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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Romans 9:18-20

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A. Before the twins Jacob and Esau were ever born God declared the elder shall serve the younger.
1. In our minds immediately we think, "That isn't fair." How can God determine that before they are ever born?
a. We have spoken before of the foreknowledge of God, "Whom He did forknow, them He also predestined."
b. God knew that Esau would be a worldly man despising his birthright, only upset because he lost the blessing.
c. God knew their whole history before they were ever born, thus He only declared what He knew would be.
2. How foolish it is for us to challenge God or the decisions of God when we are not in the same league, not even close to it.
3. The minute we say concerning God that He is not fair, we are declaring that there is unrighteousness with God. God forbid.
B. God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion."
1. Mercy and compassion are not rights that we deserve or have coming.
2. They are favors bestowed.
3. That is why God can show mercy to whom ever He pleases.
4. God is sort of saying, "I am God I can do as I please." And you know what? He is quite right.
C. God said Pharoah, "For this purpose have I raised you up that that I might show My power in thee that My name might be declared through all the earth."
1. God desired to put the fear of God and His people on the nations of the earth so He hardened the heart of Pharoah to pursue the children of Israel so that He might destroy the Egyptian army in the sea.
2. When the nations heard what God did to the Egyptian power, they all feared a the power of God.
D. If God has mercy on whoever He pleases, and hardens the heart of of whoever He pleases, how can he find fault if He has hardened my heart to the gospel, how could I resist His will?
1. Again the insinuation is, "That isn't fair that God should harden a man's heart and then judge him for having a hard heart."
2. Again, who am I to judge God as to fairness, I do not know all the facts. My knowledge comes only from my limited observation, and incomplete understanding of the facts.
A. The young man Elihu who came with those to comfort Job in his misery asked Job,
JOB 33:13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
1. God does not owe you or me any explanation for the things that He does, and it is the height of impertinence to challenge Him.
2. Who am I to demand that God give to me a reason for His actions?
3. God said to Job,
JOB 40:2 Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
JOB 40:8 Will you also disannul my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?
4. Dare you to say or think that you are more righteous than God?
B. The parable of Jesus about the man who had a field to harvest so he said to some laborers, "Go work in my field today and I will give you twenty dollars." About noon he saw other workers idle and told them also to go work in his field. At 5 in the afternoon he saw still other idle workers who he sent out into the fields. At 6:00 when it was quiting time He first called those who went out at 5 in the afternoon, and he gave them 20 dollars, he then gave 20 dollars to those who went out at noon. When those who went out in the morning came for their pay they were upset when they received only 20 dollars, and began to complain. He asked what did I contract with you for, they said 20 dollars. What have I given you? 20 dollars then where is the unfairness? "Is it unlawful for Me to do what I please with that which is Mine?"
A. Here we see the figure of the potter and the clay. This is the third time in the Bible that this analogy is used to demonstrate the sovereignity of God over His creation.
1. Isaiah said in 45:9, Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?
2. Jeremiah was instructed to go down to the potters house to learn a lesson, and Jeremiah said,
JER 18:3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
JER 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it].
JER 18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
JER 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter's hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
Sermon Notes for Romans 8:31-34 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Romans 10:15 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Acts 1 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for 1 Corinthians 1:18 Next Book →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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