But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Cor 4:7)
This is another picture of, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27) But it is a picture that stresses the distinction between ourselves and Christ. He is the Treasure and we are the earthen vessel. We will never be the Treasure. Indeed, even while Christ is in us, and we are one with Him in spirit, He remains distinct. He carries all of the value. We are privileged to receive and experience Him.
If you read this passage from II Corinthians 4, you will discover that it was never God’s purpose to make the earthen vessel look like Jesus. Neither was it ever God’s purpose to take the earthen vessel and bring out the best in it. No. We are told in this verse that the VALUE (excellency) of the power is never of us, but of Christ. In fact, Paul goes on in the passage to say of the earthen vessel: 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. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (II Cor. 4:10-11)
The earthen vessel is to be broken by the Cross so that the life of the Treasure might shine through. We must be made weak so that Christ, the power of God, might live through us. We must lose our lives for His sake in order to find true life in Him.