Valuable Vessels (2 Timothy 2:20-21) by Bro John Lao

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, 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.

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