Want to betray or even deny the work of God’s grace in your life? There’s probably no better way than to act as if you’ve got it all together; that there are no “issues” and you can handle anything that comes down the pike.
True believers in Jesus Christ ARE to experience victory over sin because of Christ’s victory over sin and death. However, our triumphing in Christ is to be put on display for what it really is … His power not ours. That is why Paul saw himself and every saint as only jars of clay that are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down—not ultimately destroyed, but as “cracked pots.” We are just that so that “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
We can actually misrepresent the gospel to unbelievers by trying to hide the cracks and flaws with our Sunday morning masks that we like to pull out at appropriate times. It’s not that we need to air all our dirty laundry, but those outside of Jesus Christ must realize that we, the children of God, didn’t one day simply get our act together. They must see that our great Savior, who is all-powerful and on a mission to rescue sinners who have wrecked and ruined lives, found us and raised us from the dead in newness of life. It was nothing inside of us that brought about the transformation.
Jim Petersen, former missionary to Brazil and now NAVIGATOR staff member, encourages us all to remain in the humble state of being a “cracked pot” by writing:
We tend to see the weaknesses and incongruities in our lives, and our reaction is to recoil at the thought of letting outsiders get close enough to see us as we really are. Even if our assessment is accurate, it is my observation that any Christian who is sincerely seeking to walk with God, in spite of all his flaws, reflects something of Christ.
It is not enough, then, to occasionally drop into another individual’s world, preach to him, and go on our way. Somehow, he needs to be brought into our world as well. If he isn’t, the view he gets of us is so fragmented he could miss the total picture. He doesn’t see the effects the grace of God has had in our day-to-day lives (Living Proof, 119-120).
Grace requires that we cherish our indebtedness to God’s saving work, giving Him all the credit and honor due to Him alone. It is not enough then only to sing about this Amazing Grace. The saints of God are to revel in being jars of clay that contain treasure beyond compare for the world to see.