Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

Who Art Thou O Man?

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 9:18-24

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 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?” 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? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (ESV)

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Who is responsible for a hard heart? Is it something one does or something God does to them? In this sermon on Romans 9:18–24 titled “Who Art Thou, O Man?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones introduces the challenging subject of God’s sovereignty and humanity’s responsibility. Scripture speaks of God’s sovereign choice first of the nation of Israel and then of individuals within that nation such as Jacob over Esau. Yet a person’s decision to reject God is also seen. How can God allow such rebellion to exist? Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that in many cases, it is so that God’s power may be seen in how He handles evil. Yet some may ask, how can God find fault with people since He is sovereign? The question is valid since even Paul incorporates it in this passage, yet before it can be addressed, Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages examination of motive so that one does not question God from a place of arrogance or indignation. A person’s spirit must be contrite, knowing that their understanding is limited. He encourages careful consideration of who one is and to follow the pathway of Moses before he walked on holy ground or of Isaiah who cautiously and humbly responded to God’s glory.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 9:18-24, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with great patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon objects of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24namely us, whom He also called, not only from among Jews, but also from among Gentiles,

Romans 9:18-24, King James Version (KJV)

18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.