Sunday, July 25, 2010

144) It is ridiculous for man to question God

Romans 9:19-21 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” (20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

The relationship between God and man is like that between clay and the potter. It is a vertical relationship. Human beings do not have the intelligence, understanding, purity, power, or anything else to question God about why he did anything in the creation of the universe and mankind.

Focus on Christ #144

Thursday, July 22, 2010

143) God is sovereign

Romans 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

The actions of God cause those for whom he has mercy to respond as they do. They are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and seek God and his righteousness as a result of God’s initiative. Those to whom God chooses to show no mercy are left in their sinful nature. They are slaves to that nature and many are further hardened by his wrath to suit his purposes. Perhaps God removed a restraining grace from Pharaoh that resulted in his actions. Whatever the dynamics are that bring about God’s will of decree, it is not up to human beings to question or quarrel with God’s methods or actions as Paul goes on to explain.

Focus on Christ #143

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

142) God causes his purposes to be fulfilled

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Paul quoted Exodus 9:16 to illustrate the absolute sovereignty of God in all things including salvation. It was God who caused Pharaoh to be in his position of leadership, and it was God who foreordained the conditions that Pharaoh faced. Amazingly God worked his plan without violating Pharaoh’s will, which Paul explained in chapter six was in bondage to sin. Pharaoh was a slave to his fallen sinful nature and apart from God’s restraining him from following that nature; Pharaoh was bound to react in a way that would bring about God’s plan. The purpose is stated clearly by Paul and it was for God’s glory. God’s plan of redeeming a people [the elect] for himself and his glory proceeded directly through the unredeemed Pharaoh. While the people God physically redeemed from Egypt were mostly unredeemed spiritually, they were a part of God’s overall plan of spiritual salvation for the Israel of God. The physical nation of Israel that was formed at Mt. Sinai was a type or foreshadowing of the true Israel of God.

Focus on Christ #142