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Thursday, August 4 2016

2 Corinthians 4: Living Earthenware

"O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand ... The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life ... I also am formed out of the clay"

Clay is a natural, fine-grained mineral substance of the Earth. It provides a vital part of soil fertility that all plant and animal life depend upon. It has been used in purified form since ancient times for the production of a great variety and amount of brick, tile, porcelain and "earthenware." These two uses for clay - life from the soil, and vessels - have a direct and profound significance to humanity.

Clay Jar The original Hebrew word that is translated as the "dust" that Adam was created from actually means clay, making God the first "potter," as was well-known by the ancients:

"64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." (Isaiah 64:8 KJV)

"33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. 33:5 If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. 33:6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay." (Job 33:4,6 KJV)

So too, the apostle Paul in describing how the original physical creation of man ("Adam" is from the Hebrew word that means the species of man; see also Who Did God Call Adam?) is a container for the Holy Spirit that will provide eternal life in due time: "we have this treasure in earthen vessels."

" 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 4:6 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.

4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:1-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the "dust" of the Bible?
See Life From The Dust - Past And Future


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This Day In History, August 4

70: Roman forces continued their siege of Jerusalem that resulted in the destruction of the city and the Temple (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and A History Of Jerusalem: The Temple Of The LORD; also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).

Roman Siege Engine 367: Roman Emperor Valentinian I declared his eight year old son Gratian as co-emperor (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

1060: Henry I of France died and was succeeded by Philip I.

1265: King Henry III put down a revolt of English barons lead by Simon de Montfort.

1521: Pope Urban VII was born as Giambattista Castagna. He was elected Pope in September 1590, but died of malaria before his coronation.

1578: A crusade against the Moors of Morocco was routed at the Battle of Alcazar-el-Kebir (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1586: A plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I was discovered. Anthony Babington, supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, planned to kill Elizabeth and her ministers and assume power with the aid of English Roman Catholics and Spanish soldiers. Babington and others were executed for high treason.

1704: During the War of the Spanish Succession, a joint Anglo-Dutch force attacked and captured Gibraltar.

1914: Germany invaded Belgium, causing Britain to declare war on Germany. By midnight of that day, 5 empires had entered the First World War: the Austro-Hungarian empire against Serbia; the German empire against France, Britain and Russia; the Russian empire against Germany and Austria-Hungary; the British and French empires against Germany. Many believed that the war would be "over by Christmas" (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1916: Denmark agreed to cede the Danish West Indies, including the Virgin Islands, to the United States for $25 million. The deal took effect the following March 31.

1927: The Peace Bridge between Canada and the U.S. was opened.

1944: After two years hiding in an Amsterdam back room, Anne Frank, her sister, her parents and four other Jews were discovered by the Gestapo (a German abbreviation for "The State Police"). The diary she kept was found after the war, published in over 30 languages and turned into a play and film.

1944: Royal Air Force pilot T. D. Dean became the first pilot to destroy a German V-1 "buzz bomb" (similar to a modern-day cruise missile) when he tipped the pilotless craft's wing, sending it off course.

1954: Britain's first supersonic fighter plane, the English Electric Lightning P-1, made its maiden flight.

1964: The U.S. warship Maddox reportedly clashed with North Vietnamese gunboats in the Gulf Of Tonkin, in North Vietnamese waters off the coast of North Vietnam, resulting in President Johnson ordering the first bombing of North Vietnam in the Vietnam civil war (Vietnam had been divided into north and south by colonial France in the 1950s). Later historians and investigators questioned whether the incident, and a similar reported incident later (called by some the "ghost" attack because there may have been no North Vietnamese coastal defense ships at all present the second time) actually happened, or whether it was merely a false or provoked excuse to begin bombing North Vietnam.

1997: The world's oldest person, Jeanne Calment, died aged 122 years and 164 days in Arles, France.





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