Having lost a sister-in-law and a brother-in-law in less than a month has brought me to think beyond my own state of existence to something higher than man and life here on this earth. Such is the case with recording my notes as we continue hearing the preaching of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Again, Paul’s purpose for writing to the Roman Christians is to bring not just one or two, but, some from every nation, to obedience of faith. It is in the power of the gospel that accomplishes what God sent His Son to do; the Son of God with power (1:4) the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. (1:16-17). We start with God and continue in a God-centered gospel through the book of Romans.
As we come to the most unpopular and unsettled passages of God’s word (for some) in Romans 9 we must, as Paul, let God speak for Himself. In chapter eight Paul begins writing on the doctrine of predestination. If that is not enough he drives the point home dramatically in the next three chapters, to the point of showing that God has the last word on the subject. Getting through these we come to chapter twelve; to which we are brought in response to His mercy; to present ourselves, as living sacrifices to Him.
Not a Man-centered Gospel
A man-centered gospel cannot save anyone. It tends to bring God down to our own level and make Him what we want Him to be and to say what we want to hear.
Paul answers this kind of reasoning in his day, not by using his own understanding or his own words, but even as Jesus when He was tempted answered with the recorded word of the Father, words that had already been established centuries before.
In Romans 9:14-15 Paul states, in defense of God’s own choice of who He loves, “Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Then in Romans 9:21 he puts man in the hands of a potter. A pot has no mind of its own, nor power of its own to decide what shape or for what use it is made.
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,
but of God that sheweth mercy.”
As the creature we are at God’s mercy. Read the book of Romans and any part of God’s word, and our mouths will be shut, until we know His mercy and grace to us.
Then we will be thanking and praising Him for giving us a new heart and a new spirit. A new life beginning in faith and repentance will prove the power of God in our obedience to His word. The Lord our God leaves no room for argument, only the invitation and power to believe and live heavenward, to His glory and our joy.
“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy,
which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
Gracious and merciful Father, thank you that we live today only as you give us the Spirit of your Son to accomplish the work for which you created and redeemed us. We praise you for your grace and yours alone that has saved us from your wrath and made us a vessel for your own use. Fill us with your fullness that you may pour out your grace and love through us today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.