Summary: Three Types of clay God cannot use


“What Type Of Clay Are You”

Jer. 18:1-6

Pastor Jeff Seaman

Today I would like to speak to you about one of the most powerful stories in the Bible. It is the story of the potter and the clay. The reference to the potter and the clay is made on several occasions in the Bible. As you begin to study the significance of their stories, you will be quick to recognize the powerful spiritual implications.

Jer 18:1-6

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message." 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel”.


In this story the Lord makes reference to Israel being like clay in the hands of the potter.

Now turn with me to Romans 9:20-21

20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?’" 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?


Again the Bible makes reference to mankind being clay in the potter’s hands.

In Isaiah 45:9 “Does the clay say to the potter, what are you making?”

When I was in high school I took a pottery class. Every day in 5th period I would go to my pottery class. In this class we worked with clay, throughout the year we were given several different projects. One of which we had to sculpt something with our hands.

Then the other was to make something on the pottery wheel. How many of you have ever worked on a pottery wheel. It is not easy. The very first time I sat down, I took a lump of clay and put it down on the wheel and I started the foot pedal and the clay flew off and hit the guy next to me.

There is a lot involved in the process of making a pot. Once we learned the basic ways to work the clay the pot took on what ever shape I gave it and let me say I made some pretty ugly things at first.

Never once during my pottery experience did the clay ever say to me what it wanted to be. The clay was totally subject to my design.

As I began to think about actual clay and the reference made to us being clay I realized that there are some significant differences.

We are clay with a will. This is a significant difference.

Because although God may have wonderful plans for your life, you may never see though plans because of your own free will.

Today I want to talk to you about clay that the potter can do nothing with.

As I had the opportunity to work with clay, I learned quickly there were three kinds of clay we could not use.

As God refers to us his people as the clay, I believe each type of clay I am about to speak on is relevant to our lives today.


1. Clay that is bone dry.

This was clay that at one time was soft and moldable and pliable.

All of us as believers when we first get saved become soft and moldable clay; our lives are put into the potter’s hands. But over a period of time there are those who allow their spiritual life to dry up.

There life becomes hard, bone dry. Nothing can penetrate their life any longer. They hear the word preached, they come to church, but none of it has any effect on their lives any more.

They have closed themselves off to spiritual truth. I have known many believers whose lives have become bone dry. They have backslide, no longer affected by the things of truth.

2 Peter 2:20-3:1

20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

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Bradley Hughes

commented on Jun 17, 2008

wonderful sermon truly enlighting. simple but so true and prophetic

Jonathan Campbell

commented on Feb 3, 2009

some interesting observations

Joseph Hsieh

commented on Apr 9, 2011

out of context

Vovee Tshalana

commented on Oct 19, 2012

At home mom bought this nice decorated kettle made of clay, but mom won''''t allow antone to use it. She is putting it there for decorations. I have come to realize tht there r those clays tht r complet, n r ready to serve the purpose bt thy r put for decoration. thy eager to do something bt nvr given a chance. Wht should b done abt ths?

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