2 Timothy 2:20-21

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 TIMOTHY 2

In this chapter the apostle continues his exhortations to Timothy, with respect both to his office and his conversation, and closes with the character of a minister of the Gospel. The apostle having exhorted Timothy, in the former chapter, to abide by the Gospel, notwithstanding whatsoever he might suffer for it, here points out to him that grace and strength in Christ, which he would have him have recourse unto, to enable him to discharge his duty, \\2Ti 2:1\\ and that the Gospel might continue, he advises him to take care of a succession, and to commit the Gospel preached by him to others, whose qualifications for it are faithfulness and aptitude to teach, \\2Ti 2:2\\ and in order to animate him to labour diligently in the Gospel, and suffer cheerfully for it, he observes to him that he was a soldier, and must endure hardships, and not indulge to the ease and pleasures of life; was a runner in a race, and therefore must strive before he received the crown; and was as an husbandman that must first labour before he partakes of the fruit: which things he would have him seriously consider; and desires that the Lord would give him understanding in them, 2Ti 2:3-7, and then with the same view, to encourage him to suffer for the Gospel of Christ, he puts him in mind of the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, as a summary of the Gospel, and a specimen of what he had heard of him, 2Ti 2:8 and instances in his own sufferings for it, the nature, use, and end of them, by way of example and imitation, 2Ti 2:9,10, and for the same purpose mentions several useful sayings and pithy sentences, as true and, to be depended on, 2Ti 2:11-13 which he would have Timothy put his hearers in mind of, and especially those to whom he committed the Gospel to preach; charging them, in a solemn manner, not to strive about words, which is not only unprofitable, but hurtful, 2Ti 2:14 and with respect to himself, he exhorts him to diligence and study, in interpreting and explaining the word of God, that so he might be approved unto God, and not be ashamed before men, 2Ti 2:15 and on the contrary, to avoid false doctrines, as being profane, empty, and mere babble; and as tending to greater impiety; and as being dangerous and threatening, like the spreading canker; of which he gives instances in Hymenaeus and Philetus, 2Ti 2:16,17 whose error was, that the resurrection was already past; and succeeded in the spreading of it, to the subversion of the faith of some, 2Ti 2:18. However, for the comfort of real believers, it is observed, that notwithstanding such errors, and the success of them, the foundation stands sure; God has a certain knowledge of his own people, and will keep them; and therefore it becomes such who either call on the name, or are called by the name of Christ, to depart from such evil doctrines, 2Ti 2:19 and that such things happening in the world, and in churches, should not be thought strange, the apostle illustrates the case by a simile of a great house, which has vessels of all sorts in it, and for different uses and purposes, 2Ti 2:21,22. Wherefore, to conclude his exhortations to Timothy, he advises him to flee those lusts which are incident to youth; to follow things that are good, and to avoid foolish and unlearned questions, which tend to strife, 2Ti 2:22,23 which leads him on to give the character of a servant of the Lord, or a preacher of the Gospel; that he must not strive, but be gentle, patient, and meek, in instructing adversaries; for which he should have an aptness; and is encouraged to act this part, from the consideration of success under a divine blessing; namely, bringing such persons to repentance, and to own the truth, and the recovery of them out of the snare of the devil, 2Ti 2:24,25

2 Timothy 2:20-21 In-Context

18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Romans 9:21
  • 2. 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:17
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