Correspondence: 2 Cor. 4:7; 1 Tim. 4:14; 1 Tim. 5:22

1 Timothy 5:22; 1 Timothy 4:14  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Question: How are we to understand 2 Corinthians 4:77But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7), “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”? D. C.
Answer: The earthen vessel is the believer’s body. It has a will, and desires to do its own will, but God has written Christ in his heart (2 Cor. 3:33Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:3)), and given him Christ as an object in glory (3:18), to behold, and so he changed in his ways from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit.
In Chapter 4:6, God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness (Gen. 1:33And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)), path shined in our hearts, for the shining forth of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Then comes in verse 7 to show how the earthen vessel needs to be dealt with, to let the light shine out.
“The treasure is the light of the knowledge of the love of God; and it is in an earthen vessel, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. He puts this amazing glory in the vessel in order that the power may be of God. There is no fitness between the vessel and the thing that is put in it, and there you will find God, and the vessel both brought in.
“We are troubled on every side,” that is, the vessel; “yet not distressed,” because God was there “We are perplexed,” see no way out; “but not in despair,” for there was a way out after all for God was there; “persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
The vessel is all broken, and dealt with, but still God is there all the while. Into such an earthen vessel all this glory is put, and so in that sense, we can now rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. The vessel is made nothing of, but it is sustained by another power, which is neither the treasure nor the vessel, and so the man is dependent.” (Notes by J. N. D.)
It is by the laying down of our wills, and walking in obedience to the will of God, that we are always bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus.
Answer: The word presbytery means elderhood. Paul in this epistle instructs Timothy how to regulate things in the assembly, and reminds him, in this verse, of the gift God gave him for this purpose. It was given him by prophecy. (1 Tim. 1:1818This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; (1 Timothy 1:18)) Paul and the elder brethren laid their hands on him when he received the gift, thus identifying themselves with, and owning his work. Laying on of hands expresses identification and fellowship with the person., This was needful at the beginning, till the Word of God was completed. Here he is told not to neglect the gift; and in 2 Timothy 1:66Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6) he is to stir it up by practice.
Answer: He was to lay hands suddenly on no man. That means he was not to receive a person without a careful examination to see that his character was good. Otherwise he might find himself partaker of other men’s sins, and this truth goes on to the end of Chapter 5, to show that some men’s characters were seen at once, while others were hidden; though evil and good come out at the end.