Hi y'all! Hope y'all are have a great week so far! 'member to pray!
19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20. 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 honour, and some to dishonour.
21. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
In verse nineteen, Paul writes to Timothy about the foundation of God. What does he mean by the "foundation of God?" We must first ask, what kind of foundation? What kinds of foundations are there? Well, the foundation of, for example, a house, library, store, etc. (I always thought of this kind of foundation when I read this). "...and we also say that King's College, Cambridge, is a foundation of Henry the Sixth."* So, there are two kinds of "foundations," which is Paul referring to? "Greek used the word themelios in the same two ways; and the foundation of God here means the Church, the association which he has founded."*
Now that we know that Paul is talking about the foundation/association of God, which is the Church; what is he trying to teach us? He says, "nevertheless," the three-in-one word. "Nevertheless" what? "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure," or "But the firm foundation of God stands fast." So we know that, unlike all other foundations/associations, God's stands sure, or fast. It will not move or change.
Next he says that God's foundation, not only stays put, but that it does "with this inscription," or "having this seal." So, it is like an envelope, it is sealed, and has an inscription. If something is sealed, what do you know about it? Well, you know that the sender wanted to keep it safe, and that it is important. Remember when people each had a certain seal. It was like their signature. They did that to show that a certain letter was from them, when they couldn't write their names. People used to believe that learning things like writing, math, and reading were useless. So, they just had their seal. Each seal had a different picture on it, so that people would know who it was that sent the note, or signed the paper.
God's foundation has a seal. What is it? Actually He has two seals/inscriptions. The first one says, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." Remember in verses ten and four, when they mentioned "the elects," and "him who hath chosen him?" This verse is talking about the same thing, "The Lord knoweth them that are his," he already knows who was going to chose what, nothing is new or surprising to God. Since I've already covered this, but if y'all want to review on that, just click the verse numbers. :) They should be hyper-linked right.
The second one is, "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." What does that mean? Every one that says the name of Christ Jesus is supposed to depart from iniquity. What does it mean to say the name of Christ, to confess? I think that it means to believe in Christ, to have become a Christian.
He writes that "every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." What does it mean to depart from iniquity? Well, iniquity is a word not used much anymore, in the other version instead of iniquity, it uses unrighteousness. So, as a Christian we are supposed to depart from unrighteousness/iniquity. What are some examples of unrighteous doings? Well, since unrighteous/iniquity means, wickedness, unfair, unjust, etc. some examples of unrighteousness would be, stealing, cheating, adultery, using God's name in vain, etc. For more, just look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20.
The next two verses talk about a great house with vessels of honour and of dishonour. Verse twenty says, "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 honour and some to dishonour." Why would Paul say "a great house?" Why "great?" Because poorer people usually don't have vessels of gold and silver, they only have vessels of a cheaper substance.
What is Paul talking about here? He uses the example of vessels of different substances to represent different people. Some people are smart, quick, great, etc. Some people are unlearned, slow, good, etc. But does that matter? Does it matter who someone is on the outside? No. God loves us all. In Paul's example there are great, beautiful vessels in the house, and there are good, but not as beautiful vessels in the same house. Some are used for more important things than others.
Why does Paul tell us this? He is using this as an example of the Church. Some people are more noticed because they have more important jobs than others in the Church. Who do you think of first when you think of the people at your Church? The pastor or the person in the sound booth? See what I mean? But the point that Paul is trying to make, is that all of the vessels are needed, they are all important to the organization of the house. Even so with the Church. The people of the Church each have a specific job that they do to get everything done as a group.
Another good verse that goes with this is Romans 9:21, it says, "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" God took people from every nation to make His nation of people, to make His Church.
Verse twenty-one says, "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." So, once we "depart" or "purge" ourselves from "unrighteousness" or "iniquity," then we will be "vessels unto honour, sanctified," and ready for the master (God) to use us. Wow! Do y'all understand what that means? It means that once we believe in Jesus Christ, and depart/stop doing unrighteous things through the power of the Holy Spirit, that God will use us in His plan! He can send us out to tell others about Him! He can send us to serve and minister to the sick and needy, and the people who have never heard His name; in His name we will serve! We will be a part of His master plan!
He also says that we will be "prepared unto every good work." We will be ready to do what He instructs us to do. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. He will not give us an impossible task, He will give us something He knows we are capable of. It might seem impossible in our eyes, but nothing is impossible in His. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!" Philippians 4:13.
Yay! I ended on a happier note! I'm so happy! When I first started this afternoon, I had not thought of this before, I never thought of why Paul was talking about vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour. This has been something new to me, and it has really helped me understand. God bless! ~Buttercup~
*William Barclay, in, The letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.