It’s a wonderful and blessed Lord’s Day once again to be with you all church. And so to begin our time together, I’d like to invite you all to open with me God’s word so please turn with me to second Timothy chapter 2. For this morning, we will be looking at verses 20 to 21 So second Timothy chapter 2 verses 20 to 21. I will be reading from the English Standard Version. So now, give attention to the reading of our Master’s Holy Word. 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.
Let us come before the Lord in prayer. Our Great God and Father, we acknowledge, that we can only stand before Your presence because Christ stood in our presence. And oh, God, we pray that we would truly appreciate the fact that You have cleansed us being dishonourable people, you have made us honourable so that we may be able to be used for Your service and Your glory alone. We ask now oh, Lord that You will teach us through Your word and may Your Spirit be the one oh Lord to teach us this morning. In Christ’s name, we pray, amen.
“Love her today, find one hundred ways.” That is the advice given to us in the song entitled “100 Ways” by the artist that goes by the name of James Ingram. In this song, he’s asking men to show love by complementing what she does, sending roses, making sacrifices. At ito iyong malupit, sinabi niya if there’s one more star she wants, go all the way. Dahil binigay niya ang dahilan, sinabi niya there might be another man in her mind and she might think that she is just wasting her time with you. And so he is offering helpful tips, or iyong mga useful ways in order to keep the love warm. Now as christians, we want our efforts in our lives to count and to be of good service to our Master and if I would ask if pwede ninyong itaas ang kamay ninyo kung sino gustong maging useless para sa Panginoon, I’m sure, walang magtataas ng kamay sa atin. We want to be useful to Him and for His cause and become VALUABLE VESSELS.
Now, Timothy is facing great difficulties, as what we have learned in the past sermons brought about by the persecutions from outside of the church. And not only that, he is encountering internal problems within the church because of the false teachers. At dahil doon, si Paul encouraged him, which we saw primarily in chapter one to rekindle the gift of God that was given to him by the Spirit, not being ashamed of the gospel and as well as of those who are suffering for it, including Apostle Paul himself na nasa death row and he’s expecting that he will be executed as a martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ. And come chapter 2, nag-encourage pa rin siya. Sinabi niya, take a bold stand for the gospel, be strengthened by the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, suffer, strive, look to the great comfort that we have and the great hope that we possess by virtue of Christ’s finished work. And beginning last week, we enter into a new section wherein, he deals with the false teachers this time. So, in contrast, sabi niya, hindi ka dapat maging katulad nila. They are harming their hearers by preaching what is false. But you must be true. Kailangan, you would maintain the sound doctrine that we have received from God in Christ Jesus. Timothy must present himself who upholds God’s truth, who rightly handles the word of God. And in other words, he must be someone who stands for truth. And ginawa ni Apostle Paul dito is to show the difference between what is true and what is false na dapat iyong buhay ni Timothy should be quite glaring, na makikita talaga kung ano iyong mali sa tama. And to advance his teaching, ginawa ni Apostle Paul, he used a metaphor. At iyong metaphor na ito ay iyong binasa natin which is the great house. And tulad ng isang malaking bahay, sinabi niya, mayroong inba’t-ibang klaseng types of utensils or vessels. There are gold, there are silver, there are wood or claypot. Some, ginagamit for honorable use; parang ginagamit nila for serving guests. It is something that they present in public. But there some of those that are dishonorable na ginagamit para lang alisin ang basura or any kind of waste inside the house. At ang punto ni Apostle Paul dito is not so much on identifying, oh ito, ikaw ay gold, ikaw ay silver, hindi ganun eh. But really, his point is, Timothy, be an honourable servant. Be an honourable vessel. You must be the one who lives in contrast as against those who are teaching falsehood that are dishonourable, that as good as garbage. And he wants Timothy to become an effective witness, an effective vessel for our Lord Jesus Christ. Now for ue, understanding God’s love in Christ and being drawn to Him by the Spirit places a desire in us. Actually, chiné-change Niya ang buhay natin in order for us to have a new disposition to desire, to live pleasing before our God. And we are to be useful, we are to desire to be useful to our God and Master! And know then, brothers and sisters, that a holy life is useful to God and His church. A holy life is useful to God and His church…that is my message to you this morning.
