Be a Noble Vessel

I. The immediate context helps form the importance of our study.

A. The Christian leader must demonstrate boldness (2 Timothy 2:14-15).

1. He must constantly remind others not to “strive” about unprofitable words.

2. He must “study” to demonstrate excellence in the Scriptures.

B. The Christian leader must also avoid divisions (2 Timothy 2:16-17).

1. He must avoid “profitless babblings” that develop ungodliness.

2. He must identify and warn against false teachers.

C. The Christian leader must build on Christ’s foundation (2 Timothy 2:19).

1. He must embrace the sure foundation of God.

2. He must openly separate from iniquity.

II. The Christian leader must also understand how to view the assembly.

A. The “house” in the New Testament is the “church” (2 Timothy 2:20)

1. 1 Timothy 3:15 -- But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

a. The House of God = the Tabernacle and Temple in the Old Testament.
b. The House of God = the church in the New Testament.
1) Hebrews 10:21 – Jesus is High Priest over the House of God
2) 1 Peter 4:17 – Judgment must 1st begin at the House of God
c. The church is now the “pillar and ground” of the truth.
1) John 17:17 – the “word is truth”
2) 1 Corinthians 15:58 -- be steadfast immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord
3) Colossians 1:23 -- continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast

2. 1 Peter 2:5 -- Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.

3. Hebrews 3:6 -- But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we

B. The “great house” has many “vessels” in it of different values.

1. There are “honorable” instruments (vessels of high monetary value).

a. The inner court of the Tabernacle and Temple held this kind of vessel: gold, silver, brass (Exodus 25; 2 Chronicles 4).
b. The more public and formal, the more valuable.
c. The closer to the Holy of Holies, the more valuable.

2. There are vessels of “dishonor” – of “shame” or “disgusting” use.

a. The Temple and Tabernacle had “earthen” vessels for certain types of sacrifice (Leviticus 15) which were used, broken, and thrown away.
b. These were “common” and “expendable.”

C. The metaphor about “vessels” is focused on individuals.

1. There are general “Kingdom” parables.

a. Matthew 13:31 – “fowls” make a home in a “great tree.”
b. Matthew 13:25 – “tares” grow up with the “wheat.”

2. There are specific requirements for the Twice-Born.

a. We must all “possess” our vessel in honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4)
b. Some, like Paul” are “chosen vessels” (Acts 9:15)

3. Romans 9:20-21 -- Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

III. The Christian leader must purge himself from the dishonorable vessels (2 Timothy 2:21)

A. This is the first required step before becoming “honorable.”

1. The Greek term ekkathairo and its direct derivative kathairo all have the idea of active cleansing from falsehoods and from defilements.

2. 1 Corinthians 5:7 -- Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.

3. 2 Corinthians 7:1 -- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

4. Psalm 119:9 -- Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

B. This purging will prepare the Christian leader for suitable service.

1. He must be sanctified (set apart) – for the Master’s use.

a. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 -- Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
b. 1 Corinthians 6:11 -- And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God
c. John 17:17 -- Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

2. He must be meet (suitable) – for the Master’s use.

a. 2 Timothy 4:11 -- Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
b. Philemon 1:11 -- who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.
c. 1 Corinthians 9:15 -- But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.

3. He must be prepared (ready) – for good works.

a. John 14:2 -- In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
b. Acts 23:23 -- And he called for two centurions, saying, Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night
c. 1 Peter 3:15 -- But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear

C. This preparation is to be visible by “good works.”

1. Titus 3:1 -- Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work

2. Matthew 5:16 -- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

3. Ephesians 2:10 -- For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

4. 1 Timothy 5:25 -- Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident

5. Titus 3:8 -- This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.

IV. The Christian leader must flee youthful desires (1 Timothy 2:22).

A. The term stresses “untested” or “new in time”  not youth itself.

1. 1 Timothy 4:12 -- Let no man despise thy youth

2. Luke 22:26 -- "But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger and he who governs as he who serves.

B. The command is to flee (run away from) young (new, untested) desires.

1. 1 Corinthians 6:18 -- Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:14 -- Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

3. 1 Timothy 6:11 -- But you, O man of God, flee these things (desire for wealth) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

4. 1 Timothy 3:6 -- not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

C. The unknown (untested, no experience with) desires are deceitful.

1. Mark 4:19 -- and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

2. Romans 13:14 -- But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts

3. 1 Peter 1:14 -- as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts as in your ignorance

4. 2 Peter 1:4 -- by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust

5. 1 John 2:16 -- For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

V. The Christian leader must follow after righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22-26)

A. He must follow (determined pursuit) after.

1. The word is frequently translated “persecute.”

2.  John 15:20 -- "Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

B. He must be determined to pursue righteousness.

1. Matthew 5:6 -- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

2. Matthew 6:33 -- But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

3. Ephesians 6:14 -- Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

C. He must be determined to pursue faith.

1. Luke 17:6 -- So the Lord said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

2. Romans 10:17 -- faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

3. 1 Corinthians 16:13 --  Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

D. He must be determined to pursue charity.

1. Matthew 6:24 -- No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

2. John 15:10 -- If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

3. 1 Corinthians 13:13 -- And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

E. He must be determined to pursue peace.

1. John 14:27 -- Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2. Romans 8:6 -- For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

3. Colossians 3:15 -- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

F. He must also avoid (refuse) that which genders strife.

1. 1 Timothy 4:7 -- But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

2. Titus 3:9 -- But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

G. He must instruct those who need to be recovered from Satan’s capture

1. Galatians 6:1 -- Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

2. Acts 26:18 -- To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me

3. 2 Corinthians 2:11 -- Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

4. 1 Peter 5:8 -- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

2 Timothy


Living in His Light and His Love

A Life of Loving God's Word in Psalm 119

The Power and Perseverance of Grace

A New You and a New Life

A series of lessons on chapters 1-11 of Genesis

The People and Power of Christ

A series of lessons on the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph

A series on the book of Revelation

Loving God and Loving Others in Exodus 20

Go to top