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The Potter and the Clay

30 Aug

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

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?” (Romans 9:18-19)

Why is it God would, even though apparently made me to do something wrong, (like Pharaoh, who talks about in verse 17), how come he still counts it as sin? I was only doing what he made me to do. Surely the blood isn’t on my hands, it must be on God’s! He after all made me to do it, and I can’t change.

First, if God has made me the way I am, then why is it my sin is still counted to be on my head? … What have I done wrong? Nothing… After all, God literally made me to do it.

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– (Romans 9:20-23)

Is this how Paul answers the question? By simply saying to bad so sad, I’m a vessel for good use and you’re one for dishonorable use. If that’s it, I don’t see how there’s any hope for anyone. After all, we can’t change. We’re only here to show God’s mercy to the vessels for honorable use, through our own destruction.

even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:24)

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 9:30-33)

I can’t do enough good to reach the standard the law puts up, I know that, it’s the very reason I’m an object of dishonorable use. I can’t change, therefore I can’t meet the standards the law puts up, and hence, the object of wrath status. But it seems this passage is suggesting another way, it seems to be saying that if I believe in a rock, I will be able to change. How does that make sense? – And looking at it that way, it probably never will make sense. The “rock” that smashes our old self to little clay bits, and then rebuilds us in his image, is called, Jesus.

Second, we need to know how change from object of dishonorable use, to object of honorable use… As I’m sure neither of us wants to stay the same way we are.

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

First we have to stumble and be humbled, before we can be brought up. That’s why Paul notes that Jesus is a stumbling (humbling) block. But, after we realize that we can’t save our self, and that we will remain an object of wrath forever unless something changes, what then? How can we change? We can change by being changed by Jesus, aka, the potter, who has the ability to change what he has created.

That’s it. We’re called, we confess, we believed, we’re saved. Being transformed, is far easier than trying to transform yourself. However, some people, such as Pharaoh choose not to accept the call… This is where things can get a little confusing, but I’ll try to explain it simply… God made Pharaoh to refuse Moses, despite the many plagues, but Pharaoh chose to do so. We have free will, but that free will is being controlled by the person who made free will (as well as the person who he gives the free will to). He did that, in order to show the Israelites his mercy, in that they weren’t affected by the plagues. My point in saying all this being, everyone is called to Jesus, but some people “refuse to accept it”. To quote myself:

You choose to follow God, yet all along it’s actually God choosing you to follow him. – God isn’t a cruel God, in fact, instead he’s an extremely unjust God, in that instead of destroying us, he gives us a means of salvation. Yet people who turn down that salvation, can’t really say God is cruel God. (The Wrath of God Is Coming?!)

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

 

 

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