Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Treasure In An Earthen Vessel

Temple Baptist Church - 4-12-2015
2 Corinthians 4:5-7; Psalm 138:1-2


A.  Often, I spend a little time preaching on God’s Word, the King James Bible for English speaking people.  Titus 1:1  Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

1.  I was reading in the Book of Titus the other day and a phrase stood out concerning “the truth.”  Not “a truth” but using the definite article “the truth!”  The implication of the use of the definite article “the” is that this particular truth (for there are many kinds of “truth”) is one of a kind. There is none like it and there is none beside of it.

2.  Words in the Bible are there to be studied and none are meaningless.  God wastes no time or breath speaking concerning things that do not matter and wastes no words in doing so.  Every word of God is necessary for rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

B.  Paul, when writing to young Timothy, called the Word of God (or King James Bible in our instance) the Word of Truth.  The Bible is always 100% correct as it is inerrant (without error) and infallible (foolproof, reliable, failsafe). 

C.  I want to look at our text in 2 Corinthians 4:5-7:  “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  (6)  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined 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 earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

1.  The preached Word gives the light of knowledge to the child of God.  The treasure that is mentioned is the “we preach … Christ Jesus the Lord … the light … hath shined in our hearts … the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ … but we have this treasure in earthen vessels.”  In other words, we see all of the fullness of the glory of the Godhead in the face of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Word of God.  What a blessing to have the Bible that gives us that knowledge of God and His wonderful Word.  We now have that treasure in our earthen vessels!

2.  The Word of God is a Treasure to His children.  If you do not believe the Word of God and/or you do not love the Word of God, you had better “check up!”  It is as simple as that!  A truth to be realized is found in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6:21, where our Lord said,“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

3.  The preserved Word of God is a “treasure in an earthen vessel!” 

a)  First Mention - Exodus 24:12  And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give theetables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.  (Inspiration.  Tables of stone, where are earthen vessels, and the Word of God which God wrote placed upon them.)

b)  Preservation - Exodus 34:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write uponthese tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.  (Different set of earthen vessels made by man but same Word of God placed upon them.)

c)  The Bible that I hold in my hand is made of paper and ink!  It is an earthen vessel.  It is not the paper and ink that we hold dear; it is not the paper and ink that we worship.  It is the “Treasure” of God’s Word found upon its pages!

d)  It is the very Word of God written on these “tables of stone” that teach us about a God that loves us, was given for us, lived with us, died for us, was buried and rose again for us, and is coming again to get us!  We highly treasure the Bible!

e)  The Bible is a “treasure” that God gave to us to be treasured!  The most valuable thing that you and I have this morning is the Bible that we hold in our hands!

D.  In Psalm 138, we find the value that God places upon His Word. 

1.  Notice that God does not magnify (to make large of great) His Word above His name but above “all thy name,” which refers to every name by which God is called!  Jehovah God, the Almighty God, LORD, Creator, Jesus, etc. just to name a few. 

2.  The Old Testament saint so revered the name of God that they would not speak it for fear of taking it in vain.  In the New Testament, we find that all shall bow in heaven and in earth at the name of Jesus!  God magnifies His Word above all of His name!  Should we not value it as such?

3.  A Treasure is something of great value and the Bible is one of our greatest treasures.

1.  The Treasure of the Bible is to be something highly esteemed - Job 23:12  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.  (Esteemed – to hide, protect, or to lay up!  We are to earnestly contend for the “faith once delivered!”  God will not deliver it to us again!   We do not “major on a minor” when we highly esteem, protect, and contend for the Word of God.  We are the ones who are obedient to the Bible which commands us to do so.)

2.  The Treasure of the Bible is to be something desired - Psalms 19:9-10  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  (10)  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Much more than gold and riches, more than the sweetness of honey are we to desire it.  So many believers never read it, much less study it!  It is wisdom and understanding; it is a tree of life to those who know its precepts.)

3.  The Treasure of the Bible is to be something hidden in our hearts - Psalms 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  (By hiding it in our hearts, we can remember it and meditate upon it.  The Bible will keep us from sin or sin will keep us from the Bible.)

4.  The Treasure of the Bible is to be our joy and rejoicing - Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.  (What a thrill it is to begin to study the Bible and forget all that is around us.  If you have never been there, then you are missing something.  As you begin to see the Bible open before your eyes and see the “nuggets” of truth for the first time, you will lose yourself in it.)

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

5.  The Treasure of the Bible is to be shared - Romans 10:17-18  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (18)  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.  (Sharing with our family, friends, and the world!  Every creature needs a preacher and “how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”)

Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  (7)  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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