About Him Ministries

Guest Writer: Donald Spooner

Rev. Spooner is an ordained minister, affiliated with the Global Network of Christian Ministries. His website is packed with interesting links including music links and flash movies as well as sermon materials. Visit this website at http://www.about-him.com

 

 

A Trip to the Potter's House

The prophet Jeremiah functioned in ancient Israel, just before they were carried into captivity as punishment for the sins of idolatry. This text shows us that God was eager to withhold judgment and extend mercy, if only Israel would repent. Unfortunately they would not and were carried off in captivity and ultimately scattered until they lost their identity as a people and a nation.

Jeremiah was instructed to go to the potter's house. He watched the work in progress, as the potter remade a marred vessel as it suited his fancy. Jeremiah heard the Lord speak, comparing the clay in the hands of the potter to Israel in the hands of the Lord.

Jeremiah 18:1, The word which came to Jeremiah from the,, LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.



We used to sing the song:
Have Thine Own Way Lord

HAVE THINE OWN WAY LORD, HAVE THINE OWN WAY
THOU ART THE POTTER, I AM THE CLAY
MOLD ME AND MAKE ME, AFTER THY WILL
WHILE I AM WAITING, YIELDED AND STILL

The Lord is the potter and He can shape us as He will and as it suits His purpose. We don't have a lot to say in the matter. He can make us a vessel of honor such as a fine vase or a vessel of dishonor such as a rough kitchen utensil. It is simply that the vessels are made to be used for His service as He directs.

We also sing the song, When He Was On the Cross, I Was On His Mind. From eternity past, God has had an image in mind for each of us to be conformed to. That is the image of Christ, which Hebrews tells us is the express image of God's person (better translated substance).

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren .

Our Old Vessel is Marred

Our old image which we inherited from our father Adam is marred and unfit for the Master's use. Regardless of our good works and religiosity we have no merit as a proper vessel. Isaiah said, "Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of the Lord."

Jesus made an absolute and unequivical statement on the conditions for entering the Kingdom of God. He said that except we were Born Again, that is, Born From Above, we could absolutely not enter into His Kingdom.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Just as the marred vessel was remade in the hands of the potter, we are born again, by the Word of God, which confronts us and causes a crisis in our lives. Ultimately we either reject it or we say, "Here am I, I give it all to you: My hopes, my ambitions, my friends and family, and my sins and failures. I ask you to remold me as you will."

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Our Marred Vessel Must Die, Before We Can Be Reborn

We cannot be born again, until we die first. Jesus foretold His crucifixion with the following statement :

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

He is telling us that just as He was willing to die, we must regard our earthly life in the same way. If we try to hold on to the old self, the old marred image and do things our way, we will lose our life. If we will submit to His demands and let Him shape us as He will, we will live eternally. As they say, "You do the math."

John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

In Luke, Jesus states that if we put anything before Him, we cannot be His disciple. That's a hard statement that should make us think.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


Dying and being Buried into the Death of Christ is Not Unlike Being Reformed on the Potter's Wheel.

  This dying and rebirth is typified by our water baptism. Being much more than just an empty ritual, scripture tells us that a transformation takes place, not unlike the clay on the potter's wheel, as we are buried in the waters of baptism into the death of Christ. We arise to walk in the newness of life. We knelt before Him confessing our sin and believing that His death was our only available remedy. We arose as a new vessel shaped by the Master, and eagerly embraced His promise of the Holy Spirit which is His down payment on His promise of everlasting life.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

From Faith to Faith and Glory to Glory!

  We know that having believed and confessed His gospel, the Lord Jesus has us on the potter's wheel. I like to use the following two scriptures together ( Ro. 1:16; II Cor. 3:18) and say that we go FROM FAITH TO FAITH AND GLORY TO GLORY. Our Christian walk is like a baby learning to walk, one step at a time with a few falls along the way. Eventually we master the art of walking. As our faith increases, we behold the image of our Lord as the perfect example of the potter's craftsmanship. We behold His perfect love and cry out, "Lord take me back to the potter's wheel and increase my love." We soon become aware that something has changed. We continue marveling at the endless perfection of His image, and Paul tells us that we are changed into the same image, by the Spirit of the Lord. The potter will never quit working in our lives until we reach a state of absolute perfection. We know that this will be when our mortal bodies put on His immortality and the corruption of the old vessel is exchanged for His incorruptible image.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Paul Considered Himself Dead and yet Alive in Christ

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

As great of an apostle as he was, he felt that he had not yet gotten a hold of that which had gotten a hold of him. In other words, he considered that he was still being formed on the potter's wheel. We hear his plea, "That I may know Him, in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering." Paul was quite willing to be placed on the potter's wheel and be reshaped, time and time again.

We Live as a New Vessel, Because Jesus Died For Us!

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

We Are New Creations in Christ, Let Us So Live!

If we be in Christ, we are a new creature and a new vessel. We are not our own, we don't plot our own course. We have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus and we are instructed to live our lives accordingly.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Jesus, the Pattern, the Master Vessel

  Jesus, the image of God is given to us as the master vessel after which all others are patterned.

Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.


My prayer is that as you consider this simple analogy you will reflect on any area of your life that you need the Master Potter to repair. He is eager and willing to reshape you, and me, into vessels that are useful in His service.


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