by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. – II Timothy 2:21 NLT
According to the Apostle Paul’s imagery, people can be compared to household utensils, of which there are two basic kinds: “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.” (II Timothy 2:20) In the verse that follows, our verse for today, Paul exhorts Timothy to be one of the special utensils that’s fit for honorable use, that’s fit for every good work the Master, Jesus Christ, has for him.
Since keeping oneself pure is key for being a special utensil, how does one do it?
The first thing that needs to be said about this is that the Apostle Paul is not advising Timothy, and all the rest of us by extension, to somehow achieve purity in the power of our own strength and effort. Understanding his advice in that way, in point of fact, goes against the central teaching of his whole life and ministry-that we are saved by grace through faith, not works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Instead, Paul means to say that Timothy, and all the rest of us, should “be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 2:1)
The second thing that needs to be said about this is that by “purity” Paul has at least two things in mind. More specifically, “purity” refers to keeping clear of people like Hymenaeus and Philetus, who taught false doctrines and led many people astray. (II Timothy 2:17-18) More generally, “purity” refers to keeping clear of anything evil, because “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” (II Timothy 2:19)
To sum it up: If, by the strength of God’s grace through Christ, we believe and teach the right things and live the right way, then we will be special utensils that are clean and pure. We will have put ourselves in a position to be used by the Master for good and honorable work in the areas of His Kingdom where He wants us to serve.