"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Useful For The Master (2:20-26) INTRODUCTION 1. To motivate Timothy toward faithful service, Paul used an illustration involving 'vessels'... a. Of varying qualities and value - 2Ti 2:20 b. How one could be a vessel for honor, prepared for every good work - 2Ti 2:21 -- Thus becoming "Useful For The Master" 2. By considering the context (2Ti 2:20-26), we too can learn how to be... a. Vessels of gold or silver, not wood or clay b. Vessels for honor, not dishonor -- And thereby also becoming "Useful For The Master" [It involves effort, but such is necessary if we are going to be prepared for every good work. First of all, to be useful for the Master...] I. WE MUST WORK ON OUR PERSONAL CONDUCT A. THINGS TO AVOID... 1. Must cleanse oneself from "the latter" - 2Ti 2:21 a. I.e., vessels of dishonor - 2Ti 2:20 b. E.g., teachers of false doctrine like Hymenaeus and Philetus- cf. 2Ti 2:16-18 2. Must flee youthful lusts - 2Ti 2:22 a. The lust of the flesh, such as fornication - 1Co 6:18 b. The lust of the eyes, such as materialism - cf. 1Ti 6:9-11 -- We must avoid both wicked associations and wicked conduct B. THINGS TO DO... 1. Must pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace - 2Ti 2:22 a. Qualities without which no one will see the Lord - He 12:14 b. Qualities well suited for the "man of God" - cf. 1Ti 6:11 2. With those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart - 2Ti 2:22 a. Together with those who sincerely love God b. I.e., not alone, nor in the company of those 'vessels of dishonor' -- We must seek both holy conduct and holy associations [Avoiding wicked associations does not mean we do not reach out to those in error. For the Lord desires all to be saved
(cf. 1Ti 2:4; 2 Pe3:9). To be "Useful For The Master" in teaching them...] II. WE MUST WORK ON INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS A. THINGS TO AVOID... 1. Must avoid foolish and ignorant disputes - 2Ti 2:23 a. That generate strife - 2Ti 2:23; cf. 1Ti 1:4; 6:4 b. That bring ruin to the hearers - 2Ti 2:14; cf. Tit 3:9 c. That increase to more ungodliness - 2Ti 2:16 2. Must not quarrel - 2Ti 2:24 a. That is, strive or fight over words - cf. 2Ti 2:23 b. "engage in a war of words, to quarrel, wrangle, dispute" - Thayer -- We must avoid discussions that are little more than 'word battles' B. THINGS TO DO... 1. Must be gentle to all - 2Ti 2:24 a. "affable, that is, mild or kind" - Strong b. "not only to troubled minds, and wounded consciences, by supplying them with the precious promises and truths of the Gospel; and to backsliders, by restoring them in a spirit of meekness; but even to those who contradict the truth, and themselves, by mild and kind instructions." - Gill 2. Must be able to teach - 2Ti 2:24 a. "apt and skillful in teaching" - Thayer b. Thus able to both exhort and convict those who contradict - cf. Tit 1:9 3. Must be patient - 2Ti 2:24 a. "patient of ills and wrongs, forbearing" - Thayer b. "The Greek word here used does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means, patient under evils and injuries" - Barnes c. A Christ-like quality much needed in 'word battles' - cf. Co 3:13 4. Must correct in humility - 2Ti 2:25 a. That is, with "gentleness, mildness, meekness" - Thayer b. Even against those who: 1) Who oppose the truth 2) Who are ensnared by the devil c. For such qualities are weapons "mighty in God"
- cf. 2 Co 10:1-5 1) Not carnal, such as wrath, anger, and strife 2) But mighty for casting down arguments, bringing thoughts into captivity to Christ -- We must develop and demonstrate a Christ-like character toward the opposition CONCLUSION 1. A servant of the Lord must therefore give careful attention... a. To his personal conduct and associations b. To his interpersonal relations with those in error 2. A servant of the Lord who does so can then be... a. A vessel of honor b. Sanctified (set apart for a godly purpose) c. Useful to the Master! What kind of 'vessels' are we becoming for the Lord...?