Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

A vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ROM 9:20-21, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?

The first problem we have is one from the original language because in the English translation we have two words that do not appear to be opposite though they are.

ROM 9:21, Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?

The word honorable is the accusative singular feminine noun of ti’me
ti’me correctly translated honorable.

ROM 9:21, Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for dishonorable use.

We have spent enough time on the vessel for honorable use but what about the second half of verse 21, and the vessel for dishonorable use?

Paul is saying that;
If God wants to make a vessel of honor and a vessel of dishonor from the same lump of clay, doesn’t He have the right to do so?”

The real issue is the issue of the free will of man responding to what is right before God.

Does the individual recognize divine authority and make decisions compatible with that divine authority?

In the Bible, God uses shattered vessels to describe personal judgments from God.

PSA 31:12, I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind, I am like a broken vessel.

All believers can fall into the danger of becoming vessels of dishonor when they allow their sins and failures to take them away from being vessels of honor.

PSA 31:12, I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind, I am like a broken vessel.

In other words, he felt completely and totally deserted, which is what happens when you get under intensive discipline.

For the believer who realizes that he is to be a full-time, full pledged, vessel of honor the plan of God requires brokenness and death.

However, those feelings of death, failure, defeat, can all be a blessing in disguise.

They are designed to lead you to the brokenness needed to become a vessel fit for the master’s use.

Some believers struggle all their life not knowing that they do not have what it takes that God demands from them.

They will meet the challenge by understanding where they get their power and resources from.

JER 22:28, Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known?

A shattered vessel holds nothing; it is no longer a container.

A shattered vessel means you had every opportunity to learn doctrine, to be filled up with doctrine, to have more doctrine than you’ve ever had before.

But once you are a shattered vessel, it means you are either on the road to spiritual adulthood and spiritual growth or you are on the road to apostasy or the sin unto death in the negative realm.

The Lord clearly teaches that the key to faith is humility, brokenness, yieldedness; that Godly faith, true faith, is a gift from God; a gift which only comes to the humble obedient servant.

Faith comes, like the meal provided by the master, after the servant has fully and humbly waited on the master.

Jesus instructs us that we, as His servants, are to serve the master; then the master will give us the gift of Godly faith. The master only gives true faith to His humble and obedient servants. The humble and obedient servants are those who accept their calling and being vessels fit for the master’s use.

Humility is the God given key to receiving increased faith.

PSA 138:6, For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly; But the haughty He knows from afar.

The Amplified Bible says PSA 138:6, For though the Lord is high, yet has He respect to the lowly [bringing them into fellowship with Him];

but the proud and haughty He knows and recognizes [only] at a distance.
PRO 3:34; JAM 4:6; 1PE 5:5.

PRO 3:34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.

JAM 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

1PE 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

ISA 57:15, For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell {on} a high and holy place,”

And {also} with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

LUK 17:10, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done {only} that which we ought to have done.’”

PsaA 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind, I am like a broken vessel.

MAT 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

ACT 13:22 And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”

God is ever looking for broken vessels, for broken bread and poured out wine.

David is the most broken man in the entire Old Testament.
Jesus is the most broken man of the gospels, and Paul is the most broken man in the apostolic writings.

Men who refused to be broken became nothing but miserable shipwrecks in the history of the church, and their ministries always ended up at their tombstones.

The more broken we are, the more God can do with us.

This is so magnificently illustrated in the parable of the feeding of the 5,000 men.

If there had been 10,000 men, would those five loaves and two fishes still have been enough to feed them all?

Are you getting the picture that the limits of what God can do with that which is broken are endless?

Let us clearly see that all three of these servants had the least of this earth, yet the most of heaven.

David’s reputation was that of a small, weak and useless creature in a litter of the eight sons of Jesse.

Then, God, overruling all the opinions and all the wisdom of men, chose David to be king.

First, he was hunted by Saul like a wild dog for nearly seven years, living in cold caves.

Later, David was again hunted for a year or so by his own son, Absalom.

David was lied to, betrayed many times, and forsaken by many of his friends who became his enemies.

During this time, he also committed adultery and murder, causing him to live in his own wounds and the consequences of these sins the rest of his life.

Indeed, hardly any well-trained theologian at that time would have given David’s future spiritual prospect the slightest chance.

Despite all of this, and because of it, David became the greatest, most influential, spiritual person out of the pages of the Old Testament.

He refused to die with the closing of the age of law only to become even mightier in the days of grace, simply because he became what God wants all of us to become: a broken vessel.

Jesus was broken bread and poured out wine from the beginning of His life.

Being totally divine and having to put on humanity to live each day amongst sin and sinners was in itself enough to break the heart of Jesus at an early age.

Men said in MAT 9:34 that our Lord was of the devil, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

They said in MAT 11:19 that our Lord was a glutton, a drunk and hung out with prostitutes, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking,” and they say, “Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!”

MAT 26:65, they said that He blasphemed, Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, “He has blasphemed!”

They said in MAT 26:66 that He deserved to be dead, “They answered and said,” He is deserving of death!”

In MAR 3:21, our Lord was accused of being nuts and insane, “And when His own people heard {of this,} they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”

In MAR 3:22, they said He was demon possessed, “And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul”

In MAR 3:30, they said our Lord has an unclean spirit, “He has an unclean spirit.”

In LUK 15:2, He had a reputation for hanging around with sinners, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

In LUK 23:2, they accused of being unpatriotic, And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar,”

In LUK 23:5, they accused of always stirring up trouble, But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people,

In LUK 23:14, they said he cause people to rebel, “This man is one who incites the people to rebellion,

In JOH 7:12, they said He was a cult leader and He leads multitudes astray, “He leads the multitude astray.”

In JOH 8:48, The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

In Joh10:20 And many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?”

Jesus, the holiest man in human history, judged as the worst man in Hebrew history, died a shameful and painful death.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top