Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Always a Vessel


But in a great house there are not only vessels of GOLD AND SILVER, but also of WOOD AND CLAY, some for HONOR and some for DISHONOR.  Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 2:20-21
The church doesn’t get any slack from the world.  If one church member is found to commit some “unpardonable” sin, then the world precludes that the entire church is a bunch of hypocrites, a bunch of fakes, and people stop coming to church.  I find it funny that the same thing doesn’t happen when they go to a doctor that’s a fake.  They don’t stop going to doctors just because they’ve found one to be less adequate than he should be.  And if you go to a garage to get your car fixed, and you find they don’t know a wrench from a washer, you don’t park your car and give up!  But let one church member do something wrong, and suddenly all Christians are fake, and church is fake, and you just don’t want any part of it?  Really? 
Paul explains this using the metals gold and silver, and the less precious wood and clay.  Both have to exist to serve purposes.  Some purposes are honorable, such as crystal glasses used at a wedding.  And some are dishonorable, such as the pot I’d put my dog scraps in after a meal.  But they are both used by the owner of the house. 
What makes one honorable or dishonorable is in the few verses above our text.  2 Timothy 2:15 says Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Paul goes on to say that two people in particular, Hymenaeus and Philetus, were causing problems because they did not understand the word.  They had “strayed concerning the truth” and were teaching that the resurrection was past.  This was causing some believers to think they had been “left behind”.
There are some that say the “wood and clay” vessels are false prophets.  Then there’s another group that believes these are lost people.  It really doesn’t matter which they are.  They are in the house and they are there to serve a purpose, albeit a dishonorable purpose.  If everyone knew the truth about Christ, how many of us would be passionate about knowing His word and teaching His word?  They are there for us to get fired up about and teach! 
One thing burns my britches more than any other I do believe, and that’s to hear someone twist God’s word or misquote God’s word.  The Holy Spirit in me rises up, pulls out a soap box, stands tall and loudly proclaims “THAT’S NOT RIGHT!”  I use to give myself a kick in the butt, saying “Faithie, why can’t you just keep your mouth closed?  Why do you have to correct everyone that you feel is wrong?”  I’ve discovered that I can’t because God doesn’t want me to be silent all the time.  And when I am, He convicts me for it.
There are times to be silent and not participate in idle discussions that can lead to nothing but disagreements, such as whether Judas went to Heaven or not.  That topic doesn’t add one bit of glory to God or one more soul to His kingdom.  But then there are other times when the conversation is a matter of causing someone to lose faith, misunderstand salvation, misunderstand the person of the Holy Spirit, or other things that are of most importance to God and growing His kingdom.  In those cases we should step up, and be those vessels of honor that give God’s truth.
We are not saved to be shelved.  Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works”.  He created us to be used for GOOD things, to be honorable vessels.  If we are not being used, we just may be a vessel of dishonor.  But the good news is we can change that.  If we have been saved, our first job is to get into God’s word and know it.  He didn’t give us His word just to hide it away in our hearts and just feed ourselves.  Be a vessel for it, and ready to pour it out when it’s needed.  His Word will never return void, but will accomplish what God wants it to (Isaiah 55:11).  It is the final word in all disputes, all problems, and all troubles. 

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