SUBJ: Paul’s anticipation of and
answer to the rebellious objections to the sovereignty of God in
salvation being characterized as replying against God.
AIM: That we might realize that we
are vessels made meet for the Master’s use by sovereignly applied mercy.
INTR: These verses and the ones
preceding are some of the most hated in all the Bible and so there are
many inventions of men designed to either ignore or replace them with
more palatable ideas.
1. It should be the effect of the Gospel that
all vestiges of pride and self-worth be removed, but sadly men insist on
adding something to the work of Christ.
2. It has been from the
beginning that depraved man has sought to establish his own sovereignty
and so the idea of a will that prevails against that of God persists.
3. These objections would lead to either an implied or explicit charge
of wrongdoing by God if He does as the Bible declares that He has.
THESIS: God is not accountable to
man in any way either before or after the fall. As fallen creatures,
they certainly may not enter into judgment with God. None can stay His
hand or question His moves or His motives. It is mercy that He reveals
Christ to whomsoever He wills.
I. Sovereignty declared (vv.
1. The question raised here would question the action of God
with Pharaoh and actually charge God with the sins of Pharaoh suggesting
that he couldn’t help sinning.
1) A warped from of reasoning that
would give men the power to choose, but blame God if one chose to rebel.
2) God simply allowed Pharaoh to exercise his will and the result is
3) The fact that God showed his power in the conquest of
the rebel is a matter of His will.
2. Such questioning is in fact a
challenge to our creator as to His wisdom and morality.
thought of a puny, fallen, sinner given over to his own depraved concept
of right and wrong arguing with the Creator of all and who is high, holy
and lifted up and possessed of such power as to squash him like a bug is
2) The very existence of the objector is from the
one to whom he replies and
3) Further charges God with his sin.
3. What is lost in this objection is that which was before stated in
that the choice of God was not based on any good or evil and is hidden
in the mystery of the eternal love of God.
1) The material (fallen
humanity) from which the two kinds of vessels are formed is the same.
2) The choice is a matter right with the creator. Woe unto him that
striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of
the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest
thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Isaiah 45:9.
4. The issue here
is one of love and mercy and not of arbitrary choice.
Sovereignty defended (vv. 22-23)
1. A first thought here regards the
willingness and ability of God:
1) He is willing and has shown His
wrath by which we understand the intense hatred of sin and the
perpetrators of it.
2) His power has been shown and will be shown in
matters such as the flood, the destruction of Sodom and the deliverance
of His people from Egypt and it will be shown again in the destruction
in times to come.
2. A second thought is that longsuffering is
included and so He waited in the time of the flood and has waited these
many years and we have been made to account the longsuffering of God as
3. But, such have made the choice to follow a way of
existence blinded by the God of this world and have walked according to
his course. God did no make them fit for destruction, they were already
4. This revelation highlights and contrasts the fact that
He has chosen to manifest His riches and blessedness on vessels (created
for use) of mercy (fallen sinners alike and made miserable by sin and so
have hope in mercy alone for which they did not ask). See again: Romans
III. Sovereignty displayed (vv. 24-26)
1. This takes
it from being a Jewish issue and applies it to salvation wherever it is
1) There was a Jewish remnant, and this will be noted
2) The Gentiles are included but
3) It is to them “whom
He hath called.”
2. The scripture leaves no room for presumption and
shuts us all up to mercy and delivers us from the delusion that any can
1) A truth the flesh hates and
2) A truth which
will be embraced when the awful sinfulness of sin and rebellion in all
our hearts is revealed to us.
3. This was no new idea: And I will sow
her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not
obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou
art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. Hosea 2:23
Thus, God calls from where He chooses and calls whom He chooses and
receives all whom come into God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
is He: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from
Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the
greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to
save. Isaiah 63:1
6. We fall on His mercy.