Vessls Of Honour (2Tim [2]20-26)

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Vessels of Honour

Text: II Timothy 2:20-26

Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)

Date Preached - (04/22/01)


The well known chorus states…

To be used of God

To sing, to speak, to pray.

To be used of God

To show someone the way.

I long so much to feel

The touch of His consuming fire,

To be used of God is my desire.

I. The Illustration of a sanctified vessel. Vs.20

The illustration of a vessel is a fitting one for the Christian life.

Romans 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

2 Corinthians 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The illustration here is of a large house, belonging to an affluent family, with many occupants and containing many rooms and furnishings.

The house represents the household of all believers.

The vessels represent individual believers.

VESSELS – Skeuos – used of a variety of domestic implements.

Ie. Utensils, tools, furniture. etc

Vessels of Gold & Silver = Honor

Vessels of Wood & Earth = Dishonor

A. Honor and dishonor do not refer to true and false Christians.

There are some other NT Types that distinguish the difference between true and false believers.

Wheat & Tares (Matthew 13:24-30)

Sheep & Goats (Matthew 25:31-46)

B. Honor and dishonor are not speaking of the God-given difference among Christians.

Those differences are seen in the talents (Parable of the Talents) and spiritual giftedness of believers (See Rom 12 & I Cor. 12)

C. The honorable vessels represent believers who are useful and faithful to the Lord as opposed to those who are defiled and unfit for use.

This refers to the ways in which we are found useful to the Lord.

All believers should be vessels of honour.  Unfortunately, this is not always true.

II. Characteristics of the sanctified Christian life vs.21-26

There are nine characteristics that mark the life of a faithful believer, who is a vessel of honour.

A. A cleansed life vs.21A

CLEANSE – to clean out thoroughly, to completely purge.

A vessel for honor cannot remain pure apart from pure fellowship.

Proverbs 13:20  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

1 Corinthians 15:33  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Sin is Contagious!!

Therefore we must avoid…..

Fellowship with the world.

Fellowship with ungodly believers.

1 Timothy 5:22  Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

Fellowship with the works of darkness

B. A sanctified soul vs.21B

SANCTIFIED – set apart (Two aspects = from sin & unto God).

An honorable vessel is kept pure.

ILLUS: We would not alternate the use of a vessel for food served to guests on one occasion and vile waste on another.

1. Sanctified by means of a right relationship to God.

2. Sanctified by means of growth in righteousness.

1 Thessalonians 4:7  For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

C. Useful to God vs.21C

Meet (or fit) for the master's use

An honorable vessel belongs to God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

We do not want to be an unfit vessel or a castaway.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

D. Prepared for every good work vs.21D

An honorable vessel is willing, ready and eager to serve God.

We must be genuine and unreserved in our desire to submit to His Holy Spirit.

E. A pure heart vs.22

Here are two characteristics of a pure heart.

1. Purity on account of what we flee from

Flee = GK. Phugeo (Eng. Fugitive

Refers to a person continually on the run in order to escape capture.

Youthful Lusts = inordinate desires

Speaks of sin characteristic of young people.

Sexual sin, party life, covetousness, pride.

It is not only the young who battle youthful lusts.

2. Purity on account of what we follow after

Here is the positive side of the pure life.  It is the put off/put on principle once again.

We are to run from sin and toward….

RIGHTEOUSNESS – faithful pursuit of and obedience to the truth of Scripture.

FAITH – faithfulness, integrity, loyalty, trustworthiness.

LOVE – agape love.

PEACE – not absence of warfare, but harmony in relationships.

Romans 12:18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

F. A discerning mind vs.23

The discerning mind is the opposite of an unguarded mind.

(ILLUS: The various filters on a vehicle)

If left unattended and unguarded (unfiltered) the mind will eventually become spiritually and morally corrupted.

It will eventually produce all kinds of trouble.

ILLUS: The retention of the mind.  Everything the brain registers it retains.   It’s like a computer  (Businesses have discovered employees who have used the internet for vile purposes because of records left on the hard drive).

Our mind is to be a treasure house not a garbage dump.

1. The discerning mind knows what to avoid 

FOOLISH – mentally dull (moros = moron)

UNLEARNED – ignorant & untrained.

QUESTIONS – speculations, controversial and disputed with no certain basis in truth.

Not referring to responsible discussion of Scripture and theology, but to intellectual recklessness with the truth.

2. The discerning mind knows the result of undisciplined controversies.

They are worthless and fruitless, producing quarrels and needless strife.

Those who persist in this way must be disciplined.

3. The discerning mind knows that its only protection is God’s truth and righteousness.

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

G. A gentle manner vs.24

Not primarily concerned with vindicating himself, but with serving the Lord.

Doulos – bondslave.


2 Corinthians 10:1  Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

1 Thessalonians 2:7  But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

APT TO TEACH – capable, gifted, highly skilled.

PATIENT (when wronged)

H. A humble spirit vs.25A

Meekness is not weakness, but power under willing control.

In Greek culture – used of colts broken for riding.

Focus is upon the Lord and others not self.

Talks of His Lord, not of himself.

I. A restorative desire vs.25B-26

Restoration is always the desire of a humble and compassionate heart

Correction is necessary in the church.

Correction must be done in the right spirit.

Correction has a view to repentance and restoration.

2 Corinthians 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

Correction is based on acknowledging of the truth.

Correction based on truth will release one from the snare of Satan.

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Peter 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Conclusion:     (Review)

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