Posted by: SandreS | October 1, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 24

Self Purging from the Great House

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 2:21).

Now, what was Timothy’s attitude to be toward this “great house?” Was he to go in (infiltrate) and try to turn things around? After all, there were some vessels “to honor” inside. Was he to try to “revive” it? Was he to try to get it on the right track? Was he to go in and try to minister to individuals?

No!

What was Paul’s instruction?

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 2:21).

We who name the name of Christ are to depart from religious iniquity, and we are not only to purge ourselves from the vessels of “dishonor,” but to purge ourselves from all religious participation in the “great house.”

Purge Out, and Purge Yourself

The word translated “purge”[1] is only found here and in I Corinthians 5:7. What an interesting contrast these two verses provide us! In I Corinthians, Paul instructs the saints to “Purge out therefore …” – a purging of one from among them; while Timothy is told to purge himself from the “great house.”

Andre Sneidar writes,

It strikes me that much of preaching and teaching in the realm of the religious establishment focuses on activity that is meant to change the society in which we live, i.e., that we as Christian individuals would have a “positive impact” in the social, political and financial systems which govern our society.

The fault of this kind of mentality assumes that we are part of those “systems” which govern the society in which we find ourselves. This, however, is contrary to the teaching of our apostle, Paul. As we have learned, Paul’s final words, as recorded to an individual (and thus, not to “the church” at large) were, “Flee …” (II Timothy 2:20). The implication is that for those faithful (“them that are His” – :19) who desire to be effectively used of God for His plan and purpose (“vessel unto honor … meet for the Master’s use” – :21), they must be separated and freed (“purge himself” – :21) from the base and lowly elements (“vessels … of wood and of earth” – :20) which not only detract from, but indeed hinder the Master’s work (“righteousness, faith, charity, peace” – :22), and in fact stand opposed to Him (“oppose themselves”[2] – :25).

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press


[1] Strong’s Greek #1571.

[2]Strong’s Greek Lexicon #G475: antidiatithemai – From G473 and G1303; to set oneself opposite, that is, be disputatious.
Thayer: to place one’s self in opposition, to oppose, to dispose in turn, to take in hand in turn, to retaliate

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