasure of faithfulness and fruitfulness in us. For without him, we are simply clay pots in the flesh and can do nothing.
Seventh, Christ is the Treasure of Love and Glory of the Father in Us
For God so loved this world full of fleshly clay pots, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whichever clay pot (even the most vilest and dirtiest clay pot) that simply believes in Him, He would by the Spirit take His most precious Son and place Him to live inside of them, so that they should not perish but have His everlasting life (John 3:16). This is the depth of the awesome love that our Holy, Righteous, and Pure Father went, in order to redeem us for eternal fellowship with Himself. Christ is the Lord of Glory (Jas. 2:1). Christ is ever being the radiance of the Father's glory, and the express image of His essence (Hebr. 1:3). Christ is the treasure of the Father's eternal love and glory in us. As vessels, we simply carry the treasure of love and glory of Christ in and through us for others.