Summary: Sermon 3 in a series about seeking God’s glory. Character matters. We are to be vessels for God’s glory.

Great House of God

2 Timothy 2:20-26

Have you ever wondered what the house of God really looks like? It must be beautiful. Glowing with His glory. Each room full of warmth, love and a unique style. I can just see each room- kitchen table set with a feast of the best food you ever ate, a nice warm living room w/a fireplace, a huge gushy recliner, glass of tea, and a football game on the TV. The bed room is the most comfortable bed you could imagine with warm comforter and God in a rocking chair reading you His Word as you fall asleep. Can you see it? Imagine it?

Church is God’s representative on earth. The church is referred to as His house. In that house there are many different things, each with their own use, but all for God’s glory.

Paul makes reference to the house in 2 Tim.

Read 2 Timothy 2:20-26

Here we learn that there are 2 types of vessels. Those that bring honor, and those that bring dishonor. As Christians we are vessels in the house of God and we are to be vessels of honor for the Master.

I. 2 Types of Vessels

In God’s house there are 2 types of vessels. Gold and silver vessels are meant for honor- host is proud of what he has and is not afraid to show it off. He uses the vessels b/c he knows that they are reliable, and strong.

Wood and clay vessels are vessels of dishonor- there were various uses for these utensils. Some were used for storage of things such as flour or meal, but yet others were used to carry refuse. These are considered dishonorable b/c they are not what you would bring out to feed your guests on. You would not feed your guest from the same vessel that was used to carry refuse out.

The great house is a reference to the church, and the vessels are a reference to believers. There are 2 types in God’s house. There are those that bring honor to God and those who don’t.

God wants to be proud of the things in His house. He wants to show off His house just like any of us would. God desires to show the world the beauty of His house and the things in it. The problem is that we are too busy defiling His house with the world. God desires us to be the vessels of honor and not those of dishonor. He wants us to be men and women who are willing to be different and show that God is true and faithful. We can only do that when we are willing to be a vessel of honor. What does it mean to be a vessel of honor?

II. A vessel of honor is sanctified-

Now all believers are sanctified. The moment we meet Christ we are sanctified and set apart to Him. That does not change. But to be sanctified is more. To be a vessel of honor the christian must be cleansed from the dishonorable things. The believer must be sanctified, or set apart from the things which bring dishonor to God. When a believer completely separates himself from dishonorable things then he is a vessel of honor. To cleanse is to completely purge- no trace of it left. The idea is to be completely separate from the dishonorable things.

A vessel of honor has no relation to a vessel of dishonor. The two don’t mix. They are not stored in the same way, used in the same way, or shown off in the same way.

The same is to be true for the christian. For the christian to bring honor to God the christian must be willing to step up and stand out. We have to be willing to separate ourselves from those w/in the house that bring dishonor to God. In other words, don’t associate w/those believers who practice immorality and refuse to be cleansed, whose language and lifestyle bring dishonor to the Lord, tolerate evil, fake in their commitment and service to the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV) He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

1 Cor. 5:9-13- believers are told not to associate w/those who are believers and are involved in sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV) Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

We are called as believers to be separate. It is time that we stop dabbling in Christianity and start living it. God is calling us to be the vessels that are useful to Him. Stand up and be different from the world and from those who claim Christ and live like the devil. Be set apart from sin, and set apart for God. The purpose of the vessel is service. As God’s vessels we must be kept pure to be a service to the master. Don’t use the same vessel for food that you use for waste! As believers we are sanctified for God and are sanctified for His service. It is time that we acted like it.

III. A vessel of honor has a pure heart

One of the ways in which we are able to separate is that we strive to have a pure heart. A pure heart doesn’t just happen. The ability is there b/c of Christ and His sacrifice. He has saved us, lives within us and gives us the power to live for Him. The choice of how to live is up to us. We have what we need. How do we have a pure heart?

Flee from youthful lusts. This is not just a reference to sexual lusts. Youthful lusts is a reference to those things which all of us struggle with: pride, greed, power and influence, jealousy, envy as well as the sexual lusts. We are to run fast and hard away from those things. We get our word fugitive from the Greek word for flee. The idea is someone who is continually on the run to avoid capture. When was the last time that you were truly on the run from sin? Don’t associate with it, when it rears its ugly head you run from it!

When you are running from one thing, you run to another. Pursue the things of God. Pursue is to chase after w/persistence. Chase after righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace. Notice that these are all only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We are only righteous b/c He is righteous. We can only be faithful, love, and have peace when we are walking according to His Spirit that lives within.

A pure heart is a heart that is dedicated to the Lord and nothing else. The vessel that God can use is one that is separate from the world and dedicated to Him and His work.

A pure heart has pure motives. A christian should be transparent. Someone should be able to see straight through them to their heart. There is no hidden agenda. A Christian’s heart and ways should be focused on the Lord. Their goal is to serve the Lord w/ all of that they have. They seek to maintain unity by:

avoid foolish disputes- cause strife and division, and be kind to all. We are to be gentle with one another and still confront sin with love and the Word of God. We should do it all for one reason- bring honor to the Master.

How often do we run from the world and to God? Are we a fugitive from the sins of the world? The only way to not be found by the world is to immerse yourself in the ways and will of God.

Could we be described as one with a pure heart? Can only do that when we pursue God and His righteousness.

What type vessel are you? We are in the Great House of God- can others tell where you come from?