So many Christians have wrestled, most often unnecessarily, with the reality of God’s sovereignty and how that relates to our personal responsibility for our sin. And, it seems as though, no matter how many times we read Romans 9 and other scriptures on the subject, we keep coming back to the same questions. Why is that? Is it because we read what Paul wrote and forget it was breathed by God? Is it because we read God’s Word and don’t fully credit it as God’s Word? Is it because we resist the invitation to have faith? Or, maybe we read the answer in the third person missing the point that this is still God speaking? For most of my colleagues, I believe, it is this last reason. I recently confirmed this with a friend by reading scripture to them in the first person. I had an epiphany. So, I decided to do this in a blog post. In doing so, I tried my best to put myself in God’s shoes – which I know is impossible. But, bear with me. I put myself as best I can in His shoes and decided to elaborate as if I were the Potter. I immediately was convicted. I was not convicted because I oppose this truth. I was convicted because I too often am on the other side of the table, still wasting energy in arguments with my brothers and sisters about what should be accepted in faith. Below is my feeble attempt at imagining myself as the Potter and responding to the pot. Enjoy!
Romans 9 question:
In view of God’s sovereignty, you then ask, “Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?”
My answer if I were the Potter:
I spoke through Paul in Romans 9. And, I also answered this question adequately through Paul in Romans 9 as well as other scriptures. Since after reading this many times I find you are still asking the same question, I will elaborate directly with you.
For context, anchor yourself with the fact that you are like a pot and I am the one and only Potter - and God. It is impossible for a pot to evaluate its Potter. In fact, you, the pot, will never understand what it means to be a Potter - much less what it means to be the one and only God. That is because I created you, like all creation, with far more limited understanding than my own. And, while after your fall and re-surrender of your life to Jesus Christ I recreated you, you are still just a better version of the same pot – which is still very limited. And, I am still the very unlimited one and only Potter/God. Don’t bother looking around for reference as there exists no other person who will ever understand me and my designs because I am the only God – which means there are no other potters to consult either. That is why I gave you my Word, the Bible, and specifically Romans 9, to direct your faith. You need to quit trying to evaluate me with such questions – choose faith first and always. Otherwise, you can try all you want to force me into your small pot form, and evaluate me as you would another pot (which makes you an utterly foolish pot), but you will not succeed except in increasing your frustration. Still, I will try to help you if you are willing to listen. Keep in mind, however, that when I am done helping you, you will still be a pot that is entirely unable to comprehend me.
I will begin with creation - mine and yours. Not only did I create you, but I created morality. Moral law is my creation that bows to me much like you are bowing now. Moral law does not sit above me, or it would be God. Since moral law is my subject, I am not subject to moral law - or any law for that matter. Therefore, by default, all that I do is right no matter what I do because I sit above moral law and above all. I determine right from wrong, not moral law (and certainly not you) – because I author all moral law, not the other way around. So, when you question me as if there exists some moral law that you think my sovereignty seems to violate, you are foolishly addressing a fictional pot-like god of your own creation, not me.
Yes, your question is a soft form of a moral charge. It is a moral charge because your question seeks to challenge my declaration of truth in Romans 9 regarding me with reference to me finding fault in you inappropriately. In other words, if God is good and just, then according to you He would not find fault in someone who sins when God controlled it – which implies the inverse is evil or unjust. How dare you begin to bring even a remotely moral charge in my direction – have you lost your pot-like mind? All of the 10 commandments, the 2 new commands that Jesus gave you, and all of the morality of the Bible is my handiwork, not my ruler. For example, when I willfully take human life it is not murder, but when you willfully take human life it is. Do not attempt to measure me with any ruler - I am The Ruler.
That is bad enough, but you went further. Unwisely, you in your potly pettiness, have created a new law which you suggest in my direction by your insolent question (I say insolent because your question addresses me as you would another pot). You question the morality of the One who is sovereign by insinuating it is not moral to demand your personal responsibility for sin while I have 100% control over it – how dare you! First, that is not a moral law, as I am the only author of moral law – and I did not author such incompetent fiction. Second, even if that were a moral law, what makes you think I am incapable of rightly doing both? What evidence do you have of such an absurd assumption – none! Certainly a pot is not capable of doing both, but I am not a pot!
You can’t begin to understand my limitations by reference to your own long list of limitations – learn your place! Your narrow-minded question assumes a god who is limited by the fictional morality of a foolish and insolent pot – I am so above this such that you are not even able to see me even using the wildest and most powerful lens you can imagine. You don’t know me – you don’t even fully know other pots, much less the One who meticulously created all of them. You will never understand this because you will never be me. No matter how much I glorify you, you will always be a better form of a pot and you will never be a Potter. Maybe you should be questioning your lack of understanding as that is what is more obvious at fault in this conversation. The mere fact that you wrestle with this should point you to me not away from me. You are wrestling with Almighty God - good, but learn your place as you do. Therefore, while you wrestle, stay in a bowing position.
It is precisely because you will never understand this that you are required to have faith in me – faith is not required for something that you fully understand. For example, if you did understand my sovereignty, you would not need faith. But, it is impossible to please me without faith. That is because faith is required to accept this – to accept me. And, not accepting this is a form of not accepting me. So, your role as a pot in this wrestling match is to accept in faith that which you will never understand. Do you have a problem with this? If so, you have a problem with me – which means it is you who has the problem, not me.
I realize that it is a challenge to a prideful pot to yield to a holy God on the basis of faith, but what choice do you have, silly pot? You can’t change me, but you better thank me that I can change you! There is no such moral law that forbids me to hold you responsible while I control the processes of your life. As you sin, you are 100% responsible, because I being God said you are, period. But, if you have trouble with that, then just show me one of your sins that you committed against your own will – just one! Now, understand that I will always use sin to turn it back against the enemy and for your good – I have already won this struggle. This story is mine! You need to realize this and stop questioning your Potter as you would your child - it is you who are the child.
The beauty of embracing this faith in my designs is that my holding you responsible for your sin is not the end of how I handle your sin and your responsibility for it. I don’t leave you alone in this responsibility. I not only hold you responsible for your sin, but I also redeem it by having personally died for it. I bore your guilt on a brutal cross so you would not have to. Now, embrace my free gift of forgiveness as the first step in me using your sin to ruin our mutual enemy. And, I didn’t stop there either. I also placed my own righteousness over you, removing every sin you ever committed or ever will commit. Think about that – yes, I hold you responsible in concert with my sovereignty, but I also promise to give you 100% of my righteousness and control the outcome of your sin for your good – did your ignorant question begin to consider that? No! Not only that, but this faith that I require of you comes with far more benefits than your weak pot is capable of containing. I will re-create you, sanctify you, glorify you, adopt you as my own child, and I also make you co-heir to my entire Kingdom – is this not enough to place your trust in this paradox that exists only in your pot-sized mind?
So, to answer your question, I find fault because I can – I am God. You on the other hand, have no business attempting to find fault in me – it will never exist and I never gave you that right or ability. Stop wasting energy in pot-sized thinking and place your faith in the Potter who is entirely capable of answering every question that ever was – unlike you and your pot colleagues. I call you to have the mind of Christ, not that of an unChrist-like pot. That is why I came in the form of a pot so that you can see what it means to properly ponder me in a pot way. Follow Christ as He, in the form of a pot, honored the reality of the Potter – after all, He is also the Potter.
In conclusion, it is I and I alone who find fault in things – and I find fault in your question. Start there – with your repentance of doubting my Word by even asking this again and again.
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