Be A Vessel Unto Honour

A Readiness to Be Used of God

2 Timothy 2:15-21

Audio MP3

April 14, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (2Timothy 2:15-19)


A.      Our Theme, our Focus this month is “Getting Ready to Work/Serve the Lord”


1.      Remember our main Memory verse for the year? Revelation 19:7
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

2.      Are we preparing ourselves, so that we are ready at a moment’s notice to do what is asked of us for the kingdom of God? (Mt 6:33)


B.      God’s Foundation


1.      Built on God’s word – God’s truth (2:15)

2.      It Still Stands!

3.      Nothing else stands the test of time like the words of this Book


a.       “Heaven and earth shall pass away” (Mt 24:35)

b.      Isa 40:8  “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”


C.      God knows those who are HIS


1.      Not the fakers and frauds who will one day try and stand before God and say, “Lord, Lord, did not we do many wonderful works in thy name?”

2.      But those who have been truly born again, by humbling themselves, and desperately begging God to have mercy on them and save them from the coming judgment!

3.      God knows who you are!

4.      You better know! If you don’t know, today needs to be the day you get born again!


D.     The world should know too


1.      Because they (God’s people) live apart from iniquity

2.      They are NOT like the world around them

3.      Live, love, talk, dress, act, walk differently

4.      And they are not ashamed of it!


E.      That leads to the next Scripture in 2:20,21…


II.    Message – Be a Vessel Unto Honour (1 Timothy 2:20,21)


A.     God has a great house – a BIG house


1.      It is a big house with lots of furniture, kitchenware

2.      Not referring to His church, but to this whole world! To His entire creation.


B.     There are All Kinds of Vessels in this World – God’s House


1.      Refers to vessels – containers, cups, dishes, plates, bowls – anything that carries something in it or on it

2.      Bowels, cups, Tumblers, Buckets

3.      They are all containers in God’s reach

4.      Some stunning things made of gold

5.      And some mundane things, made of clay, or plastic

6.      These “vessels” are what we are! We were created for something greater than just ourselves! We have a purpose, and a design! We were created by God to be used for His glory, and His praise, and His purpose!


C.      There are really Only Two Kinds of Vessels that God Sees in the world:


1.      Only two categories, or groups


a.       Those that are honourable, and those that are dishonourable

b.      One is highly thought of, and showed off, The other he is embarrassed for anyone to see!

c.       Both will be used! But not like we might like!


2.      Honourable Vessels


a.       They can be like Fine China, or a silver vase

b.      Coffee or Tea Cup

c.       Water Jug

d.      Serving Dish

e.       Soup Bowl

f.        Or they can be like a clean dinner plate

g.       Or even Plastic Tupperware

h.      They usually are on display in cabinets, on shelves, on mantles and on pianos

i.         They don’t have to be expensive,…

j.         JUST CLEAN!

k.       Ready to be drank from or served from

l.         Ready to be used!


3.      Dishonourable Vessels


a.       A Dog Dish, Kitty Litter Box, Mop Bucket

b.      Hoover bag

c.       Bed Pan

d.      A Pee-Can – even if made out of pure gold, it is something you hide away out of sight!

e.       All of these are very useful, yes, but are filthy and not used for anything honourable!

f.        These are usually in their out of the way places, under the sink, behind the toilet…

g.       AND, you wouldn’t want to normally talk about them and be proud of them and show them off, would you?


D.     God Uses All Kinds of Vessels


1.      Both the saved, and the lost person; the clean, and the unclean (remember, he made all the clean animals AND the unclean ones too)

2.      They both have their purpose, but only one is worth noticing, and only one has value

3.      People are compared to these two kinds of vessels


a.       The apostle Paul was called a “chosen vessel” (Acts 9:15)

b.      A vessel of God’s mercy (Rom 9:23)

c.       Pharaoh was called a vessel that was only to be destroyed (Rom 9:22)


4.      So as you read your Bible, you will notice how that God used the:


a.       Godly Abraham’s, Moses’, David’s

b.      AND the wicked Pharaoh’s and arrogant Nebuchadnezzar’s

c.       He greatly used the apostle Paul’s and Matthew’s

d.      As well as the cultish Diotrephes – as an example to rebuke!

e.       He used the Jerusalems as a centre of worship

f.        As well as the Sodom’s and Gomorrah’s as a proof that God still judges sinful lifestyle!

g.       God will use preachers to make fools of themselves for Christ

h.      And God will let atheists make fools of themselves!


