Summary: Series in Romans
Text- Romans 9:17-29
Title- Defending God’s Sovereignty
Romans 9:17-29 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea, "I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ’MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ’BELOVED.’" 26 "AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ’YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD." 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; 28 FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY." 29 And just as Isaiah foretold, "UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH."
I. The Example of Pharaoh
II. The Example of the Potter
III. The Example of Prophecy
Last week we started in on chapter 9 of Romans. Romans is generally broken up into two main sections. The first 11 chapters deal with theological issues and the last 5 chapters deal with practical application matters. Paul begins by explaining how we are saved and then moves on to talk about how we should live now that we are saved.
As we have seen throughout this book already Paul touches on the doctrine of revelation. He explains the shortcomings of general revelation and the need for God’s word. He also gives us a detailed explanation of the doctrine of sin. The conclusion is that we are all dead in sin, slaves to sin, and unable to respond to God.
Then Paul gives us the good news. God has provided a way of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that brings us new life and new hope. Through God’s grace we are made new. We are saved from that slavery to sin and we are brought back to spiritual life.
In chapters 9-11 here Paul takes some time to deal in greater detail with the doctrine of God. Paul is addressing the charge that some of the Jews made that if God had turned His back on His chosen people and opened salvation up to the gentiles that must mean that God is unfair and doesn’t keep His promises.
In addressing God’s dealing with Israel Paul is defending God’s faithfulness. He is defending God’s trustworthiness. As we will see today he is even defending God’s sovereignty.
The word sovereign is a simple one. It means to rule or reign like a king. Sovereignty refers to God’s ability to rule this world. It is recognizing that God is in control, He calls the shots, and nothing can thwart His ultimate will. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere present.
Last week we saw Paul address some questions about God’s faithfulness. Today we will see Paul address some questions about God’s sovereignty. Paul will deal with the charge that God’s sovereignty is unfair.
Let’s look at the passage. Follow along as I read 9:17-29…
In this section of scripture Paul offers three examples of God’s sovereign choosing. There’s the example of Pharaoh, the example of the potter and the clay, and the example of prophecy. The goal is to prove that God’s sovereignty is completely fair, completely just, and completely in keeping with God’s character.
Just like last week Paul used the example of Abraham, Jacob and Esau, and Moses as a way of showing that the promises of God were not dependant on birth, but on the blessing of God. Paul’s goal here is to prove that God is perfectly justified in blessing the gentiles and punishing the Israelites.