Vessels

Romans 9:19-24 Thou will say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who are thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why has thou made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 

‘Thou wilt say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who are thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why has thou made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory in the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?’ Here the Jews argue again, as they did in Romans 3:7. Paul answers by questions (9:20-24). Who are you to reply against God? Who are you to blame God for your sinfulness? Cannot God deal with you as is necessary (Jer. 18:1-17)? If God still wants to save people who will obey Him, Jews or Gentiles, is that not His right? If He has to damn those who harden themselves may He not do so without our criticism?

‘Vessels of wrath fitted to destruction’ – vessels of wrath are Jews who were: stubborn (9:6); proud (9:31); rebellious (9:32); ignorant (10:3); jealous (10:19); angry (10:19); disobedient(10:21); blind (11:7); fallen (11:12); cast away (11:15); broken off (11:20); spared not (11:21); unbelieving (11:23); cut off (11:24).

‘The riches of his glory’- True riches that are mentioned in Scripture: Riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7); the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:18); the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8); the riches of glory (Eph. 3:16; Rom. 9:23); the riches of His goodness (Rom. 2:4); the riches of wisdom, knowledge (Rom. 11:33); the riches in glory (Php. 4:19); the riches of the glory of the mystery of Christ in you (Col. 1:27); the riches of the full assurance of understanding of God’s mystery (Col. 2:2); the reproach of Christ had greater riches than that what was in Egypt (Heb. 11:26).

‘Vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory’ – these are the Jew and Gentile converts to Christianity (9:23-24).

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