THE TREASURE BEING IN EARTHEN VESSELS
If we think that to believe in Jesus is merely for us to obtain peace, joy, and blessing, then we only know the appearance of the treasure. For example, suppose you go to a jewelry shop to buy a diamond, and the salesperson puts the diamond into a very nice box. When your children see the package, they want that pretty box but ignore the diamond inside the box. It is the same with many of us in our knowledge concerning salvation. Why do we believe in Jesus? We believe in Jesus because we want to avoid sufferings and to have peace and security. What we want is only the pretty box. We do not know that God’s salvation is for Christ to be our life. All we want is the box, but we have not seen the diamond within. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” What is this treasure? This treasure is Christ Himself, God Himself.
The center of the entire New Testament is that the Triune God is living in us and we in Him. The Holy Spirit is in us, Christ is in us, God is in us, and we are in the Triune God. The center of the New Testament is to show us that we, the saved ones, have God in us. It is true that God gives us peace, joy, and blessing, but these are all outward things. The intrinsic content of God’s salvation is God Himself, Christ Himself. He is the treasure in us, the earthen vessels.
THE CHRISTIAN GROWTH BEING DEPENDENT ON KNOWING CHRIST AS LIFE
We often say that Christians have to grow, but what is the Christian growth? Our Christian growth begins with knowing that God is in us. When we were saved, Christ came into us. However, our eyes need to be opened one day to see that Christ is truly the treasure. This glorious Christ, the God of glory, is living in us; He is our life. This is the first step of the Christian growth.
Our Christian growth is dependent on our knowing Christ as our life. What is a Christian? In short, a Christian is one who has two different lives—his own life and Christ’s life. Once a person receives Christ, he is no longer simply himself, but he has Christ within him. Christ and he have become one. This simple word reveals to us the highest, most glorious, and most mysterious fact—Christ is in us as our life.
Every saved one has the life of Christ. Therefore, every saved person has two lives—his own life and Christ’s life. These two lives live together. If you truly are a saved person, many times you may have an experience in which you sense that apart from yourself there is another person within you. This is the wonderful thing about being a Christian. You have no need to consult people outwardly, because there is One in you who is very wonderful, and you can come near to Him. When you have a problem, you can trust Him. When you encounter something that you do not understand, you can ask Him. When you are sad and sorrowful, and no one sympathizes with you, this One in you, as a voice or a thought, will comfort and cherish you. When you are about to lose your temper or to commit a sin, this One will urge you not to do so and will stop you from doing so. In addition to yourself, there is another person in you. This person is Christ, God, and the Spirit.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)