2 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬-‭18‬ ‭‬‬

“You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬-‭18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Paul brings the church of Corinth to the depth of their sin, which is pride. They were a blessed and gifted church, but for all their blessings and great spiritual power, they lacked a clear theology of humanity. They acted as if the glory they shared in was an independently innate to them. This is the theology of many Christians today. Paul’s example demonstrates a correct theology with simple jars of clay. He muses that man’s value, though innate isn’t in his own manishness, but in the fact that his manishness is a container for God’s image. Any man who rejects God, therefore loses his value, because he misuses his potential. This is why we must preach Christ and not ourselves. Modern theology has this clear distinction inverted. It unwittingly teaches that the purpose of God, the contents of the jar, is to lift the value of the jar. This is preposterous anthropology. Christ did not come to lift men to godhood, but to restore them to being able to commune with godhood. We are made to be vessels for God’s glory, not to be gods. When our gospel is based on the value that Christ brings to us, we are in danger of reversing the effect his work has for us. Our gospel should be about God bringing glory to his own story, not ours.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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