2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
I. COMPARES THE MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL TO EARTHEN VESSELS, A vessel contains what is put into it. The vessels of the temple were some of gold, others of silver, and they were consecrated to God. In the most ancient times there were vessels of gold. This may remind you of Enoch. It must have seemed strange to observe one so much devoted to God as he was. He persuaded few. The treasure then, as now, was little esteemed. Silver vessels may represent the prophets. As the vessels of silver were the ornaments of the sanctuary, so were the prophets the ornaments of the Church. Earthen vessels may represent the weakness of man.
II. THE GOSPEL IS COMPARED TO A TREASURE. The gospel finds man in a state of poverty, and he must remain in the same state unless enriched by it. The gospel is a treasure that the soul can enjoy. The gospel is a treasure which the thief cannot touch. The gospel is a treasure which will not leave the Christian at death.
III. THE GOSPEL GAINS GLORY FROM THE MEANNESS OF THE VESSELS IN WHICH IT IS CONTAINED. It is wonderful that such a treasure is in earthen vessels, because it exceeds the expectation of men. God is more observed when the instrument is weak. Such as are furnished with this treasure ascribe it all to the goodness of God. We shall now make a few inferences.
1. Is it so, that there is a treasure? Then it requires diligence to secure it. No man succeeds in this world who is not active.
2. Is it so, that there is a treasure? Then take heed that you do not despise it. When the Spaniards conquered South America, they made it evident that they adored its gold, and they practised every exertion to obtain it. Let the Christian show that he values the heavenly treasure by his diligence in seeking it.
3. Is it so, that this treasure may be obtained by all? Then value it. It is not in the power of all to be rich.
Parallel VersesKJV: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.