Sermon Titled “Ready For Every Good Work” (2 Timothy 2:20-26) – Sunday 2nd November, 2014
- 2 Timothy 2:20-26 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
[Image from sarahbush.blog.com]
Paul, as we know, was originally named Saul. Before his conversion to Christianity, and before his named was changed to Paul, he was a man with one purpose in life – to hunt down and persecute Christians. Ironically, it was soon after he had mercilessly approved the stoning of Stephen, that he witnessed the power of God, and by that power, allowed himself to be transformed.
Pastor Reimer reminded us all in last week’s sermon, that a changed life is what Christianity is all about. We may live in this world, but once we become Christians we are no longer of this world. Christ desires that we allow Him to change our hearts so that we learn to live our lives with holy purpose and intent. If we choose to live otherwise, we must accept that there is no hope once we depart from this world. If we fix our hearts on Christ however, and willingly follow His path, we can live peacefully in this life knowing that Christ’s path will one day lead us into eternity.
Thankfully, Paul recognized that one’s efforts to live as a follower of Christ would not be easy, and so he encouraged the church with lots of practical advice, including a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” in verses 22-26 of his second letter to Timothy. But first, preceding this list (in verses 20-21), Paul used an illustration involving “articles” of various qualities – gold, silver, wood, and clay – stating that some articles are only good for common use, while others are of such high caliber that they are reserved for “special purposes.” This is where the title of this sermon comes into play – are we Ready For Every Good Work, or are we still like a worthless lump of clay, yet to be molded into something useful?
Paul’s instructions are a great guide to help us get off the potter’s table and become articles (or vessels) that honor our maker and can be put to good use. Let’s take a look at them:
- First, there are those things that concern the desires of our hearts. There are things we used to enjoy doing that the Bible says we should no longer pursue. Verse 22 “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
- Second, Paul cautions us to act with integrity and humility in all situations. In verses 23-24, Paul says, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”
- Finally, in verses 25-26, Paul admonishes us against acting in arrogance or with contempt towards those who do not share our beliefs. Instead, he says, “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.“
As we learn to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of God’s calling upon our lives, we then become a vessel of honor, useful to our Master, and ready for every good work!