2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESV
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
So, what is the context here? Paul was giving instructions to Timothy with regard to the things he should teach the believers in Christ. And he was talking about how, when we do what is right, and when we follow Jesus with our lives, that we will suffer persecution and rejection. And he was talking with him about the importance of obedience to our Lord and of faithfulness to the calling of God on our lives, and how we will live with him if we have died with him to sin, but how he will deny us if we deny him by our actions.
And then he spoke with him about how we are not to quarrel about words, and how we should avoid irreverent babble, and how we should present ourselves to God as those approved, who are workers who need not to be ashamed, but who rightly handle the word of truth. And then he talked about how the Lord knows those who are his and how everyone who names the name of the Lord is to depart from iniquity. And then we have this discussion about “a great house.”
So, the “great house” appears to be in reference to the gatherings of the church, which include both those of sincere faith in Jesus Christ who have departed from iniquity and those who have swerved from the truth who are upsetting the faith of some. They both name the name of the Lord, but Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (see Matthew 7:21-23).
So, in this “great house,” i.e. in these gatherings of the church we have some vessels (people) which are honorable, and we have some which are dishonorable. And so the encouragement here is that we are to cleanse ourselves of what is dishonorable to God so that we can be vessels of God for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to our Lord and ready for every good work. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:22-26 ESV
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
Therefore, if we are to cleanse ourselves of what is dishonorable so that we can be the Lord’s vessels for honorable use, then we have to flee sinful passions, and we must pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. And biblical faith involves dying with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and it means living to him and to his righteousness and obeying his commands (New Covenant). And love prefers what God prefers which is moral purity, faithfulness, honesty, godliness, holiness, and uprightness.
Also righteousness is what is deemed right and godly in the eyes of God, and peace is peace with God which only comes via genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ whereby we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer living as slaves to sin, but now living as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And those of us who call on the Lord from pure hearts should be living just like this describes, and we should not be living in deliberate and habitual sin.
Now, when we follow Jesus Christ with our lives we are going to be opposed. We are going to have people who will come against us and who will attack us and who will do evil against us. But we are to patiently endure their evil attacks, yet while correcting our opponents with gentleness. Now this gentleness is not weakness and it does not involve any compromise of truth or righteousness so as not to offend the ungodly. It is another word for meekness, and Jesus was meek, but he was not weak.
For, as followers of Christ, we are to be those who are speaking the truth of the gospel and who are refuting the lies. And we are to be speaking the truth in love to one another, so that we are not carried away by false doctrines. And we should be exhorting one another so that none of us are led astray by sin’s deceitfulness. And we ought to be provoking one another to love (as God is love) and to good deeds (which God prepared for us to do). So, be kind, but never compromise truth and righteousness.
The goal of all of this is that the Lord would grant to our opponents repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. So, don’t be afraid to speak the truth in love, to speak it boldly, and with the passion of Paul and of Jesus, but with kindness and in love, and with sincerity, and with the right purpose. For many people profess faith in Jesus who are headed to hell, but on the promise of heaven.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25
Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.
Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.
If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.
Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.
Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!