Sovereignty of god and human responsibility
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Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility. Romans II Series [4] Romans 9:19-23. Romans 9:19-23 [ESV]

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Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility

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Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility

Romans II Series [4]

Romans 9:19-23


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

Romans 9:19-23 [ESV]

19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.


A question of human responsibility in god s sovereign choice

A QUESTION OF “HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY” IN GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE

  • Three questions/objections because of Israel’s unbelief:

    • QUESTION #1: “Has the word of God failed?” (v.6)

    • QUESTION #2: “Is God unjust in his sovereign choice?” (v.14)

    • QUESTION #3: “Why then does God still blame us?” (v.19)


A question of human responsibility in god s sovereign choice1

A QUESTION OF “HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY” IN GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE

  • RECAP:

    • QUESTION #1: “Has the word of God failed?” (v.6)

      • Not all physical Israel is true Israel.

      • True Israel is chosen children of promise within Israel.

      • Therefore, God’s word still stands for God’s chosen Israel.


A question of human responsibility in god s sovereign choice2

A QUESTION OF “HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY” IN GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE

  • RECAP:

    • QUESTION #1: “Has the word of God failed?” (v.6)

    • QUESTION #2: “Is God unjust in his sovereign choice?” (v.14)

      • God gives MERCY [salvation] to the elect, which they don’t deserve.

      • God gives JUSTICE [judgment] to the non-elect, which they deserve.

      • Therefore, God is sovereignly just In both cases because he gives no one injustice.


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

JUSTICENON- JUSTICE

MERCY

JUDGMENT

INJUSTICE

* Adapted from R. C. Sproul [Chosen by God, p.38]


A question of human responsibility in god s sovereign choice3

A QUESTION OF “HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY” IN GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE

  • RECAP:

    • QUESTION #1: “Has the word of God failed?” (v.6)

    • QUESTION #2: “Is God unjust in his sovereign choice?” (v.14)

    • QUESTION #3: “Why then does God still blame us?” (v.19)


A question of human responsibility in god s sovereign choice4

A QUESTION OF “HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY” IN GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE

  • Why this objection is raised:

    • If God sovereignly predestines some to salvation and some to judgment, where is human free will and responsibility?

    • If salvation solely depends on God’s sovereign choice, why does God still hold the non-elect responsible for their judgment?

    • If God sovereignly shows mercy whomever he wills and hardens whomever he wills, why are we really responsible for anything?


Why then does god still blame us

WHY THEN DOES GOD STILL BLAME US?

1)God has the sovereign right over us as our potter.

19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault?

For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you,

O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say

to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"

21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump

one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (vs.19-21)


Why then does god still blame us1

WHY THEN DOES GOD STILL BLAME US?

1)God has the sovereign right over us as our potter.

  • “O man… answer back to God?”: This rebuke is for the attitude of the person [creature/sinner] to judge the way of Creator—not for sincere humble questions.

  • The analogy of the “potter-clay” relationship makes Paul’s point explicitly clear here: It is WHO GOD IS—it is his sovereign prerogative as the Maker.

  • God [as the potter] has the absolute right to deal with the sinful humanity [the clay] according to his wrath and his mercy.


Why then does god still blame us2

WHY THEN DOES GOD STILL BLAME US?

2)God is sovereign in revealing his wrath and power through vessels of wrath.

22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and

to make known his power, has endured with much patience

vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (v.22)

  • “What if…”: Paul leaves these two thoughts (vs.22 & 23) open, leaving them to the readers to finish—in light of God’s sovereignty.

  • The first kind is “vessels of wrath”: God uses them to show his wrath and his power, which means they are responsible for their own sins and destruction.

  • In so doing, God endures with much patience for his purpose to show his fuller wrath [holiness] and mercy [love].


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

God’s Purpose in Allowing Evil

If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God’s holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness so ever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired, and the sense of it not so great . . .

- Jonathan Edwards


Why then does god still blame us3

WHY THEN DOES GOD STILL BLAME US?

3)God is sovereign in revealing the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy.

22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and

to make known his power, has endured with much patience

vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels

of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. (vs.22-23)

  • The second kind is “vessels of mercy”: God uses them to show his glory by giving them mercy instead of his wrath.

  • God’s ultimate purpose in his sovereign choice of hardening/judgment for the non-elect is to show the riches of his glory to vessels of mercy!!!

  • This divine plan has been made unconditionally by God’s absolute sovereignty for his glory.


Scripture guidance for god s sovereignty and our responsibility

SCRIPTURE-GUIDANCE FOR GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY

  • Let the sovereignty of God transform the way you view your relationship with God.

    Most of our problems arise and seem insoluble

    because of our image of God is distorted.

    John Stott


Scripture guidance for god s sovereignty and our responsibility1

SCRIPTURE-GUIDANCE FOR GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY

  • Let the sovereignty of God transform the way you view your relationship with God.

    • It turns our demanding spirit to submissive spirit.

    • It uproots our self-reliance and plants God-reliance in our lives.

    • It leads us to experience DEEPER peace, freedom, trust in sovereign God.

  • Accept your responsibility to God in your daily life.

    • The sovereignty of God does not eliminate our responsibility.

    • Rather, it calls us to total surrender and complete obedience to God.

    • Obey God’s Word—put them into practice!


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

Sovereignty

of God

Human Responsibility


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

Sovereignty

of God

Human Responsibility


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

!

Sovereignty

of God

Human Responsibility


Sovereignty of god and human responsibility

Sovereignty

of God

Human Responsibility


Scripture guidance for god s sovereignty and our responsibility2

SCRIPTURE-GUIDANCE FOR GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY

  • Therefore, embrace the paradox and mystery of the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.

    • LOOKING BACK, we are to be thankful for God’s sovereign grace and work for us—this will keep us humble.

    • LOOKING AHEAD, we are to accept our responsibility—this will keep us actively surrendered to God’s sovereign rule over us.

    • AS THE RULE OF THUMB, the key is to live in the healthy tension of Scriptural guidance between the two seemingly irreconcilable things.


Practical implications for our everyday life

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE

  • Let God be God by ACKNOWLEDGING GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.

    • Let God be God in surrendering your own demanding spirit.

    • Let God be God in ruling over your whole life.

    • Let God be God in responding to his leading and guidance for your next steps.

  • Take your responsibility by OBEYING GOD’S WORD.

    • Do not become paralyzed by wanting to surrender to God’s sovereignty—obey what Scripture says.

    • Answer to God’s sovereign will by joining in his purpose and plan [God-centered life].

    • Respond actively to God’s sovereign grace—our response should be like that of this old hymn to the Cross of Christ.


When i survey the wondrous cross by isaac watts 1707

When I Survey the Wondrous Crossby Isaac Watts [1707]

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small:

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.


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