04. CAN BE REJECTED

It is written in Rom. 9:19-23, One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What 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-. Through his writings, Paul affirms that no creation has the right or is able to be against God. Paul says that a creation is like a clay in the hands of a potter. God as the Potter, has the right to mold the clay as He wish. However, it must be remembered that God has an order in Himself, so He can’t act beyond His character and substance.

The clay here, refers to the Israelite (this chapter context is about the election of the Israelite). So, in this case, God has the right to choose the Israelite and to discard them, if they don’t accept the salvation of God. In fact, the Israelite indeed built their own truth, by applying the Law, not by having faith in Lord Jesus. They rejected the grace, so God also rejected them. Rom. 11:17-19,25 says that the Israelite, as the natural branches, were broken due to their stubbornness, and not because of God’s determination. In Rom.11:20-23 Paul reminded that if the natural branches can be cut off because of their stubbornness, how much more the wild branches (non-Jewish people), will also be cut off, if they don’t remain living in His grace.

From this explanation, we can find an important conclusion that the election of the Israelite as the chosen people, is based on God’s sovereignty, not based on deeds, but not all of the Israelites become as the eternal chosen people, because the chosen one, are only those who are Abraham’s children by, or in faith. Just like the Israelite, who as the natural branches can be cut off, due to their stubbornness, so also the wild branches, who are the people, given a chance to be the chosen people, can be cut off, if they don’t remain in His mercy. Therefore, the Romans chapter 9 is not legitimate to say that God determines the salvation of each individual. The salvation of each individual is determined by his/her respond on the grace. So, either the Jews or the non-Jews, will rejected and cast away from God’s presence if they harden their heart.

The Romans 9:22 says, What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? This verse shows that, it is the Israelite who rejected the salvation work, and got the wrath of God. And this has made Paul became so burdened that he was willing to be separated from Christ, for the sake of his fellow people’s salvation. This clearly shows that God never intends to design, or determine the destruction of certain people, or the salvation of others unilaterally. The Israelites were rejected due to their stubbornness, therefore, the non Jews people can also be cut off from the covenant people as Abraham’s children, if they don’t remain in His mercy.

After some Israelites were rejected, God chose other Gentiles and believing Jews as instruments of His glory. In Romans 9: 23-26 it is written: … What 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—even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God’ ”. From this verse it is clear that the elections of the elect (both Jews and Gentiles) are meant to be prepared for the glory of the Father and the Lord Jesus.

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