Now to understand better, hetong message po natin, we will be having two points.The first one, pertains to our responsibility that we need to undertake as servants of God, and that is DUTY OF CLEANSING. Now how
does that responsibility prepare us for our calling as God’s people? That’s the thing we will be looking at on the second point, CLEANSE FOR DUTY.
So let’s look at the first one right now. Duty of cleansing. And so, being concerned of his true child in the faith to be constantly fit for God’s service, Paul gives the necessary condition for him to become an honorable vessel. And the requirement that he gave is to be cleansed from what is “dishonorable”. Which means that Timothy must constantly separate himself from the false teaching, and from the false teachers, themselves. So, tinukoy niya rito ay iyong sina Hymenaeus at si Philetus, which he refers to at verse 18. And Paul referred to them as those who have swerved from the truth. They are upsetting the faith of some. Na instead na magkaroon ng assurance ang mga hearers nila in our Lord Jesus Christ, they are dislodging their assurance in Christ. At napupunta sila sa mga iba’t-ibang godlessness. And sabi nga ni Paul dito, their talk will spread like gangrene. Nakakaapekto ito sa kanilang buhay kristiyano. And Paul is telling Timothy to not be like them. Separate yourself, have nothing to do with what they teach! Lest you become one of those that are dishonourable. But it does not only include staying away from the false doctrines and the false teachers. But it also includes iyong pag-mortify ng kaniyang indwelling sin or iyong mga sinful conducts. Because he applies this thought right after verse 21.“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with all those who are calling on the Lord from a pure heart.”
And so in other words, reject anything that goes against the Word of Truth by rightly handling the Word of Truth, flee unrighteousness and pursue righteousness. As the man of God, he should rightly handle God’s truth, represent God in a faithful way, uphold the gospel of Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, he has to be a bold and approved workman. And at the core, of course, he is a Christian set apart for the Lord Jesus Christ, redeemed by His blood and to which ungodliness should not be a charter of the life of Timothy. And so the same is true for us who to truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin should not have a place in the life of a believer. Sin should not have a place in the believer’s life. Paul talks about it in Colossians chapter 3 verse 5 and following, and it tells us what to do. The first thing that we have to do is to put to death what is earthly in us. Which means sin. And it includes both the relational tyoe of sin like iyung malice or iyung sexual immorality. And also the more internal ones that are anger; so nagbigay siya ng iba’t-ibang example doon. Recognising that these are the kind of things that which God will judge the unrepentant sinners.
