Tim is living in Ephesus when he gets a letter from Paul. This was a fairly intolerant place for Christians.
Last week we discussed Paul’s words about not quarreling and being diligent. That we are going to be workman who handles God’s truth well.
Paul warns us that when we engage in godless chatter, it drifts naturally to more ungodly. “Chatter” in this passage is the act of talking for the sake of talking without weighting speech or asking deeper questions. Be careful what you take in and what conversations you engage in. Be careful because what you teach will spread and overcome you and those around you like a disease if it is ungodly. Paul gives an example of two people who neglected truth and were destroying people’s faith.
We are given an illustration of a house full of items made of gold, silver, wood, and clay. He isn’t necessarily saying that the gold and silver is better than the wood or clay, but he is saying that any item is useful in the hands of the master. Just as each of us is unique, in the hands of God, we all will be uniquely used to his righteousness. Sometimes we get frustrated because we do not see the changes or actions we want. God just wants us to be connected to the truth, and then it is through truth that change happens. If we work hard to maintain a good relationship with God, it will reflect to those around us.
14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (ESV)
16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. (ESV)
19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (ESV)