“For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:11-12).
Paul is setting forth a principle here; if there is no death, then there is no life.
Throughout the world, Churches are filled with ministers and congregations who refuse to be crucified; thus their labour is in vain, because where there is no death, there can be no life; crucifixion must precede resurrection. There can be no other way, for it is by His doing that we are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom, sanctification and redemption so that no-one should boast of himself (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).
This is the crucified life; all we must do is to consent to get out of His way and yield obedience to His workings; how simple the plan yet how deep, for it gives no place for man to glory and boast in himself.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power should be of God, and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Drawing on the story of Gideon and the torches concealed in earthen vessels, Paul points out that unless the earthen vessel – the natural man – is broken, no light can shine forth.