Summary: Christians are called to stand on the firm foundation, with the seal of God and then to run for His Glory! We run from sin; run after holiness and run with the saints. Paul assures Timothy that God's firm foundation stands. It stands unshaken. His promises are sure.
Christians are called to stand on the firm foundation, with the seal of God and then to run for His Glory! We run from sin; run after holiness and run with the saints. Paul assures Timothy that God's firm foundation stands. It stands unshaken. His promises are sure. Then Paul says, “Having this seal.” Every seal has an inscription. Think of a coin, it has two sides. When both sides of the coin is intact, the coin is considered legal tender. It has value and usefulness. Paul says upon this seal are two inscriptions. One side says, “The Lord knows his own, and will not forget them; the second side shows who are his, those who depart from iniquity. The Lord knows his people, and his people obey him. One side gives us comfort and assurance and the other side gives us responsibility.
Paul does not hide the fact that in a great house there are all kinds of vessels, some are more honorable, and some are less honorable. Some are noble and some are ignoble. Some vessels are described as silver and gold, while others are described as wood and clay. What are the characteristics of a useful vessel? In this passage Paul lifts two central ideas, those who belong to the Lord should strive for cleanliness. If we are going to be useful to God, we must have clean character.
1. Clean character - 2Ti 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Timothy was leading a growing church in Ephesus, and he had to be careful that his character was beyond reproach. It was extremely important that people saw that Timothy was living a life that pleased God and brought honor to His name. What about those of us who aren’t in such high-profile situations? Are we exempt from the need for a clean character? I don’t think so. It’s every bit as important. Clean character is a necessity no matter what our station in life. Character has to do with heart. What are you when no one is watching? We should strive to live a life that is approved before God.
2. Clean speech - 2Ti 2:16 “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
Paul warns Timothy and us before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Avoid godless chatter because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Is your speech clean? Is it good and sound? Is it necessary? The book of James warns us about the misuse of the tongue. Keep your speech clean.
3. Clear Salvation -…..The Lord knoweth them that are his.” When there is constant struggle in your character and your speech, we must reexamine ourselves and see if we really in the faith. We must ask ourselves two questions: Are you saved and are you sure? To be saved means you have trusted Christ as your Savior, received the forgiveness of sins and the salvation He bought with His own blood at Calvary, you have claimed for yourself. You do that by first admitting your need for forgiveness and turning from your sins with God’s help. The Bible says that all have sinned; that means me, and yes, that means you. Believe that Christ died for you and rose from the grave and call on Him for forgiveness and His free gift of eternal life. If you’re serious, He’ll do it. And you will receive an assurance that your sins are forgiven, and you will spend eternity in heaven when you die. If you don’t have that assurance yet, you can have it right now. Now that you are truly saved, you should desire to be a useful vessel of God. Salvation is the first step leading to sanctification.
4. Continuous Sanctification – v. 21 “If therefore a man keeps himself clear of these latter, he himself will be for specially honorable use, consecrated, fit for the Master's service, and fully equipped for every good work.”
What does sanctification mean? To be sanctified means to be set apart. In the Scriptures it specifically means being set apart for God. In John 17, Jesus said that He desired that His followers would be sanctified by the word of truth from the Father. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul prays that the believers there would be sanctified through and through. We were initially set apart and sanctified when we came to Christ, and that continues as we grow in Him.
But there comes a time in a believer’s life when we come to a point where we need to decide who we are really going to live for: ourselves or God. God has been speaking to us, and we see that He wants to do a work in us and through us, but we need to be willing to submit everything to Him. Continuous Sanctification takes a major adjustment in our attitude. Paul suggests that continuous sanctification is accomplished three ways: by the things we run from; by the things we run towards and by the people we run with.