2 Timothy (Part 20)

vs.20-21. 1. These verses draw from the illustration of a great house to demonstrate a need in Christianity to identify undesirable elements and separate from them. A. The gold and silver are vessels unto honor; the wood and earth are vessels unto dishonor. LAM 4:2; 1CO 3:11-15. B. Note that even in a great house not everything is gold, silver or honorable. There is bound to be some wood and dirt also. C. There is some comfort in this on an individual basis. The best of men are men at best and subject to vanity which our loving, merciful God well knows. PSA 39:5; 103:10, 13-14. D. There is wisdom in this on an individual basis. People that seem too good to be true are likely too good to be true. The greatest of men have their Achille's heel, some skeletons in their closets. Mighty Samsons can have ungoverned eyes. JDG 14:1; 16:1. E. There is some comfort in this on a corporate basis. (1) The church is God's house. 1TI 3:15. (2) There are bound to be some bad fish in it from time to time. MAT 13:47-48; 1CO 5:1; REV 2:14-15. (3) There may be a Hymenaeus, Philetus (v.17) or a Diotrephes (3JO 1:9) that dishonor the name and doctrine of Jesus Christ. F. There is some wisdom in this on a corporate basis. New converts may tend to look at their church as being virtually flawless and then become disillusioned when they find out it is not. G. The greatness of the house is not according to its lack of vessels unto dishonor but according to how it deals with them. 1CO 5:7. H. The suitability of a minister for the master's use is likewise according to how he deals with vessels unto dishonor in his own life and doctrine as well as the lives and doctrines of others. He must “...purge himself from these...” (v.21). (1) Purge: “1. To make physically pure or clean; to cleanse; to rid of whatever is impure or extraneous; to clear or free of, from. 2. a. To make figuratively or ideally pure or clean, to free from moral or spiritual defilement; to rid of or free from sin, guilt, fault, error, or evil of any kind; to rid of objectionable, alien, or extraneous elements or members. In recent use, to rid of persons regarded as politically undesirable; = purify...” (2) Purged ministers are purified ministers. MAL 3:3. I. Mind that according to v.21, a vessel unto honor is identified as one who purges himself from vessels unto dishonor. (1) The person who insists on companionship and fellowship with vessels unto dishonor is obviously NOT a vessel unto honor! (2) This stands against the notion of unqualified toleration of all persons and positions. (3) The Levites were vessels unto honor in God's house because they stood apart from the vessels unto dishonor. EXO 32:26-29. (4) God honors those who honor Him, not those who honor those who dishonor Him. 1SA 2:30 c/w 2CH 19:2; REV 2:6 c/w REV 2:15-16. 2. A minister should purge himself from the vessels of wood and earth. A. He should pursue personal purification through the subduing of the old man and its interests, a general rule for all believers. 1JO 3:2-3; 1CO 9:27. B. He must purge himself of all false doctrine. 2TI 2:16; TIT 1:14; 3:9. C. He must purge himself from those who teach and practice error. 1TI 6:3-5; 2TI 3:5; TIT 3:10. D. The purged minister is a vessel of gold and silver or a vessel unto honor and meet (suitable, fit) for the master's use. JER 15:19; PRO 25:4. (1) Finer: “One who or that which fines or refines, a refiner.” (2) Christ is the finer. MAL 3:3. 3. The minister who purges himself is sanctified. A. Sanctify: “To set apart as holy; to make holy, to purify or free from sin.” B. By purging he manifests that he is indeed one of the sanctified of Christ. HEB 10:10 c/w 1JO 3:3. C. This is practical sanctification where the regenerate believer purifies his life from the practice of sin by obeying the truth. 2CO 7:1; 1TH 4:3-7; 1PE 1:22. D. This is inward purging and sanctification, not the outward cleansing for appearance's sake as the Pharisees. MAT 23:25-27. 4. Being a vessel unto honor is being a man fit for God's use. A. There is no greater honor than being an instrument of God for the advancement of His cause. ACT 9:6, 15; ISA 6:1-8. B. Such a minister need not expect that the world is going to honor him even as God does. 1CO 4:9-13. C. The love of man's praise and honor more than God's is a problem for both unbelievers and believers. JOH 5:44 c/w JOH 12:42-43. D. Christianity is not me using God for my purpose; it is God using me for His. 5. The purged minister is also prepared unto EVERY good work. A. He is distanced from the vessels of wood and earth which confound his time, proficiency and understanding in the Scripture which is given to furnish him unto all good works. 2TI 3:16-17. B. He is able to do everything that Scripture teaches is a work of the ministry. (1) He needs not the perceived advantaged of age. 1TI 4:12; JOB 32:9 PSA 119:100. (2) He needs not the approval of those who preceded him. PSA 119:99. (3) He needs not the approval of a church or of a board of deacons to do what Scripture has empowered and commanded him to do. (4) He can teach all necessary doctrine, defend that doctrine, evangelize, baptize, build churches, and train and ordain men to the ministry. 6. The minister who thus purges himself is an example to those who hear him to purge themselves. 1TI 4:12; 2CO 6:14-7:1.
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