The Works of

Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee

27 November

Our bodies are full of treasure, till raised up!

Second Corinthians 4:7-17

‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels…. We are…cast down, but not destroyed — always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that also the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live, are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake — so that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest in our mortal flesh…. He Who raised up the Lord Jesus, shall also raise us up! Though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day!’ Second Corinthians 4:7-16.

Calvin comments that Paul “uses the metaphor of treasure — which is not usually stored in a splendid and richly decorated box, but rather in some cheap container worth nothing at all…. Treasure does not become less valuable, through being deposited in a vessel of no value…. It is common practice for great treasures to be stored in earthenware pots!…

“Abject condition, so far from detracting from God’s glory, rather serves to advance it!…. We are brought so low, that all seems over with us. Yet, we do not perish!…

“He calls all these things…the ‘dying’ or ‘mortification’ of Jesus…. He (Paul) was being made ready, to share in His blessed resurrection!…

“We suffer with Him, in order that we may be glorified with Him…. In Colossians 3:5 and in Romans 6:6…, ‘our old man is crucified — so that we may walk in newness of life’…. All the sons of God have this in common, that they bear about — the dying of Christ….

“The best cure for adversity, is to know that just as Christ’s death was the gate of new life — so we at the end of all our miseries shall come to a blessed resurrection!… If we submit ourselves to die with Him in this world, we shall share His life!… ‘Delivered unto death’…means to have death constantly before our eyes and to live in such a way that our life is really a shadow of death…. It refers to all believers….

“‘We faint not.., though our outward man is perishing!’…. The outward man is the continuance of our earthly life and consists not only of…good health but also of riches, honours, friendships and other such good things…. The Lord takes away from us bit by bit those things that engross our attention, and thus calls us back to meditate on a better life…. The more earthly life declines, the more heavenly life advances…in believers…. God is…stirring us up, to think of the life to come!”

Calvin also says in his Institutes III:25:3 & IV:1:5 & 3:1 that God is “to teach us that the treasure offered to us in earthen vessels, is of inestimable value… He hides the treasure of His heavenly wisdom, in frail earthen vessels…. We always bear ‘about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that also the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh’ (Second Corinthians 4:7,10).”

Our bodies are full of treasure, till raised up! Do you too believe in that resurrection?