5.      Everyone is used by God in some way


E.      The Big Deal is, You CHOOSE How you Want to be Used by God. How READY you want to be so He can use You!


III. Application/Challenge (1 Timothy 2:21)


A.     Our Duty – Purging and Protecting our Lives


1.      Purging


a.       Purging means breaking away, separating from, putting distance between yourself, and someone or something that defiles you!

b.      To defile is to soil you, taint you, spoil you

c.       A spoiled vessel is a dishonourable one!


1)     Like a cereal bowel if clean is great, but when eaten out of by a dog, it is not fit for anyone to touch!

2)     Like a fork used to unclog a drain – not fit to be used at dinner

3)     That is, until it has been cleaned and sterilized!


d.      There are two kinds of purging


1)     An Instant Salvation - God’s Forgiveness at Christ’s Expense – God’s Business


a)     The perfect life of the Son of God, judged and condemned in our place

b)     His blood shed as an innocent Lamb for the guilty!

c)      His offer to anyone to just ask Him to forgive them, completely

d)     When Jesus gave Himself, He did all that was necessary to pay off ALL the debt of all the sins that you ever have and ever will commit against God!

e)     And by just calling on His name, asking HIM to forgive you and save you and make you HIS child, you receive the most precious gift of all time – eternal life!


1.      Hebrews 1:3  “Who [Jesus] being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he [Jesus] had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high!

2.      Hebrews 9:14  “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

3.      To “purge” is to burn out, totally remove, take away what is blocking access! We would say, flush, or clear out a blocked pathway! That’s what Christ’s blood on the cross did with our sins! Took them all away!

4.      Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

5.      Hebrews 10:11,12  “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

6.      Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

7.      Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


2)     Secondly, Our On-going, Daily Sanctification – Our Business – Our Duty


a)     You can do NOTHING to get clean - obtain forgiveness

b)     But you must do everything to stay clean

c)      Sanctification

d)     God keeps us SAVED; He keeps us in His hand… but we keep ourselves clean! That’s the next point!

e)     If Jesus did ALL THAT for us, to save us from our sins, and cleanse us, and forgive us…, are you telling me you won’t do anything to stay clean?


2.      Protecting


a.       Christians forget they have a responsibility to stay clean!

b.      Like a child who just took their bath and needs to stay away from water puddles!

c.       See Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”


1)     Daniel was already clean – already born again – already washed from his sins

2)     He needed to protect his heart, and his mind from idols and things that would come between him and the Lord God!

3)     God was not a distraction to him – He was Daniel’s Lord! God was Daniel’s life


d.      You protect God’s work in your heart by Separating yourself from…


1)     False doctrines – too many to count! (2:16-18) – saturate with the Bible (Jn 17:17)

2)     Wicked men (2:18) – get away from vain babblers and into Church in every meeting!

3)     Wicked imaginations (2Cor 10:5)!

4)     How quickly we can throw the new life we have in Christ away and become so dishonourable, and dishonouring


a)     By a filthy mouth – showing off just how low you can go in your speech

b)     By a bitter spirit – proud wrath!

c)      By a hard heart – stubbornness is as witchcraft

d)     By an adulterous eye – just the constant undressing and desire for flesh and nakedness in every look!

e)     By a covetous spirit – never praising God, but having a complaining attitude

f)       By a worldly attitude of rebellion against God’s laws

g)     By wicked lifestyles (Roman 1:24)

h)     Do you not think Christians can get back into all that stuff? YES! If they don’t KEEP themselves clean and humble and close to God!


5)     We expect politicians to be honourable – to be trustworthy

6)     We expect car salesmen to be honourable – to be trustworthy

7)     Rarely is it the case

8)     We expect doctors to be honourable – to be trustworthy

9)     We expect teachers to be trustworthy with children

10)            It is only natural that the world expects if US Christians to be honourable, and trustworthy TOO!


3.      It is important to purge throw out things that are defiling us!


B.      Our Goal – To Be A Vessel Unto Honour - The Ultimate Goal in a Christian’s Life


Listen again to 2Timothy 2:21 “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.”


1.      An honourable vessel – is an honourable Christian life


a.       Not just pretty vessel


1)     There are a whole bunch of people that look good on the OUTSIDE

2)     But on the inside are filthy and wicked and frauds

3)     A lot of people know how to be sweet and nice outwardly, but they are ravening wolves, and vile, demon possessed people on the inside, full of every hateful thought!


b.      But honourable – very respected, and of rare value – trustworthy

c.       Our goal needs to always be someone that God would like to show off


1)     Revelation 19:7 “Give honour to HIM…!”

2)     Not because of abilities and beauties

3)     But because of cleanness, and readiness to be used by Him, whenever, and however he see fit!


