6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone 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 jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 ESV
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? … 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
Romans 9:21; 23-24 ESV
Temptations to pride come to us in lots of ways. The line dividing our greatest blessings from our worst sins is thin. Simon the Magician (Acts 8) having believed in Jesus and been baptized, saw the Holy Spirit given to believers at the hands of Peter and John and immediately longed to have this power under his control. Peter told him to repent in no uncertain words. In Christ, we have nothing to give that we have not been freely given, no light, no glory of our own to share…. This final brief post on the theme of treasure in clay pots comes from Charles Spurgeon…
Charles Spurgeon said – “The text (from Romans 9 above) speaks of God’s chosen ones as being “vessels.” Now, as we all know, a vessel is nothing but a receiver. A vessel is not a fountain—it is not a creator of the water—but a container and holder of that which is poured into it. Such are the redeemed of God. They are not fountains by nature, out of whom there springs up anything that is good. They are simply receivers and receivers only! At one time, they are full of themselves, but God’s grace empties them—and then, as empty vessels, they are set in the way of God’s goodness, God fills them to the brim with His loving-kindness, and so are they proved to be the vessels of His mercy.
“They may, as vessels, afterwards give out to others, but they can only give out what God has put in them. They may work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, but they cannot work it out unless God works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure! They may run over with gratitude, but it is only because God has filled them with grace—they may stream forth with holiness, it is only because the Lord keeps the supply overflowing.”
From a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon on August 5th 1860, at Exeter Hall, Strand.