Summary: End Time 1 / Ref. (B) - The Potter’s hands shapes our lives: I. From deformed sinners, II. Into reformed saints.

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November 2, 2008 --


Jeremiah 18:1-11

INTRO: Today’s word for is “anthropomorphic”. This is a long word. This is a word whose meaning we use more often than we might think. Anthropomorphic means to attribute or assign human characteristics to non-human things. Scripture makes use of the meaning of this word quite often. Examples include: the hand of God or feet of God. Does God have hands or feet? God is Spirit and really does not have any need for the human body parts that we need to function. Scripture use human terms to speak of God. This brings great comfort for every believer. Scripture describes God’s enemy as being placed under his feet. Believers are kept safe in the hand of God. Today’s text reveals the importance of the hand of God in each of our lives. "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" (ISAIAH 64:8).


I. From deformed sinners.

II. Into reformed saints.


A. Jeremiah knew how much the hand of God had shaped his life. God’s word now directed Jeremiah.

1. Verses 1,2. God’s word comes to Jeremiah telling him to go the potter’s house.

2. Here is a reminder that these words written, spoken by Jeremiah are not his words, but God’s.

B. Verse 4. Jeremiah watches the potter at work. The clay was marred. It was ruined or deformed.

1. This was not the fault of the potter. The potter does not throw the clay away.

2. Verses 5, 6a. Now God’s message comes to Jeremiah. God’s message is for Israel.

C. God’s message to Jeremiah for God’s people contains words of blessing, judgment, and warning.

1. Verses 9,10. The nation, which turns from God, will be judged. God is a righteous judge.

2. The judgment of an unrepentant nation stands as a message of warning for Israel. Verse 11a.

3. Israel had become deformed clay. They had turned from the true God to worship false gods.

D. Clay a fitting picture to describe our very being. People are the clay in the potter’s hands. From the very beginning of time at creation God has shown his great love and concern for man. From the dust of the ground God created man, male and female he created them. Into that dust which God lovingly formed God breathed the breath of life. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world. Yet they decided to listen to Satan rather than God. In selfishness Adam and Eve ruined God’s perfect creation. They sinned. From that time forward every generation has inherited that original sin from our first parents. There is no escape. The soul that sins is the one that will die. We are now marred or ruined clay, deformed sinners. "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return"(GENESIS 3:19). All clay will return to dust.

E. God’s word is the truth. God’s truth will not change. Sin is sin is sin. Mankind may not like to hear this truth. Fact is, we do not want to hear about our shortcomings. We do not want to be reminded that we sin daily and we sin much. Denial does not change the facts. Simply put, we are ruined clay, deformed sinners. "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient" (EPH. 5:5,6).

F. The message of the gospel needs to be proclaimed to ruined clay. Martin Luther lived in a constant fear of his sins in the face of a righteous God. He became a monk but still his sins bothered him. Luther traveled to Rome, fasted, prayed, and obeyed – still his sins were a burden. Eventually God’s gospel freed Martin from the captivity of false teaching in the church. "They entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him" (2 PETER 2:18b, 19). Some modern day preachers enslave their audiences with their corruption of the gospel message. Today’s social gospel is not the gospel that provides freedom. Only God’s gospel of forgiveness is the message that reforms the deformed.

THE POTTER’S HANDS SHAPES OUR LIVES. We are ruined clay, deformed sinners now changed

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