God's Glory Revealed (1)
A Sermon on Romans 9:19-24
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)
God has every right to immediately and eternally punish sin. Humanity has been warned for centuries to turn from sin and submit to Christ. While God restrains His wrath, He will not allow His voice to be ignored forever. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones lays out a four-fold case to explain God's patience with sinful man. That case includes (1) the compasison of God that does not take pleasure in punishment, (2) the fact that humanity is utterly inexcusable because of the opportunities God has given, (3) the reality that when God's wrath is revealed, it will be all the more striking and (4) the patience and wrath of God reveal His character in ways nothing else can. The wrath of God protects His holiness, but it was His wrath that was poured out on Jesus Christ when He took our punihsment for sin. That gift of salvation makes known the riches of His glory and is the most magnificent thing God does. Even the miracle of creation pales in comparison to the miracle of salvation. The fact that God would even choose to associate with us is staggering to The Doctor as he explains how the entire Trinity is involved in the salvation plan: it is the Father's will to save, the Son who was excuted and rose from the grave and the Spirit who seals our salvation and continues to apply the work of sanctification to our lives. This is the work God delights to do, yet it is also the work man runs from. Today is the day of salvation, to stop running from God and turn to Him in humble confession of sin, believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ.