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Thread: What does this powerful Romans verse mean?

  1. #1

    What does this powerful Romans verse mean?

    I've heard it a number of times, but I don't want to misunderstand it's meaning:

    19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmentour View Post
    I've heard it a number of times, but I don't want to misunderstand it's meaning:

    19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    It means that because of the sin of Adam we are all of us damned. But God chooses to save some of us. He does no injustice by leaving some damned, and by saving others.

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    Reading on....
    (Romans 9)

    22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.


    The elect are the objects of His mercy (vessels unto honour); those He chose, before the foundations of the Earth were laid ,to be granted salvation--through no works or righteousness or choice of their own.

    Those prepared for destruction (vessels unto dishonour) are those who are not elect.


    Again, note, God does the choosing; and as the Potter, that is His right.

    In Christ,
    Jen

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmentour View Post
    I've heard it a number of times, but I don't want to misunderstand it's meaning:

    19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    I know that I'm in the minority here, but I don’t believe that Romans 9 is talking about God purposely saving some people and purposely sending others to hell and that we should just keep quiet and hope for the best in our own cases.

    It can’t be saying that God purposely sends some to hell.

    2 Timothy 2:20-21 says this: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    2 Peter 3:9 says this: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

    God doesn’t purposely create some people to never have an opportunity to be saved. Not even Pharaoh. Pharaoh was chosen to because of his individual character and lack of faith and his being the king. He didn’t believe in God to begin with and wasn’t going to. God used him, as is God’s prerogative, as part of His plan.

    So what is this passage saying?

    The same thing that 2 Timothy 2:1-4 is saying.

    But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.

    But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use].

    So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.

    As Christians, we can make ourself as useful vessels or we can backslide and be unusable by God.

    The lost, whom the Bible says that God desires ALL to be saved, can be used by God, too. Just like Pharoah. Pharoah wasn't used by God in the manner that he was because he was lost and God didn't refuse to save Pharoah because He had other plans for him.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Quote Originally Posted by blessedmommyuv3 View Post
    Reading on....
    (Romans 9)

    22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrathóprepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for gloryó 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.

    The elect are the objects of His mercy (vessels unto honour); those He chose, before the foundations of the Earth were laid ,to be granted salvation--through no works or righteousness or choice of their own.

    Those prepared for destruction (vessels unto dishonour) are those who are not elect.


    Again, note, God does the choosing; and as the Potter, that is His right.

    In Christ,
    Jen

    amen! and amen...
    Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
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    Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
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    The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
    Jeremiah 31:3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayne View Post
    I know that I'm in the minority here, but I donít believe that Romans 9 is talking about God purposely saving some people and purposely sending others to hell and that we should just keep quiet and hope for the best in our own cases.

    It canít be saying that God purposely sends some to hell.

    2 Timothy 2:20-21 says this: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyoneó for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    2 Peter 3:9 says this: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

    God doesnít purposely create some people to never have an opportunity to be saved. Not even Pharaoh. Pharaoh was chosen to because of his individual character and lack of faith and his being the king. He didnít believe in God to begin with and wasnít going to. God used him, as is Godís prerogative, as part of His plan.

    So what is this passage saying?

    The same thing that 2 Timothy 2:1-4 is saying.

    But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.

    But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use].

    So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.

    As Christians, we can make ourself as useful vessels or we can backslide and be unusable by God.

    The lost, whom the Bible says that God desires ALL to be saved, can be used by God, too. Just like Pharoah. Pharoah wasn't used by God in the manner that he was because he was lost and God didn't refuse to save Pharoah because He had other plans for him.
    Amen! Who could believe in a Molech god who predestines men to hell?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmentour View Post
    I've heard it a number of times, but I don't want to misunderstand it's meaning:

    19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    Adding to those verses mentioned above, reading on further, we find the basis of why God rejects some and chooses others.

    Rom 9:30-32

    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.
    NASU

    Please allow me this caveat... I do believe God does predestine some folks to heaven (i.e. Jeremiah, John the Baptist). However, as the above scriptures show, he has mercy on whom he will have mercy. Whom does he have mercy on? Those that believe. He even rejected his chosen nation (Israel) because they did not believe.

    Grace and peace,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Quote Originally Posted by blessedmommyuv3 View Post
    Reading on....
    (Romans 9)

    22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrathóprepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for gloryó 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.

    The elect are the objects of His mercy (vessels unto honour); those He chose, before the foundations of the Earth were laid ,to be granted salvation--through no works or righteousness or choice of their own.

    Those prepared for destruction (vessels unto dishonour) are those who are not elect.


    Again, note, God does the choosing; and as the Potter, that is His right.

    In Christ,
    Jen

    Simplicity, The Word confirms The Word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Adding to those verses mentioned above, reading on further, we find the basis of why God rejects some and chooses others.

    Rom 9:30-32

    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.
    NASU

    Please allow me this caveat... I do believe God does predestine some folks to heaven (i.e. Jeremiah, John the Baptist). However, as the above scriptures show, he has mercy on whom he will have mercy. Whom does he have mercy on? Those that believe. He even rejected his chosen nation (Israel) because they did not believe.

    Grace and peace,

    Mark
    And how do they believe?
    Dead in our sins, none of us seek God.
    It is God, who by His great mercy, gives them the faith to believe.

