Holy God; Fallen Man
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)
Who is really in charge? Are we free to do whatever we want? Is God really guiding everything to happen the way He wants? How are we to understand the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones sheds some much needed light on this difficult subject as he preaches from Romans 9:19-24. The Apostle Paul warns creation not to fight against the One who has both the authority and ability to exercise His power. In the same way that a potter has the right over the clay, God has the right to do what He desires. He alone decides what to make from the same raw materials, each person for a different purpose. Just as He chose to make both Jacob and Esau, He also chose to love Jacob and hate Esau. However, as the Doctor explains, God never created anything evil nor forces anyone to sin as he quotes from James 1. But because of Adam's choice to sin, our nature is fallen and sin is our instinct. So who then is responsible for salvation? The world offers hopeless, fatalistic answers that are contingent on our heritage, our context, and how we were treated in our childhood. While God is responsible for salvation, we remain responsible for our damnation. God offers hope since He sets His claim on us, and gives us His mercy in salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our sin payment.