And now, that’s a negative. But the positive part also in Colossians chapter 3 is to put on Chris! We do not just keep on fleeing and running. At wala tayong ginagawa . We ought to put on the positive. Put on Christ. Apply the spiritual graces given to us by the Spirit of God. Now, this does not guarantee that we will be able to achieve sinless perfection in this life. Meaning na talagang mabubuhay tayo nang walang kasalanan. Hindi mangyayari iyon. It is not possible! “And oh yeah, I’m glorified anyways. So, umm, in Christ, saved naman na ako. I have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. I will be glorified, rather.” But no, we, we have to play an active part in the present. We cannot be passive. Hindi lang tayo nag-aantay. We are continually making efforts in our sanctification. And as sin continues to advance, we continue as well mortifying it and cultivating spiritual graces. Iyong mga bahay natin nadudumihan po iyan, I’m not sure kung mayroon po sa inyong hindi nadudumihan ang bahay, sana all. Because of that, we need to do regular cleaning. Dahil kung hindi natin ginawa iyon, bad stuff would pile up. Bacterias would build up. There would be unpleasant smell, hindi mo magugustuhan ang amoy ng iyong tahanan. Pwedeng manirahan ang mga insekto, lalo na pag may mga bata kayo, lagi silang matatakot doon. It would be harmful to us, pwede tayong magkasakit. At pag tayo ay nagkasakit, pwede rin tayong makahawa ng iba. It is the same with the Christian life. Since we live in a sinful world, there is a constant need to separate ourselves from the DOCTRINAL and MORAL error that is being advanced to us. It would be damaging to both TO US and as well as to OTHERS if we do not fail to PURGE false teachings and ungodliness. Pero iyong duty na ito, ay naka-base on the reality that we are united in Christ Jesus. Paul argues in Romans chapter 6, that those who have placed their faith in Christ, share in both His death and resurrection. We have died into sin and we are raised in the new life that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ! Our life is hidden in Christ, and because of that, sinabi niya in verse 11:“So you also must consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
And if you are not in Christ, the reverse is true for you. Ikaw ay dead. Hindi ka deaad to sin, you are dead in your sins right now. You’re not alive in Christ. And therefore, if you are listening to this message, I’m telling you that you are expecting the wrath of God if you do not repent of your sins and place your faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. And therefore, I’m reaching out to you right now, pleading with you if you do not believe in Christ, repent!Give your life to the Saviour who can only redeem your souls from eternal damnation. And such instruction, hindi lang ito available para sa mga overseers or office-bearers in the church, but as well as to every believer and every member of the church! Our
sanctification is THE WILL OF GOD. We are to “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body because the Holy Spirit is in us and He dwells among His people. And since all Christians are redeemed by Christ, called out of the world for His glory, then we who are in Him should DETACH OURSELVES from the defiling influence of sin. And so church! Stay as far as you can from false doctrine and ungodliness! Stay as far as you can, see sin for what it is. False doctrines not only misrepresents God, but it is a blaspheme against God. In First Corinthians chapter 15, sinabi ni Paul na, binigay niya itong example na ito na kapag hindi nangyari daw ang resurrection, pero we are saying that it happened, we are blaspheming God! And therefore, that is not the place that we waant to go, my brothers and sisters. We must avoid it. Be warned also as well of the things that fills your mind and occupies your thoughts and your deeds. The things you listen to, the things that you think about, the things that you watch. Not saying na kapag nanood tayo ng mga secular movies or nakinig tayo ng mga secular music, then automatically sin na iyon. Hindi naman natin sinasabi iyon. But if it triggers you to think of sinful thoughts and have inordinate desires, then might as well stay away from it! Kesa magkasala tayo sa Panginoon. The Lord Jesus Christ talked about this that if your hand causes you to sin, cut off your hand. May radical way or approach na sinasabi si Christ in the way we are to mortify our sins and we don’t just stay as far as we can from it, but also, we stay as close as possible to sound doctrine and godliness. God has provided us the means through His Word. It is the cleansing agent kumbaga. To read the bible prayerfully and dependently upon the Holy Spirit. To sit under the trustworthy proclamation of the word of God. Being with our brethren who loves and knows, who point us to the truth. And receiving this does not only guard us but it also cleanses us from sin’s polluting influence. And so my question to you, is that do you keep yourself close to the streams where God’s grace flow? Nilalapit ba natin ang ating mga sarili sa means of grace ng Panginoon? Or do you find yourself being away from it? Do you find yourself spending your time, most of your time in the world? Ang problem is that we can also become sluggish in terms of our sanctification. We think na marami akong bagay na kailangang gawin. I don’t have to, I don’t have much time to read the Scripture. And marami akong kailangang gawin na responsibilities and nag-a-add up lang iyong pagbabasa ng bibliya sa aking daily activities. But no, kailangan nating ma-recognise ang ating pangangailangan of the grace of God. And much worse, comfortable lang tayo that there are no conviction in us, comfortabe lang tayo with our sin being present in our hearts. Hindi tayo na-bo-botherif we are giving ourselves into sinful thoughts and deeds. And we’re seeking the alternatives rather than
going to the Scriptures. Instead of going to the Scriptures, binabasa natin iyong mga self-help books na hindi naman natin sinasabi na totally unhelpful. But it’s not sustainable. They can help you temporarily and in some way. But it doesn’t address this sin problem. If you want to guard yourself, then pour yourself into the Scripture. If you want to guard your family, conduct family worship and guard your family against the errors by upholding God’s truth. Guaard your church by guarding the pulpit as well and making sure that the only thing that is preached here is the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scripture.