2.      Sanctified Vessel


a.       It just means “Clean” – not already used! Oh that men and women kept themselves clean and pure so that when they get married, they are CLEAN and NOT ALREADY USED!

b.      It also means, “Set apart” (from the dirty dishes), and “ready to be used”

c.       You wouldn’t (SHOULDN’T) reach into the pile of dirty dishes and grab a plate, fork, and cup for your guest to eat from!

d.      You keep clean kitchen-ware up, out of the way of the dirty floor, and away from other dirty dishes!


3.      “Meet” Vessel (prepared, just right for the occasion) for the Master’s use


a.       Not mainly prepared for our own use, or even for our own will

b.      This body, this life of mine belongs to the One who bought it on Calvary’s cross (1Cor 6:19,20)!

c.       This body is not mine to do with it as “I” please anymore!


1)     I cannot smoke now that I am a Christian

2)     I cannot drink now that I am a Christian

3)     I cannot allow my heart to fill up with bitterness and anger and depression and hatred and lies and covetousness

4)     I cannot stay up late and fill my eyes and mind and heart with every wicked imagination the world wants to throw at me!

5)     WHY?


a)     Because all of that was the DEVIL using me before I got saved!

b)     My life is meant for the Master’s use now!


d.      “The Master” is God, if you haven’t figured it out yet!


1)     Remember? This world is HIS house!

2)     HE is the LORD, the Master, the Owner, the Boss of everything


e.       Whether we agree with it or not, He IS Lord!

f.        And I want…, my goal is, to be used by Him!


1)     No matter how small a task

2)     OR… how hard and impossible a task!

3)     If it be His will, it is mine too!

4)     Look yourself in the mirror and see what you are going through, and decide, if it be God’s will, then so be it – as long as I can be used by God to praise Him, and honour Him through it!


4.      Lastly, Our Goal is to be a Prepared Vessel – prepared for every good work


a.       The devil prepared all of us for HIS devices


1)     By all our bad friends

2)     And through all the rebellious music and movies

3)     No wonder we did things that are shameful


b.      We were saved to do good works (Eph 2:8-10)

c.       We are prepared, fashioned, equipped, geared up for every good work just by wrestling with the sin in our own lives, and getting the best of it!

d.      Having this kind of attitude about sin (hating it enough to purge it out of your life), is 99% of all the preparation we need to be used of God!


1)     David, as a SHEPHERD, hated sin (go back and reread the Psalms), and that attitude actually prepared him to be KING!

2)     Paul, as a hateful Pharisee, when he discovered all the sin in his life on the road to Damascus, from that moment on, he hated the sin in his life so much, that it prepared him to be a clean vessel, and clean life for God to use to preach to countless millions of people in the first century!


5.      Do you ever wonder why God is not using you to win people to faith in Jesus Christ? Do you ever wonder why the devil has so much dominion in your life? It could be that you have too casual a view of sin in your life, and you won’t do what is necessary so that your life honours your Lord Jesus Christ!


IV.  Conclusion


A.     Our Theme, our Focus this month is “Getting Ready to Work/Serve the Lord


1.      God’s Foundation is His Word

2.      God knows those who are HIS

3.      The world should know who belongs to God too!


B.      The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ saves a man, a woman – cleans anyone, perfectly, from the inside out!


1.      Every person born, is born a sinner, and must get forgiven in total before they die

2.      No good work that you ever do will ever be good enough for God

3.      Only what Jesus did, is good enough to save your soul!

4.      It is called being saved, born again, forgiven!

5.      And, it is a gift – “the gift of God is eternal life” – not WILL BE, but IS – anyone can have eternal life right now

6.      He that hath the Son of God, hath eternal life – right then and there!


C.      But we need to stay clean! Sanctified!


1.      So that we can be useful to God

2.      Not end up as a wasted life, or a castaway, or a throw away in God’s kingdom!


D.     There are really Only Two Kinds of Vessels that God Sees in the world


1.      Honourable

2.      And Dishonourable


E.      God Uses All Kinds of Vessels – all kinds of people

F.      You CHOOSE How you Want to be Used by God

G.      Our Duty – To Purging and Protect our lives

H.     Our Goal – To Be A Vessel Unto Honour. That means become…


1.      An honourable vessel

2.      Sanctified Vessel

3.      “Meet” Vessel (prepared, just right)

4.      Lastly, Our Goal is to be a Prepared Vessel


I.        Do you have too casual a view of sin in your life? Will you do what is necessary so that your life honours your Lord Jesus Christ?

J.        Every soul must be READY to meet God! That’s why Jesus said, ye must be born again!

K.      EVERY Christian must be prepared to do good works! That’s why we don’t just come and “worship” – we come to hear how to purge away the sins and filth so that we are always ready to be used of God for His purposes!