Summary: There are vessels of earth with limited use and effectiveness, and there are vessels of Gold and Silver usful for every good work. Which one are you?
Vessels Fit For The Master’s Use – Part I
Preached Sunday, January 5, 2003
My prayer and personal theme for this year is "Lord, please use me in 2003!" Our life is short and fragile; riches pass, personal pleasure is empty… the only thing that will outlive me is the way in which I impact the world for Jesus Christ. This is the legacy for which I strive.
In the past few weeks we have become aware of the spiritual battles that surround us as born-again Christians. Satan is seeking some way that he can distract, discourage, or discredit you in order to render you silent and ineffective as a witness for Christ.
Part of Satan’s strategy is to mix false teaching in with true teaching. The first part of II Timothy chapter 2 warns of false teaching that infiltrates some churches. So, in light of all of the attacks that surround the servant of God, how can we even hope to be used for God? We are merely flesh and blood!
Our passage today tells us that we, as born-again believers, are vessels for the Master’s use. If we wish to be vessels of honor, there are some simple things to keep in mind. This morning we will start our study and tonight we will conclude our exploration of what God’s Word says about being vessels fit for the Master’s use.
I. We must realize that the foundation upon which our salvation rests is unshakable!
2 Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
A. Even though there are false teacher out there
2 Timothy 2:16-18 - 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
B. Jesus is the foundation of our faith
Isaiah 28:16 - Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
1 Corinthians 3:10-11 - 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
C. There is comfort in the fact that our salvation is sealed
1. Seal = emblem of ownership and security
Ephesians 4:30 - And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
2. We can run to this truth for comfort
Hebrews 6:18-19 - 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Romans 11:2 - God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
D. Because of our salvation, we must depart from iniquity – iniquity = literally, "un-right-ness"
Psalm 34:14 - Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psalm 37:27 - Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
Proverbs 3:7 - Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Galatians 5:24 - And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - 19 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.
II. There are two types of vessels for our Master to use
2 Timothy 2:20 - But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
A. Great house = whole estate or group – in this context it refers to the body of believers
B. Vessel = A container, or a person held to be the recipient of something
1. There are vessels of dishonor – fit only for some tasks