Si J.C. Ryle, if you’re familiar with him, sumulat siya ng libro na entitled Holiness. And sinulat po niya ang libro na ito in addressing the current crisis of their time na may nagsasabi na dapat “Let go and let God” lang tayo. So doon nanggaling iyon. It’s the “Keswick Movement.” And so dahil medyo nagulantang si J.C. Ryle dito, talagang kumulo ang kaniyang dugo, sumulat siya, and I quote, “We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. . . . Jesus is a complete Savior. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, he does more—he breaks its power.” The power of sin has been broke. We ourselves were once dishonourable. We have called by God to be His holy saints. We are washed by His blood and therefore, we ought to continue on, recognising that there is still indwelling sin in us with the duty of cleansing. Now, if we manage to cleanse ourselves from sin, what does it prepare us for? Anong paghahanda na ito na naidudulot sa atin? We will look at that on the second point..Cleansed for Duty.
After talking about what he must do, we will now see the result of such effort. And sinabi ni Apostle Paul dito iyong outcome ng isang holy or consecrated life. That is Timothy would protect himself from sinful influences and godly passions of the flesh, he will become, sinabi dito ni Apostle Paul “a vessel for honourable use” which means that he will be valuable in the eyes of God as against those who would defile themselves, they are to be refused. They are “set apart as holy.” They will be dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. They will be useful or profitable in the house of the Master. They will be “ready for every good work.” Putting it together, such person, if they cleanse themselves fromsin and they purify themselves and cling closely in their new life in Christ, such person will be geared for God’s service! What Paul is teaching here is quite clear. Kitang-kita naman ang point niya rito..that the degree of our holiness would be in the same way the degree of our usefulness. Holiness results to usefulness. In other words, it leads to a fruitful life. When we maintain a holy conduct, we will share the holy character of God. Ang mind natin woul dbe so drawn to what He has
revealed to us in the Scripture. When we maintain an unsound understanding of the faith, it will not only make you hurtful only to others, but you will become harmful as well. Make yourself UNHOLY and you make yourself JUNKY. But on the contrary, pursuing HOLINESS, it will lead to USEFULNESS. To be absolutely clear, anag pursuit of holiness, the pursuit of holiness won’t save you from your sins. It can only be received by grace through faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We do not work for it, we can only work it out if it’s really there. It’s is the result of our salvation! We are called into holiness. It is our response to the grace of God. That we are grateful that He did not leave us in our sins. But redeemed us by His Son’s perfect and redeeming work, and through this hope, we purify ourselves. Binasa natin iyon kanina in First John chapter 3 verses 1 to 3. And having this life, through His Spirit, holiness is simply implementing, applying and living what’s been given us by God which is eternal life. And when we live how we are supposed to live, then we will be useful to the Master. In athletic competition, let’s say mga basketball games, or let’s say basketball seasons, aside from the actual practice themselves, iyong mga shooting, mga dribbling iyong mga athlete would undergo conditioning. Iyon ang pinaka-ayaw nila dahil nakakapagod siya, nakakapawis and at the same time iyon talagang hihingalin sila to make sure that their endurance would be there when the games happen. Kasi, kung hindi sila nag-conditioning, halfway through, mapapagod na sila. They won’t be able to run in full-court; baka pwede half-court lang pero at the same time, gaganun na sila (walking sluggishly) kasi pagod na. And they will be useless for the game. Pursuing holiness may also be a difficult thing because of indwelling sin. But as God’s Word tells us today, the outcome would be absolutely worth it. Because we will be able to conform ourselves to the new life that has given to us by God in Christ. And if sin seeks to hinder us in spreading the gospel; makes us tear down one