But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
The "treasure" Paul is referring to here is what he just mentioned in verse 6 - "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
The "jars of clay" in this verse were cheap and breakable clay pots most often used in Paul's day to hold garbage or human waste. So what Paul is telling us here is that in the whole process of salvation, it is not us who through our power can save ourselves or anyone else - but rather salvation is only and totally the work of God! It is through HIS power that the gospel advances. And incredibly he does it through us clay pots!
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