Possessing Your Vessel
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4(NKJV): that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour.
Here, the scripture tells us to possess our vessels in sanctification and honour.
What then are our vessels?
Our vessels are our physical bodies.
We need to understand that when we got born-again, the sin nature was totally removed from our spirits by the blood of Jesus and the life of God was injected into our spirits by the Holy Spirit (1 John 5.6-12), making us instantly at that point in time new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5.17).
However, our souls: our wills, mind and emotions and our physical bodies still have remnants of the sin nature in them. The combination of the soul and body that still have the sin nature in them is what the scripture calls in the KJV ‘the flesh’. The sin nature in the flesh is in constant conflict with the divine nature in the spirit:
Galatians 5:17-18(NKJV): For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Galatians 5:17(NIV): For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
Romans 7:15-23(NIV): I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What then does it mean to possess your vessel?
To flush or clean out the sin nature from the soul and body and to occupy or possess the soul and the body with the divine nature (John 5.26, 2 Peter 1.4): eternal life, also called living water (John 4.10,14).
The process of cleaning out the sin nature from the soul and body using the life of God by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit is what is called sanctification:
1Thessalonians 5:23(NKJV): Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Corinthians 7:1(NKJV): Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ephesians 5:25-27(NIV): Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Hebrews 10:22(NKJV): let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
In our article next week we will see how to possess your vessel and why it is crucial to do so at this time.