another rather than build up, cause division and strife within the body of Christ and cast aside the word of God in place of human wisdom. Holiness does the complete opposite! It advances the gospel, it builds up and unites the church and it upholds God’s Truth! And therefore brethren, greatly desire to be used by God for His own purpose and glory! That is the chief end of man! Babalik tayo doon, tinanong doon di ba that what is the chief end of man? That is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. For Him to use us, God only presents us one condition. And that is to be clean. Na tayo ay malinis sa kahit anong influence ng kasalanan And that is why even in our church, we even require 2 things to be able to serve: the necessary skill that is required and second, being in good standing. Iyon lang ang nire-require natin. Because being in good standing, or let’s
say kilala siya being someone who has lived faithful in the Lord Jesus Christ, it maintains the testimony of the church. It silences those who oppose and it honours God with the gifts that he has given us as we use it to serve one another. And the great news, is that, if we cleanse ourselves from false doctrine and ungodliness, God could also use you and I! However, some of us would be satisfied in cleaning only the surface. Hindi tayo willing na to go deeper. When we are asked to examine ourselves, sasabihin natin na masyado naman iyon! Parang, parang sinasabi mo na hindi ako tunay na believer. But Scripture is telling us to constantly examine our lives. Do we give in to sin? Kasi wala namang nakakakita? Wala naman nakakapansin. But oh! God sees not only your deeds, but as well as the motivation as to why you did such a thing. And those things you do when you are on your own, things you do not..um, iyong mga bagay na hindi natin pinapakita sa labas, well, kitang-kita ng Panginoon iyan. And so, you would rather turn away from your sins. Don’t keep on hiding it. Kita naman ng Panginoon iyan. So if you are that someone who continously lives an unrepentant life before God, turn away from your sins! Alalahanin natin that the watching eye of God is always upon us. Si Johann Sebastian Bach, who is also known as the greatest musician during the Baroque period. Aside from being a musician, one fo the historians who took an account in his life, also mentioned that he is also a faithful student of the Scripture. Mayroon siyang copy noong three volumes ng translation ni Martin Luther of the bible. At talagang minaximise niya iyong 3 volumes na iyon. He underlined texts. He even supplied iyong mga missing words in the Scripture. He edited the commentaries if necessary. And one of the persons sinabi niya, “he’s simply a christian who happened to work behind the keyboard”. And kilala siya being someone, everytime na natatapos ang kanyang mga compositions o iyong mga works, he would always use the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria” to signify that the work he has done is for the sake of praising the Lord, our God. And so, do you seek to glorify the Lord your God in your life? Is that your ultimate desire? Then separate yourself from sin and pour yourself into the teaching of God’s truth. You want to seek to glorify God in your families as well? Setting yourself as an example to those who are watching youcl in the church? In your vocation, you maintain a good testimony by upholding the truth of the gospel? May it be so in our lives, brethren. And so, may we continue being faithful in recognising that we have a new life in Christ. May we know for sure that we are raised in Him because in Christ, true believers are dead to sin and alive in Him. And such reality is the basis of our living in all purity as God’s valuable vessels. May God sustain us. May God keep us faithful. May God’s Spirit continue to
empower us to carry on with His faithful cause. Let us pray. Our Great God and Heavenly Father, we thank You for You have redeemed us in Christ. We know the utter gloom of being in sin, oh Lord. At nagpapasalamat kami Panginoon dahil sinave Ninyo po kami through the person and work of Your Son. And so, Lord, being in Him, we pray that we would constantly cleanse ourselves from the defilement of sin and to live faithful lives for Your glory and honour. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.