We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7
There is an infinite Being – outside time and space, Who has communicated with us. He explained how we came to be and told us how and why He originally created us. He describes how He spoke the worlds into being – the amazing process of creation. He demonstrates how He built a beautiful world that was designed for life and living. He unfolded His creative progression ’til He finally created Man – the first of his kind.
He made space, time, and language and imbued man with thought, reason, and choice. He created man in innocence, with the capacity to function in willing service to God. He formed man with total free-will, to choose to serve His creator gladly – in love. He worked in such a way as to progressively build up our understanding of all He did. And the final piece in His creative jig-saw was Adam – Man created in God’s image.. and Man was His crowing glory. Man was the climax of God’s whole creation. Man – created in His own image and likeness, was the pinnacle of God’s creation.
From the dust of the earth, that was spoken into being, God formed His own likeness. Finally, the breath of God Himself was breathed into him and Man began to live. God had determined in the eternal council chambers that He would create Man... and God in His infinite knowledge and understanding knew that man would sin.
God was not taken by surprise, nor was He fazed by sin’s entrance into the world. The all-knowing God had already purposed the flow of history despite man’s sin. The omniscient God had determined a more glorious plan – to His praise and glory.
Our wise God had already purposed that He would make a new creation – in Christ. He would not scrap the fallen creation... but in His graciousness make all things new. It was Jeremiah that drew this into a beautiful pictorial illustration. The jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. Jeremiah 18:4
Before the world began the Lord knew that the old creation in Adam would fall. Before the foundation of the world, the Lord had planned the new creation in Christ. From the beginning, the wonderful story of the new man in Christ was taking shape. In the eternal council chambers of the Godhead, Christ’s body was being planned.
God could have obliterated humanity when sin was introduced into the world. He could have halted the human race before His creative work began, but He didn’t, for God looked down the corridors of time and chose each of us who’d become His Body. And in the fullness of time, God sent His Son to be the federal head of a new creation.
NOW, this is the score… Jeremiah’s pottery picture is an illustration of how God is fashioning His creation. The first creation... the first jar God made, became flawed in His hand – Adam sinned. The potter did not throw away the clay – and neither did God do away humanity. The potter did not try to refashion the flawed jar – and God will not do so either. The potter gathered up the clay one more time – and made a new, more beautiful jar – and God in the same way has made a new, beautiful creation from fallen humanity.
God made an entirely new creation in Christ from the flawed clay that we’d become. He did not try to re-educate Adam’s old race but, set in motion His plan of redemption. He did not try to re-train us or to insist that we did lots of studying or good works. He did not try to improve us or to change us by making our fallen, sin-nature better. God made an entirely new creation in Christ – re-generated but not re-educated. But there was a difference – a staggering difference between the old and the new.
The new man in Christ was now a fallen creation – not an innocent creation. God still gave His new creation a free-will, but man also had an old sin nature. The old sin nature meant that man could NEVER, EVER do what pleased God, but alongside the old sin nature was the new nature in Christ – the new life of Christ.
NOW, think this through... Adam was created innocent and sinless – but had the capacity to choose NOT to sin. Adam could have chosen not to sin – He was ABLE not to sin but he chose to sin. Adam chose to sin, and the sin nature from him passed on to all his offspring. So now, every member of the human race has an imputed sin nature – from Adam. However, before Adam sinned in his innocence, he could have chosen to serve God.
So things are very different for us. We are created new creatures in Christ – not innocent, but saved by grace through faith. We commit sins. We have imputed sin and we have inherent sin. We are sinners!!! As sinners we do not have the ability not to sin because sin is a part of who we are.
The old life we still retain – the old, fallen sin nature is totally incapable. It falls far short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death. However, Christ was born innocent and sinless but also had the capacity not to sin. Christ AS God – was NOT ABLE to sin. God is perfect and sinless, and unable to sin.
BUT.. Christ AS MAN was ABLE NOT to sin – but he COULD have sinned as a MAN. Christ could have chosen to sin like Adam chose to sin – but Christ chose obedience.. and because of His choice, we have His new life in US. Christ was a Man with total free-will, Who chose to serve His creator gladly – in love. And because of His choice, we are been saved by His redeeming work have His new life in us.
We have this treasure (THE LIFE OF CHRIST) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. Our free-will choice as believers is to let the life of Christ live in us, until it is not I that live but Christ that lives in me!!!
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