Carrying Around the Death of Jesus- 2Corinthians 4:7-12

In our previous post, we saw that we have been given resurrection power to live as new creations, and the corollary to this is that the “old man” must “die” for this to take place. This “old man” is dead (2Cor. 5:17), but how do we live out this reality? We will look to 2Cor. 4:7-12 for the answer. Paul begins here by telling us that we have “this treasure in jars of clay”. The treasure he refers to here is the glory of God (see verse 6), and this incredible glory is carried in ordinary vessels (Christians). The reason for this is to show that this “all surpassing power” (resurrection power) is from God, not us. Paul then begins to speak about troubles and hardships in life. Why would he do so? Because troubles and hardships are the way in which God shows this power. These troubles do not destroy us, but have a purpose, they are part of the plan of a sovereign God, and are under His control. Paul gives us this purpose in 2Cor. 1:8-9, that we “might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead”. God uses the troubles of life to reveal His power through us, to teach us to rely on Him and not on self (which is our “default setting”). Paul then tells us how this works and what our part in it actually is. We see this in verses 10 and 11. We always “carry around” the death of Jesus. The term carry around here is the present active participle of periphero, and indicates a continual process that we must choose to do. It will not happen if we do not choose it. And what do we choose to carry around? The death of Jesus! What Paul means by this is not Calvary, but Gethsemane, the death of self in the continual choice of “not my will, but thy will”. This is the death of the cross, which we are told to “take up daily”, a continual dying of the old man, of self as the center of the universe. It is as self dies that Christ will be revealed through us, and we must continually choose not my will but thy will in order for this to happen. God, however, has chosen to “help” us in this process, and this help is described in verse 11. Those who “are alive” (Christians) are always being “given over” to death. The term “given over” here is the present passive indicative of paradidomi (to hand over). The passive voice here indicates that this is done to us, we do not do it ourselves. God is in the process of giving us over to death (the death of the cross, the death of self-will), so that the life of Jesus may be revealed through us. How does He give us over to death? Through the circumstances of life. God sends us circumstances we can’t handle to show us we can’t “handle” everything ourselves and cause us to call on Him. We then learn that calling on Him (not my will but thy will) is the best way to “handle” things, and self begins to die, allowing His life and power to be displayed in and through us. The choice ultimately is ours, we can choose to handle things ourselves and reveal only our own lives and power to the world, or we can choose to call on Him to handle things, letting self die and revealing His life and power to the world. May we all understand and live in the fact that the death of the cross is the way to real “life”.

1 Comment Growing In Grace  //  Transformation

One Response so far.

  1. Olga says:

    Holy shnziit, this is so cool thank you.

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