A Vessel of Honor

The message was brought by Bro. Eddie Foster on March 12, 2023.

II Timothy 2:14-21 is the scripture with verse 21 as the text for the message:  21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Being a vessel of honor is to be a person who is pleasing to God. If there is one thing we should want to be, it should be to please the Lord.  We want to hear him say “well done.”  In this portion of scripture we see things to avoid.  Verse 14 tells us to avoid striving with words:  strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Don’t get angry over trivial matters. Learn the lesson:  they don’t matter. To the one who is angry it’s important but it rarely means anything.  In verse 16 Paul called it profane and vain babblings and said to shun it. There will always be issues but avoid what makes little difference.  In verse 23 Paul reminds us foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Verse 15 gives us the command to study. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Paul was writing to Timothy but also speaking to us. A pastor who won’t study the Word is a disgrace. As a lay person you are to study as well.  We should build our lives around the Word and fit into it.  Don’t change the Bible to fit our lives. Why study?  To be approved unto God.  I want his approval.  Now while your approval is wanted, I desire God’s.  If he is happy with me, it doesn’t matter what others think. We’re to be a “workman” who’s not ashamed.  When we do our work badly we should be ashamed.  If you’re a mechanic, do the best you can.  From a spiritual standpoint, it’s not a token effort.  A Sunday school teacher?  Do your best.  Whatever your role, do your best.  After all he’s done for us, we should do our best. Many want religion without sacrifice. They want to go to heaven; that’s all.  We’re saved to work.  We should be ashamed if we do it spasmodically.  Emotion based religion is spasmodic. If they feel like it, they do it.  I’m glad the Lord didn’t let his feelings get in the way.  We’re not saved to sit around and should be shamed if we do.  We also study to be able to rightly divide the Word. It’s a great task to make sure we teach the Bible accurately. We do that by studying it.

Shun profane babblings, gossipers and complainers. False teachers have destroyed the faith of many. Through my teaching I have the power to sway people to truth or error. I found a gap between what we ought to do and what we actually do.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We mean to do better but somehow we continue as we always have. What we believe affects what we do. If we believe church is important you will be faithful to fellowship and worship. It’s where we draw strength.  If we’re not convinced that the Bible is inerrant and infallible we won’t pray as we should. I believe I have a prayer-answering God.

Verse 19 says the foundation of God standeth sure, Jesus Christ is the foundation. He is sure. Unmovable. But some have been deceived.  The Lord knows who is part of the true church. Admittance is by grace through faith in Jesus. Denomination has nothing to do with it. Only those who are washed by the blood of Jesus are part of THE CHURCH.

The result?  Verses 20-21. In every church there are some vessels of honor and some of dishonor. What do we do? We defer to the scripture if we know specific instances; otherwise we let it be and God will do the separating in the end.  He knows who is his.  Verse 21 says he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. We are to be sanctified:  set apart for use. Verse 19 reminds us to depart from iniquity. Be cleansed inside and out. This makes us usable for the master’s use. Be available and prepared for service.

In Jeremiah 18 we see the story of the potter’s wheel and are reminded that the potter can take an unusable vessel back to the wheel and make it usable. Do we need to be reshaped? God can make something beautiful and usable out of each one of us.  What kind of vessel are you?  What kind do you desire to be?  I urge you to determine to be a vessel of honor.

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