Vessels Unto Honor
“”But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” II Timothy 2:20, 21
Here the church, or the body of Christ, is depicted as a house or dwelling place with some furniture of great value; some of smaller value, and put to meager use or no use at all. Today, as well as in Biblical days vessels used around the house have their place of service. Expensive vessels are reserved for special purposes. The cheapest vessels are expendable and in some cases thrown or given away if rendered unuseful.
The materials used in the building (Church) may be interpreted in at least four ways:
(a) The gold, silver, costly stones refer to the enduring quality of the builder’s work; and the wood, hay, or straw suggest work that is temporary and valueless. This view is supported by “work” (v. 13) and “what he has built” (v. 14). (b
(b) The three expensive materials suggest sound doctrine which the builder “builds” into people’s lives, and the
three valueless materials are false doctrines.
(c) The first three materials refer to the worker’s worthy motives, and the other three points to his unworthy motives.
• vessels of gold . . . silver—precious and able to endure fire.
• of wood and earth—worthless, fragile, and soon burnt (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 1 Cor. 15:47).
• some to honor
• some to dishonor
(d) The “gold, silver, costly stones” refer to believers who constitute the church (Eph. 2:22; 2 Tim. 2:20), and the “wood, hay, or straw” represent unregenerate people present in the church
However, Paul went on to discuss how one could be used by God if he would “purge himself” from ungodly examples. He would become:
• sanctified—set apart as wholly consecrated to the Lord.
• and meet - ready
• the master's—the Lord's. Paul himself was such a vessel
• prepared unto every good work
The solid foundation of God’s truth never changes, is never shaken, and will never fade. When we follow God’s truth, he will never forsake us. Paul urges us to be the kind of person God can use for his will and purpose. We do this by consecrating and setting ourselves apart for Christ through personal holiness (2 Tim. 2:22).