only help my unbelief

Power over the clay
May 6, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Posts

“But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” – Romans 9:20-21

I had never read Romans 9 until about two years ago, when I heard a sermon on it from my (then new) pastor. Since then, I have run across so many references to Romans 9, mostly by people who are trying to explain away what it says.

I’m reading a book right now called The Courage to be Protestant by David Wells, and in it he talks about “truth-lovers, church marketers, and the emerging church.” His analysis of those who treat church like a business selling a product is that they don’t really understand their “product.” Unlike a new car or new pair of shoes, we aren’t seeking to “use” Jesus. We’re not consumers in that sense. Instead, God chooses us, and we serve Him. This mindset isn’t very popular, probably for the same reasons that Paul’s message in Romans 9 was met with so many questions (that he predicted).

We don’t like the thought of Someone having power over us, even if that someone is God. But the fact is, just a few chapters before Paul says that if we aren’t slaves to righteousness (i.e. God), we’re slaves to sin. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather trust the clay that I am to the Master Potter, rather than to my sin, which only seeks to destroy me.

If you haven’t ever read Romans 9, I’d encourage you to start in Romans 1 and read through the whole book. It gives it context and also shows you more of the counsel of Scripture.

Flickr photo by karpov the wrecked train.


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Congratulations on graduation being so near.

Parker Page is reading this and has found it to be extraordinare. I look forward to reading it also.

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