“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Foundation Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 3:17 – 4:7 (ASV) Vs. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, (there) is liberty. Vs. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the spirit. 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we faint not: Vs. 2 but we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Vs. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish. Vs. 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn (upon them). Vs. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. Vs. 6 Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Vs. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.
Wherever the Spirit of God is allowed and welcomed—there is liberty. If we allow the Holy Spirit free rein and free course, to do whatever He wants—then we will have liberty and freedom. If we inhibit and try to control Him, we will have bondage. Religion—man’s ideas, man’s tradition—always produces bondage. Because we are born again, because we handle God’s Word truthfully, and because we allow God to work in us, we see and know His glory. His glory is not hidden from us as if we look through a veil, but we see Him clearer and clearer all the time. God’s Word is the mirror we look into (James 1:23-25).
The devil blinds the unbeliever’s eyes to the glorious light of the gospel, as if they had a veil covering their face. They cannot understand God’s Word. It makes no sense to them. You will notice that the scripture (verse 4) says that their minds are blinded. The heart is the part of man ready to receive. We must reach past a person’s mind, into the heart, with the gospel. Preach the gospel to their spirit man. You receive the truth of God’s Word into your heart by faith. As your spirit lights up with God’s presence, your eyes begin to open to Him and you start to see Him more clearly. We do not preach of ourselves, by ourselves, nor do we preach our own gospel (2 Corinthians 3:5). We speak what we hear our Father say—or so it should be. Jesus did not preach His own ideas—He preached exactly what He heard His Father say to Him.
Verse 6 – The light of God shines on us, in us, and through us as we allow His Word to enter our hearts and minds. The knowledge and truth that God has given us concerning Jesus is the light that shines in and through us. Imagine a book, lying open, in a darkened room—you cannot read it. Then you flip on the light switch and you can see every word. It is the same book, no matter how much light is in the room, or not. The amount of light, reflected on the book and bouncing into one’s eyes, determines how easy it is to read the words on the pages. God is the light. The more you have of Him, the more you know and understand Him. You begin to see things differently than before. Psalms 119:105 (KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Verse 7 – God chooses to use “earthen” vessels so that when His glory is displayed through these vessels, He will be glorified. Everyone can see that the vessel does not have much to give and they realize that God is the One doing the work in and through that vessel, and God gets all the glory. God is glorified in and through yielded vessels.