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Beyond Sunday: The Potter and the Clay

[Editor's note: Beyond Sunday is a Monday refresher to carry you through the week.]

Focus Verse of the Week

Does 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? (Romans 9:21)

Commentary

If we examine the right that God has over us, in a more general way, with regard to his intelligent creatures, we may consider God in two different ways: as Creator and Lord of all, or as moral Governor and Judge.

God, as sovereign Lord of all, distributes his gifts or favors to his creatures with perfect wisdom, but by no rules or methods that we understand—the time when we shall exist, the country where we shall live, our parents, the make up of our body and turn of our mind. These, and numberless other circumstances, are no doubt ordered with perfect wisdom, but by rules that lie beyond our comprehension.

But God's methods of dealing with us, as our Governor and Judge, are dearly revealed and perfectly known. Namely, that he will finally reward every man according to his works: "He that believes shall be saved, and he that does not believet shall be condemned."

Therefore, though "God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden," they become hardened in consequence of their obstinate wickedness. Yet his is not the will of an arbitrary, capricious, or tyrannical being. He wills nothing but what is infinitely wise and good, and therefore his will is a most proper rule of judgment. He will show mercy, as he has assured us, to none but true believers, nor harden any but those who obstinately refuse his mercy (Jeremiah 18:6–7).

(Adapted from John Wesley's Explanatory Notes.)

A Thought to Keep

Our great God has planned the details of our lives according to His perfect wisdom. Walk in faith knowing that He is both in control... and full of unfailing mercy.