2 Timothy 2:20-21 KJV
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
One must remember the simile being employed is the local church. Paul speaks of that church as a great house and reveals, as surprising as we may find it to be, that not every vessel in that house is a clean and honorable one. A toilet basin has a purpose in the house but it would not be satisfactory to use it as a salad bowl.
Even so, even those members in the church who are less godly than we would like have a purpose even if it is only to humble us as they revile our walk or to drive us to prayer as they hinder our advance. (As Moses often resorted to prayer when, in the wilderness, he met opposition within his own camp.)
That they have purpose, however, does not mean we should allow ourselves to be corrupted by them. Sometimes they are there only to prove us, whether we will be true despite them. Paul said there must be heresies among us that those who are approved or faithful might be manifest. The temptations of the heresies tend to separate those faithful from those who are only leaning on the faithful. Those who stay free from the corruption of the less honorable vessels are themselves, the honorable ones.
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