ROMANS:THE ROAD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
No Hope Without the Mercy of God
Jerry A. Collins
How should we respond to the sovereignty of God?
What is a vessel of Godís mercy and Godís wrath?
What is the stone of stumbling for the Jews?
It is said that Napoleon was approached by a mother seeking a pardon for her son. Napoleon responded that her son had committed this particular offense on two occasions and justice now demanded his death. ĎBut I do not ask for justiceí she said, ĎI plead for mercyí. ĎBut your son does not deserve mercyí Napoleon replied. ĎYesí she cried, Ďit would not be mercy if he deserved it and mercy is all I ask forí. ĎWell thení the emperor said, ĎI will have mercyí. And he spared the son from the justice he deserved. Mercy then is not receiving what you justly deserve. Godís mercy toward us has been established already. God has the right to show mercy to whomever he chooses vs 15. It does not depend at all on any effort I put out to deserve it nor does it have anything to do with my pedigreeó2 arguments being used by Jews assuming they were deserving recipients of Gods mercy. They assumed they had an inside track on God and that they were better than other people. Salvation does not depend on national privilege. Even tho the Jews had this, they still missed out in mass. Salvation comes thru belief in the promise included in the sovereign choices of God. The choice of Isaac as the promised seed and the choice of Jacob instead of Esau indicate that it has always been based on Godís sovereign choice not our earned status. Godís Word has not failed here but been actually fulfilled thru Gods choices. The conclusion of vs 18 can seem fatalistic then. And a skeptic may conclude that being the case, why is it that God still finds fault? Who is able to resist him? If God makes the choices, how can he hold me responsible? Accusations and bitter charges against God are not something new.
1. QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POTTER AND THE CLAY MAKES CRITICISM OF POTTER FOOLISH 19-21
(1) I cannot charge God with being unjust 19-20a. Examine my credentials. Who are you o manÖ First, I am created. I have no authority over my creator. Second, I am finite. My knowledge is limited and my understanding small. Third, I am frail. I am weak, limited in strength and have a short lifespan. Fourth, I am foolish, prone to blunders, deceived and deceptive. God is none of this. God is three Oís and a jesuithil. There is no comparison.
(2) I cannot tell God how to shape my life 20b. Why did you make me like this? Not one of us had any say in who our parents would be. Or what personality we would have. Or the color eyes be given. Or what nationality I am. God made that choice for me. It is presumptuous for me to sit in judgment upon God. Judging is Godís prerogative not mine.
(3) I have no right to complain
to God about His work or behavior 21. The clay cannot tell the potter what he
can do with the clay. I do not ask the plants permission to work in the garden.
It is ludicrous to think I need a gardens permission or understanding before I
can shape it and use it. The point here is inappropriateness of
2. THE PURPOSE IS TO DISPLAY GODíS GLORY FOR VESSELS OF MERCY 22-26
(1) God endures defiant sinners to
reveal His wrath against sin vs 22. These vessels have fitted or prepared themselves (middle voice) for
destruction. They have made themselves ripe and ready for judgment. God
has patiently endured their antagonism but their judgment is coming. Romans 2:5 says, they
are storing up wrath against themselves. People prepare themselves for
destruction by pursuing sin (Romans 1). Pharoah was
such a vessel of wrath. But so is
3. OBJECTS OF GODíS CHOICE ARE THOSE WHO SEE SELVES AS PITIFUL & NEED MERCY 25-29
God gave a call both in vs 24 and 25 and it refers to a call to salvation. Some will answer this while many will not.
(1) The inclusion of gentiles in this group in harmony with OT Hosea 25-26. By Godís mercy believing gentiles became part of the church.
(3) Apart from Godís protection
of His people none of them including us would have made it and none of us would
have been saved 29. Our destruction would have been as complete as
4. STUMBLING OVER JESUS MEANS NOT PREDESTINED TO RECEIVE MERCY† 30-33
1. Donít ever assume that you know better than God what should be done. You may be tempted to.
2. Godís patience with sinners is not condoning their sin but giving opportunity for a display of His glory by means of His mercy.
3. God is merciful toward the humbleóthose recognizing their need before God.
4. Coming to Jesus with repentant heart will make you recipient of Godís mercy. †††