Who Art Thou O Man?
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)
Who is responsible for a hard heart? Is it something we do or something God does to us? In this powerful sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones introduces us to the challenging subject of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Scripture speaks of God's sovereign choice first of the nation of Israel, and then of individuals within that nation such as choosing Jacob over Esau. Yet we also see man's decisions to reject God. How can God allow such rebellion to exist? The Doctor explains that in many cases, it is so 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 exhorts us to examine our motive so that we do not question God from a place of arrogance or indignation. Our spirit must be contrite, knowing that our understanding is limited. Carefully consider who we are and follow the pathway of Moses before he walked on holy ground or of Isaiah who cautiously and humbly responded to God's glory.