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Useful For The Master 2 Timothy 2:20-26

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Useful For The Master
Useful For The Master
INTRODUCTION
Do you want to be used of God.? I would suspect that deep in every person's heart here there is a desire that God might use him. That is a normal and a proper desire. There is no thrill like the thrill of being used of God. There is nothing that remotely approaches, in terms of excitement, satisfaction and fulfillment, the consciousness that one has been the instrument in the hands of the Almighty God to do some of his work -- to change the direction of someone's life, perhaps, to prevent an injury, to resolve an argument, to answer a challenge, to heal a weakness, to rebuke a ruler, or to turn a nation.
Every person in the world is a possible vessel for God to use, regardless of what his attitude to God may be.
1. To motivate Timothy toward faithful service, Paul used an
1. To motivate Timothy toward faithful service, Paul used an
Scripture tells us that God uses his enemies, even the devil, to accomplish his work. God's sovereignty, his majesty, is such that no matter who we may be or what we may be like, we can be used by him. In the story of the Exodus, in the Old Testament, we learn that not only was Moses the instrument of God but so was Pharaoh. In , Paul says that Pharaoh was used of God to resist the departure from Egypt in order that the greatness of God might be manifest. The apostle says that God raised up Pharaoh, set him on his throne, and used him for his purposes. In fact, in the ninth chapter of Romans, the 21st through the 23rd verses, the apostle uses this very same figure about vessels of mercy contrasted with vessels of wrath.
Romans 9:21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
So Scripture itself supports the idea that God can use anybody, believer or nonbeliever.
*****We want to look at the Scripture and see how Paul expresses his thoughts, or God’s thoughts’ on this. Paul, in order.....
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1. To motivate Timothy toward faithful service, Paul used an
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson. says, "Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?" ( RSV). So Scripture itself supports the idea that God can use anybody, believer or nonbeliever.1. To motivate Timothy toward faithful service, Paul used an
illustration involving 'vessels'...
a. Of varying qualities and value -
b. How one could be a vessel for honor, prepared for every good work
-
-- Thus becoming "Useful For The Master"
2. By considering the context (), 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"
Our text today;
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
*****Being of use to our Lord 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...
prepared for every good work. First of all, to be useful for the
*****Being of use to our Lord 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...
Master...
I. We Must Work On Our Personal Conduct
A. Things to avoid...
1. We must cleanse oneself from "the latter" -
a. “The Latter” being vessels of dishonor -
b. Paul also mentions to avoid teachers of false doctrine like Hymenaeus and Philetus
16 But shun profane and 5idle babblings, for they will 6increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. vHymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, wsaying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
2. We must flee youthful lusts -
Philetus- cf.
2:16-18
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2. Must flee youthful lusts -
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2. We must flee youthful lusts -
a. The lust of the flesh, such as fornication -
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
b. The lust of the eyes, such as materialism, money and all the sins associated with seeking it.
b. The lust of the eyes, such as materialism - cf.
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
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9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.b. The lust of the eyes, such as materialism - cf.
The Good Confession
We must avoid both wicked associations and wicked conduct. We see what things to avoid, let’s look at.....
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
*****We must avoid both wicked associations and wicked conduct. We see what things to avoid, let’s look at.....
II. Things To Do To Be Useful...
 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
A. We must pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace -
A. We must pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace -
1. Also Qualities without which no one will see the Lord -
 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
14 sPursue peace with all people, and holiness, twithout which no one will see the Lord:
2. And Qualities well suited for the "man of God" - cf.
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2. And Qualities well suited for the "man of God" -
B. We Must Associated With those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
B. We Must Be Associated With those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1. We must be together with those who sincerely love God.
2. We must not be alone, nor in the company of those 'vessels of dishonor'. We are to seek our Lord and to please Him.
dishonor'
C. We must seek both holy conduct and holy associations
1. Avoiding wicked associations does not mean we do not reach out to those in error. For the Lord desires all to be saved.
;  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
in error. For the Lord desires all to be saved (cf. ; Peter
 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance
9 lThe Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but mis longsuffering toward 3us, nnot willing that any should perish but othat all should come to repentance
).
*****To be "Useful For The Master" in teaching also in dealing with different people...
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).
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*****To be "Useful For The Master" in teaching them...
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson. *****To be "Useful For The Master" in teaching them...
II. We Must Work on Interpersonal Relationships.
A. Here There are also Things to Avoid...
1. Must avoid foolish and ignorant disputes - But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
a. We must avoid things that generate strife.
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a. That generate strife - ; cf. ;
4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
e ;
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.a. That generate strife - ; cf. ;
b. We must avoid things that bring ruin to the hearers -
b. We must avoid things that bring ruin to the hearers - ; cf.
9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
9 But kavoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.b. We must avoid things that bring ruin to the hearers - ; cf.
c. That increase to more ungodliness -
c. That increase to more ungodliness -
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.c. That increase to more ungodliness -
2. We must not quarrel with anyone.
2. Must not quarrel - 2 Timothy 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
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 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.2. Must not quarrel -  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
a. That is, strive or fight over words - cf.
a. That is, strive or fight over words - cf.
b. "engage in a war of words, to quarrel, wrangle, dispute" Joseph Henry Thayer. Greek-English Lexicon[dictionary] published 1841.
- Thayer
***** We must avoid discussions that are little more than 'word
battles'. With having things to avoid, there are also.....
B. THINGS TO DO...  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
24 And ca servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, dable to teach, epatient,
1. We must be gentle to all -
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1. We must be gentle to all -
e ;
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.1. We must be gentle to all -
a. "affable, that is, mild or kind" - James Strong[creator of Strongs Concordance]
2. We must be able to teach -
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 -
a. "apt and skillful in teaching" - Thayer
b. Thus able to both exhort and convict those who contradict Scripture.
 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
3. We must be patient -
3. We must be patient -
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"
Albert Barnes; most noted for his commentary published in 1830s.
c. We must maintain a Christ-like quality which is much needed in 'word battles'
 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
13 xbearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
3:13
4. We must correct in humility -  in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
25 fin humility correcting those who are in opposition, gif God perhaps will grant them repentance, hso that they may know the truth,
4. Must correct in humility - 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.4. Must correct in humility - 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
a. That is, with "gentleness, mildness, meekness" - Thayer
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
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a. That is, with "gentleness, mildness, meekness" - Thayer
a. That is, with "gentleness, mildness, meekness" - Thayer
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.a. That is, with "gentleness, mildness, meekness" - Thayer
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.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 "gentleness, mildness, meekness" are weapons "mighty in God"
1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
10 Now aI, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—bwho in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you cthat when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 dFor the weapons eof our warfare are not 1carnal but fmighty in God gfor pulling down strongholds, 5 hcasting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 iand being ready to punish all disobedience when jyour obedience is fulfilled.
1. Weapons that are not carnal, such as wrath, anger, and strife
10:1-5
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1 of the flesh
1. Weapons that are not carnal, such as wrath, anger, and strife
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1) Not carnal, such as wrath, anger, and strife
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1) Not carnal, such as wrath, anger, and strife
2. But mighty for casting down arguments, bringing thoughts into captivity to Christ
 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
g James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
into captivity to Christ
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
-- We must develop and demonstrate a Christ-like character toward
*****We must develop and demonstrate a Christ-like character toward the opposition in order to be of use to our Lord.
-- 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. In order to be useful to the Master!
What kind of 'vessels' are we becoming for the Lord...?
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