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Treasure In Earthen Vessels

God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul! ~ Genesis 2:7, MSG

You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. ~ Matthew 5:21-22, MSG

There is a wise old saying, which goes something like this: What we say could come back to haunt us. Put differently, angrily calling someone a dirtbag—a filthy or vile/contemptible person—later on might cause us to feel guilt or shame. Because we who are convicted by the Holy Spirit will feel guilt or shame, as a result of our name-calling, Christ Jesus wants to spare us from being adversely affected by our insulting words. For this reason, He gives reasons why our words that kill will incur human and divine judgments.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord makes it clear that God prefers that we don’t insult one another, especially since disrespectful or scornfully abusive words often are used as lethal weapons (cf. Matthew 5:11, 21-22). Indeed, because words kill, the Lord is telling us in Matthew 5:21-21 that when our name-calling attacks the character of others, and we do so without having sufficient evidence to prove that what we called them is true, then we have spoken foolishly and recklessly have put our livelihoods and reputations at risk. For example, just like those name-callers in Christ Jesus’ day, we also could be in danger of being sued for libel or slander, or worse—in danger of  receiving the wrath of God. 

Consequently, Christ Jesus teaches that murder begins in the hearts of mankind, which means that when we angrily accuse a person of being without the right moral compass (when we call him or her a dirtbag), our own hearts not only have murdered this person but also our own hearts have done something God says is Christ Jesus’ job to do. God not only appointed Christ Jesus to be the ONLY One who can save the world from sin and God’s wrath (cf. John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10b; 1 John 2:2), but also He has appointed Christ Jesus to be the ONLY One who will judge mankind’s secret thoughts and motives. Additionally, God appointed the Lord to be the ONLY One who will administer judgment (cf. Romans 2:16; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; 1 Corinthians 4:5).

Furthermore, the harsh truth is that when we angrily call someone a dirtbag, we (believers in and followers of Christ Jesus) are demonstrating that we are absentminded. In other words, we are showing God and mankind that we have forgotten that we all come from DIRT.

The point here is that there never will be any reason for any of us to judge someone else as being a dirtbag, because what makes our soil or ground (heart or human spirit) “good” soil (fertile and rich dirt), into which God’s Word is sown, is God’s gifts of Faith and His Holy Spirit. Thus, because our individual measure of Faith and the power of the Holy Spirit nurture our need to have an abiding conviction of (a constant reminder about) our own moral corruption, our need for a Savior, and our need for the excellence of holiness, we experience spiritual growth. Growing spiritually by Faith and the aid of the Holy Spirit is why there also never will be any reason for any of us to be stuck up snobs who think we are better than someone else. Without a doubt, none of us can make ourselves holy like God is holy (perfect; innocent; pure)! 

In spite of the fact that we all come from DIRT, the truly Good News is that we serve a holy God who has shown us from the beginning of creation that He is not ashamed to work with people who are dirty. Then too, we serve an awesome God who has shown us from the beginning of creation that He is not ashamed to work with people who are awful! For these reasons, we ought to give God a hearty shout out, thanking and praising Him for not being afraid to get His hands dirty while placing into our earthen vessels (jars of clay; see 2 Corinthians 4:7) His heavenly treasures so that when we finally are transformed into the image of Christ Jesus our spiritual reality will surpass our physical reality!