#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
As vessels, we must not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
— Romans 1: 16a.
Those who accept Christ as their Lord & Saviour become vessels of salvation. Christians are the vessels that carry the gospel, which contains power through Christ to bring unbelievers unto salvation.
Receiving the authority of the priesthood by the laying on of hands is an important beginning, but it is not enough. Ordination confers authority, but righteousness is required to act with power as we strive to lift souls, to teach and testify, to bless and counsel, and to advance the work of salvation.
— David A Bednar
Christians are vessels that advance the work of salvation – God’s work. If we reclaim our dominion, walk in the blessings that Christ’s sacrifice has made available to us, have authority, righteousness and holiness but do not use all this to advance God’s work of salvation, then we are failing in our calling as Christians. To truly live up to what it means to be a Christian, we must be a vessel of salvation, advancing the great commission of Christ. Oswald Chambers says:
If in preaching the gospel you substitute your knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the gospel, you hinder people from getting to reality. Take care to see while you proclaim your knowledge of the way of salvation, that you yourself are rooted and grounded by faith in God. Never rely on the clearness of your presentation, but as you give your explanation make sure that you are relying on the Holy Spirit. Rely on the certainty of God’s redemptive power, and He will create His own life in people.
Salvation is the reality that we must encourage the blind to see. We must declare our knowledge of Christ fearlessly, with confidence: no diluting or substituting the reality of the gospel. We are the vessels to achieve God’s endgame, that’s why satan is after us. Satan has tried to obscure the precious truth of the finished work of Jesus Christ, because he knows it is a basis for spiritual victory. Don’t let Satan rob you of your overcoming power through Christ’s finished work.
The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure. – John Locke
If Christ really lives within us, we become his vessels and we must have a burning desire to do his work. The mark of a true christian is that their heart burns with the desire to advance God’s plan for the earth and God’s endgame of salvation. Kirk Cameron puts it like this:
What I would say is Jesus came to save lost sinners like you and me, and if Jesus Christ has a burning desire to seek and save the lost, then you should, too, if Christ is living within you. If you don’t have a concern for the lost, then I am concerned about your salvation because the Holy Spirit wants the lost to come to Christ.
This is what it means to be a vessel. The Holy Spirit in us is desperate for the lost to come to Christ. If we don’t have a burning desire to love our neighbour as ourself, our salvation is questionable!
Noah’s Ark: A Vessel Of Salvation
Noah’s ark is a type of the ultimate “vessel of salvation” – the Gospel of Jesus Christ — the Gospel is God’s “vessel of salvation” to all who will place themselves under its shelter.
While Noah constructed a gigantic ark on dry land, he called people to repentance! The Scriptures proclaim he was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).
Noah was likely subjected to a plethora of insults, scorn, and ridicule but he remained steadfast in his obedience to God; faithfully carrying out all God commanded him.
God’s “vessel of salvation” was seen by the world as complete foolishness in the days of Noah. It will be no different for us today. Just as Noah’s ark was ridiculed by the world as foolishness, the Gospel is also.
1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Many are accommodating the world’s response but in his time, Noah trusted and obeyed God’s means of salvation, even though it was ridiculed as foolishness and we do well to learn from Noah’s example. In God’s word, success is not judged in numbers. Noah preached to the world’s inhabitants and didn’t produce a single convert, save his family.
In many of today’s evangelical circles, Noah would be told to give up, or find a different method, because whatever he was doing was just not working. On the contrary, true success lies in trusting and obeying God and His commands, no matter what the cost. That’s what a true vessel does; vessels don’t question, they obey.
As vessels of salvation, preaching the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ may indeed bring about ridicule, insults, and accusations of being “out of touch.” Yet, those who are redeemed can indeed see the power and wisdom in the “foolishness” of God.
Just as the ark was the only “vessel of salvation” in the days of Noah, so will the Gospel be on judgment day. All of God’s servants must not shrink back from preaching the pure message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The greatest way to worship God to be a vessel of salvation. As you go out each day, ask the Lord for boldness and wisdom to fulfil your duty as a vessel – advancing the work of salvation.