15But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. 2 Timothy 2:19 AMP
The foundation that God has laid and upon which we build our life, is God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is true and unshakeable. Like any great monument, it bears an inscription, which reads, “The Lord knows those who are His!” Therefore everyone who claims to be His child and to belong to Him must give up ALL iniquity and distance himself, or herself, from it.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. 21 So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work. 22 Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22 AMP
We are all “vessels” – some are fine vessels of gold and silver – for noble uses; some are made of wood or clay – for menial use. Romans 9:21 asks the question, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” God is the one who has created each and every one of us. He has a great plan for each of our lives. HIS plan is for each of us to be a vessel of HONOR. When we submit to Him and His plan for us, we reach our highest potential. However, when we disobey Him and rebel against Him, we make ourselves a dishonorable vessel. Some people blame God for the fact that they are a clay pot – a dishonorable vessel – but that is their choice.
It is the person who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences and who cleanses himself from the ignoble and unclean, who will then be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, and fit and ready for any good work. We, ourselves, must choose to do what is right. We must both shun, and flee from, youthful lusts. We cannot make excuses for ourselves, because there are no excuses that are acceptable. We must aim at righteousness and pursue it. We must aim to do right to and be right; to conform to the will of God in thought, word and deed. We must AIM AT and PURSUE faith, love and peace and harmony with fellow believers. Also, it is beneficial for us to have fellowship with fellow Christians who have a pure heart toward God and who live what they say they believe.
Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city. 15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating). Revelation 22:14-15 AMP
2 Corinthians 7:1 AMP says, “Therefore, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.” Jesus washed us clean in his blood; He removed our dirty rags, washed us clean, and put a robe of righteousness upon each one of us. It is our responsibility now to keep those garments clean. We do this by staying away from the sins (in body and spirit) that defiled us before, and continuing to consecrate ourselves to God. Going back to your old sin is like going to roll in the mud in your clean clothes. Once you were dirty, now you are clean; why would you even want to go back and get dirty again?
Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is. 3 And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless). 4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect — being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). 1 John 3:2-4 AMP
Believers, we are all God’s children. When we see Him, we will be like Him – until then we are a work in progress – as we press in to Him, we are progressively becoming more and more like Him. Because we hope to see Him, and because we hope to be like Him, we purify ourselves just as He is pure. The definition of sin is to be lawless – breaking and violating God’s will by transgressing against His word and/or neglecting to obey it; being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will. There is no excuse for sin – we are each responsible for our own actions and we are held accountable for them.
You may start out as a little clay pot – you may look like one and feel like one – however, God has much greater plans for you. If you will just to submit to His will and to His word, and allow Him to purify you and do His work in you, you will grow into a vessel of honor, set-apart just for Him and perfectly suited for His highest purposes and plans.