    In Christ,
    Jen

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    Quote Originally Posted by leoxiii View Post
    Amen! Who could believe in a Molech god who predestines men to hell?
    Well, if that was meant to be an insult against those of us who hold to the Reformed faith, let me just say:
    I believe in the one true God, the creator of everything and everyone. And I believe what scripture says about Him and His character. He loves and He hates. He blesses and He punishes; and it is all in accordance with HIS WILL. He is just. And He is sovereign.

    In Christ,
    Jen

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmentour View Post
    I've heard it a number of times, but I don't want to misunderstand it's meaning:

    19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    This whole section is dealing with Israel, The passage you quoted is between these passages.


    Romans 9:3-5 ( KJV )
    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
    Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.


    Romans 10:1 ( KJV )
    Brethren, my heartís desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    In Romans 9 Paul is speaking of God choosing certain men of Israel for the purpose of bringing about his plan of redemption. The passages Paul quotes speak of Issac being chosen over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau. The two vessels that Paul mentions are a passage from Jeremaih 18.

    Jeremiah 18:1-23 ( KJV )
    The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
    Arise, and go down to the potterís house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
    Then I went down to the potterís house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
    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.
    Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
    O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potterís hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
    At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
    If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
    And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
    If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
    Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
    And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
    Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.
    Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?
    Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;
    To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.
    I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.
    Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
    Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.
    Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
    Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.
    Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.
    Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

    This is what Paul is referring to when he speaks of the potter. Notice Israel has chosen to reject the word of God, they have brought condemnation upon themselves. This is the same thing that happened in Christ's day. There were Jews who believed and those who didn't. As we know from Jesus' own words those who were righteous were prepared for glory and those who were unrighteous were prepared for destruction.

    Matthew 25:31-46 ( KJV )
    When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Notice that Jesus is speaking of the righteous entering glory that was prepared for them from the beginning. This is what Paul also was speaking of. Notice the unrighteous go to destruction, again Paul said the same thing.

    We can also see what Paul himself says about these vessels.

    2 Timothy 2:20-21 ( KJV )
    But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
    If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the masterís use, and prepared unto every good work.

    So, we can see from Jesus' words and Paul's words that whether one is a vessel of honor or dishonor depends on the man and what he does.

    The passage you quoted does not mean that God chooses some to be saved and not others. The elect are the elect because they have believed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blessedmommyuv3 View Post
    And how do they believe?
    Dead in our sins, none of us seek God.
    It is God, who by His great mercy, gives them the faith to believe.

    In Christ,
    Jen
    Rom 1:18-19

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    NASU

    Because God makes it evident to them. But some reject his purpose for them.

    Luke 7:30
    30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
    NASU

    Israel too rejected their purpose even though they were chosen. And how did they reject being chosen?

    Rom 9:30-32

    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
    NASU

    So then, Paul explains in Romans 9:30-32 whom God chooses to have mercy upon. But if it were impossible for them to be chosen, then why would Paul continue on and say, led of the Holy Spirit,

    Rom 10:1

    10 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
    NASU

    God calls all men. But not all men respond even though he put knowledge of himself inside man. Without His calling, none of us would respond. But he calls us all. And that call is genuine in that all men can be saved but not all are.

    Grace and peace,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Quote Originally Posted by blessedmommyuv3 View Post
    Well, if that was meant to be an insult against those of us who hold to the Reformed faith, let me just say:
    I believe in the one true God, the creator of everything and everyone. And I believe what scripture says about Him and His character. He loves and He hates. He blesses and He punishes; and it is all in accordance with HIS WILL. He is just. And He is sovereign.

    In Christ,
    Jen
    Love and hate are not opposites. Selfcenteredness, unkindness, etc. is the opposite of love. Hate is an emotion. Agape is of the will. One can love and hate at the same time. But one cannot seek his own good above the good of others and love at the same time.

    Fortunately, the scriptures tell us that God loves the whole world and that he died for the ungodly.

    Grace and peace,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    For some reason when I read the part about "why have you made me thus", I can't help but think of myself and others who have the "God, why me"? syndrome.
    God, why can't I be pretty, why can't I be rich, why did my cat die, why am I sick, why am I poor, why can't I be popular, why did my dad, uncle, brother, spouse die? Why am I crippled? Why can't I preach? Why can't I be a missionary, why am I so short etc, etc..God, why me?
    I know it doesn't mean that, but it does make me think of that. We sometimes want to be different that what God has made us to be. Not saying God brings the bad, but we are pretty good at the "why" question.
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    This will always be the fundamental difference between us.
    Those of us that are reformed are of the view that God shows mercy on who he will. Many who reject the exegesis of the passage find it impossible to even contemplate the idea that God could choose not to show mercy to some, damning them to hell, without giving them an opportunity to believe. From a reformed perspective it is easy to believe that because the objects of wrath are not innocent to be pitied but wrathful and rebellious to be scorned.
    The plain language of the verse "whom he wishes he mercies but whom he wishes he hardens" can be read exactly as intended.

    Even the passage in exodus so often paralleled can be read and understood plainly if given the chance. God tells Moses, I will harden his heart. He will do it for a purpose. God's good purpose, according to his will.

    You can grab a gazillion other verses and try to shoe horn everything into a neat little box to avoid a conclusion that you don't want to come to, but in the end, the text speaks of you being a vessel of one or the other, purely by the grace of God, not by anything we do. If you have faith and believe, praise God all the more that he has saved you.

    Blessings,


    tt1106

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