INPRODUCTION:

To be great is something well desired by every person on the planet, earth.

It was on this premise that the erstwhile Governor of Akwa Ibom State – Late Obong Akpan Isemin urged Akwa Ibom people to do away with ETOK SYNDROME and think big, do something big and accept that what they have is always big. With this concept at the back of our minds, I can say without doubt that Akwa Ibom State, as the name implies is a great state and Nigeria by extension is a great nation.

In the same vein, I can confidently say that my biological family is a great family, your biological family is a great family, the family of God is a great family and, indeed, Uyo Town Church of Christ which we belong to is a great family – the Great House of God.

The preacher of this great Congregation, Minister Akaninyene Akpan in his sermon, last Sunday, extoled passionately, the greatness of this family.

The concern of today’s sermon is not merely the greatness of this divine HOUSE OF GOD but the things that are in the house. The book of 2Tim. 2: 20 tells us of these things…

‘…But in a great house there are not only vessels made of gold and silver but also of wood and of earth (clay); and some to honour and some dishonour’

Two pairs of classification are involved here, namely:

  • gold/silver and wood/clay.
  • some to honour and some to dishonour.

The first pair of classification has to do with ornamental and utilitarian value of the things in the great house,while the second has to do with honorific value.

 

My exhortation places premium on this second pair of classification –honour and dishonour.

Whenever you see a family, house or nation called ‘great’ watchout, you will see men given to honour and men given to dishonour.

  • things well desired and things not desired,
  • things that give the family its greatness and things that attempt to bring down the family.
  • things for building and things for destroying the family.
  • facilities for rejoicing and facilities for lamenting.
  • men of valour and men of cowardice.
  • people who take advantage of their training or preparation to become something in life and those who refuse to take such advantage no matter the amount of resource expended. The second grade of people squander the resources of the family and go wretched, begging for alms, even from the heirs of families which hitherto, were not rated great. Such are vessels of dishonour. We see them in our families, communities, offices, business ventures, socio-cultural groups and in the church.

Today, we hear of killing and maiming of people all over the country. Who are those responsible?

  • Vessels of dishonour. Watch out!

We hear of stubborn children who rise against their parents causing all kinds of atrocities and bringing the family name to disrepute. Who are they?

  • Vessels of dishonour. Watch out!

At place of work, we hear of staff, junior and senior, who sit on people’s right, hide people’s files, victimize innocent staff and deny retired workers their terminal benefits for no just cause or for precursory reason. Who are responsible for these?

  • Vessels of dishonour. Watch out!

In our communities we have people who go about stealing other people’s properties while some carry out wanton destruction of public facilities meant to provide comfort to the masses.Who are they?

  • Vessels of dishonour. Watch out!

When vessels of dishonour swing into action, they disparage and demean a, hitherto, great house and make non-sense of it.

Here in the Church, the Great house of God, we have such people. Paul spotted three of them in Ephesus, namely:Hemenaeus, Alexander and Philetus (1 Tim. 1: 19 – 20; 2 Tim. 2: 16 – 18)

These men had allowed their conscience to be compromised. They worked together to depart from the truth and made shipwreck of the faith. What they were teaching and doing were injurious to the family of God. Thus they lost their faith in the midst of doubt among fellow brethren. In order that the contaminating influence of their wrong teaching be not spread to other believers, Paul disciplined them by delivering them to Satan that they may learn NOT to blaspheme  (1 Tim. 1: 20)

This happened in the great house – the Church. That is why Paul, in 2 Tim. 2: 20 – 21 uses the vessels in the great house to show that among the disciples, there are those who are known by God because of their good work or behaviour. God also knows those who are unfaithful because of their hypocrisy.The vessels of gold and silver are honourable and profitable for the growth of the Church. The vessels of wood and clay are dishonorable because of their unrighteous living.

The implication of this is that not all who are in the fellowship here in the Church are saved. Therefore having your name in the church directory does not mean that you are enrolled in the book of life.

Finally, if a man keeps himself from evil association, he will be a vessel for honour. God uses only clean vessels in holy service, and Isaiah says, Be clean, you who bears the vessels of the Lord. (Isa. 52: 11).

In this regards, I choose to be clean and remain a vessel unto honour than be a vessel unto dishonour.

What do you choose and what do you do to justify your choice? You must keep yourself clean and honourable. You cannot afford to go into this new year as a vessel of dishonor. Remember the Lord knows those who are His.

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UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO

SERMON PRESENTED BY BRO. E. J. EFFIONG (ELDER) ON 30TH DEC, 2018[/column]

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