Standing Firm: Walking Through Romans – Chapter 9 part 4

Welcome home, everyone! It’s great to be Back in the House of the Lord, Amen?

It’s great to be here live and in person with all of you, our Living Water Church Family! And it’s great to be with all of you watching online as well. We pray that you are all well and in good health, Glory to God!

There are many ways that we unintentionally limit God. Mostly it happens outside of our conscience thought. It is usually in our subconscious. When we are out of joint about something else. Like life is just not fair. Maybe you feel like can relate to Job?  And you’re, “God, why is life so unfair!” I know there are things in your life that don’t seem to be going your way. Have you caught yourself saying something like, “Boy, if I was God, I would have done things differently.”

Today we are looking at Paul’s reassertion of his point regarding God’s sovereignty or freedom in making choices concerning his will and glory. 

My one big idea today is this: God’s will/choice is supreme and Just in all things, especially concerning us. If you have you Bibles today will you turn with me to Romans 9 starting in verse 19.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-

Romans 9:19-23

I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections/points in order to share them with you today. Let’s take a look at my first point.

The Height Of Our Ignorance Is To Blame God.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Romans 9:19-21

Paul is still using this potter/clay analogies because it is rooted not only in the First Testament, but also its rooted deep into Jewish traditions. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Solomon. Paul takes advantage of this here in Romans, as well. Another thing we see again is Paul predicting the goofy questions.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”

Romans 9:19

Can I just say, don’t project your short coming on God?  Its just never a great look for you.

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Romans 9:20-21

Paul sets it up. Then immediately fires back. Who are you to tell God His business! He has the right and the ability to do whatever he wants, and what he chooses to do is to love.

Here’s the issue… we don’t like it when we feel like someone is encroaching on our rights. We arrogantly rebel against God. We call His wisdom into question. We call His authority into question. And we try to discard His will and plan.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Proverbs 9:10

We begin to pick out all the things we like about God and reject every part of God that does not fit into our plan.

Let’s look at Job. The Bible says that job was “blameless and upright.” We know that for God’s glory he allowed Job to be afflicted for a time. Although Job did not understand why this was happening, Job remained faithful to God. But, towards the end of his affliction, Job leveled a charge against God. He accuses God of being a bully our at least not being Just. And demands and explanation from God. God then humbles Job not by answering his question, but by demonstrating to Job his own short-sightedness in his ability to comprehend his own natural world.

Job’s response—

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job 42:1-6

If we are at a place where we are still blaming God, It’s time to take your spiritual temperature.

I’ll move on to my final point

Christ Is Revealed In This Same Manner of God’s Sovereign Election

What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-

Romans 9:22-23

Paul is saying God has carefully made 2 groups of people: those who have prepared themselves for wrath through their own sin; (not accepting Christ) objects of wrath. And those washed in the blood of Jesus prepared for mercy in which God will demonstrate His glory. God’s design in this manner is the very way that our salvation in Christ Jesus was revealed.

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

Acts 2:23

It was by this same method that God used Judas’ sinful betrayal of Jesus to bring His glory.

The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”

Luke 22:22

It’s the good and the bad. We cannot reject God’s hand without cutting of our own salvation. Why do good people suffer? We don’t know. I suppose that suffering is just a part of fallen condition of our world. But if we are pondering great mysteries. Look at Philippians.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

God has made it possible to see some things with more clarity. Friends, let’s position ourselves in alignment with God as he uncovers for us the unseen things of this life.

Let’s see how clear this has become. Let me read this short passage, It’s a favorite for sure but, like most great passages most people don’t follow it through.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3:16-21

You know I’m getting close when we get to the bare Gospel. Paul doubles down here in Romans because he knows our nature is to shift the responsibility on to God. This is always about our response to God and His will.

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job 42:3-5

Will we accept God and humble ourselves to Him and His will?

Many of us have been hurt and mistreated in life and I realize that human pain is the most likely reason for our distrust or rebel against God. Here’s what I know, this is part of my testimony, If we come honestly to God with our struggles and our questions and all of our pain and dysfunction, Our Living God will help make sense of it all. He will heal your wounds. This Jesus will restore your joy and give you a great peace.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what your heavenly father has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today.

Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today.  There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.  If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26