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Romans 9.22-Because God Chooses To Demonstrate His Wrath And Power, He Endured With Much Patience Vessels Of Wrath

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Romans: Romans 9:22-Because God Chooses To Demonstrate His Wrath And Power, He Endured With Much Patience Vessels Of Wrath-Lesson # 315

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Tuesday March 31, 2009

www.wenstrom.org

Romans: Romans 9:22-Because God Chooses To Demonstrate His Wrath And Power, He Endured With Much Patience Vessels Of Wrath

Lesson # 315

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 9:1.

This evening we will study Romans 9:22 in which Paul advances and intensifies his discussion of God’s sovereignty over Israel, which he illustrates in Romans 9:20-21 with the potter-clay motif.

In verses 22-23, Paul teaches that because God does choose to demonstrate His wrath and to make known His power, He endured with much patience unsaved Israel in his day, i.e. objects of wrath and did so in order to make known the riches of His glory upon the regenerate, i.e. objects of mercy.

Let’s read Romans 9:1-24 and then concentrate on verse 22 for the rest of the evening.

Romans 9:1-24, “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: ‘THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.’ That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. For this is the word of promise: ‘AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON.’ And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, ‘THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.’ Just as it is written, ‘JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.’ What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, ‘I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.’ So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.’ So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

Let’s now concentrate on verse 22.

Romans 9:22, “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”

“What” does not translate a word in the Greek text but is added by the translators in an attempt to convey in English the idiom in the Greek.

Not translated is the “emphatic” use of the post-positive conjunction de (deV), which introduces a first class conditional statement that is not only presenting information “in addition to” the potter-clay analogy in Romans 9:20-21 but is also “advancing” upon this analogy and “intensifying” it.

“If” is the conditional particle ei (ei)) (i), which introduces a protasis of a first class condition that indicates the assumption of truth for the sake of argument.

As we noted in our previous studies in the book of Romans, the idea behind the first class condition is not “since” but rather, “if-and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument, then...”

This would encourage Paul’s audience to respond and come to the conclusion of the apodosis since they already agreed with him on the protasis.

However, he omits the apodasis since we have a responsive first class condition where Paul is inviting his readers to respond to the obvious about God and His dealings with Israel in their day.

Therefore, Paul is employing the first class condition as a tool of persuasion with his audience.

Here the protasis is “if and let assume that it is true for the sake argument that because God does choose to demonstrate His wrath and make known His power, He endured with much patience vessels destined for wrath, which are prepared beforehand for destruction.”

The responsive first class condition is “And He has done so.”

This response goes with Paul’s statement in verse 23 so that together the response and the statement in verse 23 reads like this, “and He has done so in order to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.”

Romans 9:22, “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”

“Although willing” is verb thelo (qevlw) (thel-o), which means “to choose” and refers to the Father “sovereignly choosing” to demonstrate His wrath and make known His power.

The word functions as a “casual” participle indicating that “because” the Father does choose to demonstrate His wrath and to make known His power, He endured with much patience unsaved Israel and He did so in order to make known the riches of His glory upon the saved, which He prepared beforehand for glory.

“Wrath” refers to God’s attitude of “righteous indignation” in response to any thought, word, or action of mankind and angels, that is opposed to His holiness and manifests itself in actions that judge and punish the guilty.

The word speaks of those in Israel who rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah and will consequently be the objects of God’s righteous indignation.

Romans 9:22, “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”

“To make known” is the aorist active infinitive form of the verb gnorizo (gnwrivzw) (gno-rid-zo), which means “to make known publicly and explicitly” the power of God through the communication of the gospel, which Paul teaches in Romans 1:16 is the power of God for salvation.

God endured with much patience the unregenerate Jews in Israel because He does choose to not only demonstrate His righteous indignation but also to make known publicly and explicitly His power through the communication of the gospel.

“His power” refers to God’s omnipotence as made known through the communication of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“With much patience” is composed of the preposition en (e)n), “with” and the dative feminine singular form of the adjective polus (poluv$) (pol-oos), “much” and the dative feminine singular form of the noun makrothumia (makroqumiva) (mak-roth-oom-eeah), “patience.”

The noun makrothumia describes a state of self-control and emotional calm in the face of provocation, misfortune or unfavorable circumstances and is a word that expresses patience with people.

Makrothumia is the capacity to be wronged and refuse to retaliate when provoked and is the ability to restrain or control one’s emotions when provoked or wronged and persecuted by others without retaliating and is not easily offended.

It is an attitude, which bears insult and injury without bitterness and without complaint and can tolerate obnoxious people and adversity with graciousness and without getting irritable.

“Vessels of wrath” refers to those Jews who rejected Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah and as a result will suffer eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.

“Destruction” refers to eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.

In verses 22-23, Paul teaches that because God does choose to demonstrate His wrath and to make known His power, He endured with much patience unregenerate Israel in his day, i.e. objects of wrath and did so in order to make known the riches of His glory upon the regenerate, i.e. objects of mercy.

In Romans 9:22-23, Paul is saying that through the demonstration of His wrath and making known His power and enduring with much patience unregenerate Israel, God is fulfilling His desire to save sinners by extending mercy to those, both Jew and Gentile who trust in His Son as Savior.

In other words, God uses those who reject Him and are unsaved in order to manifest His character and nature to a greater degree.

The more intense the negative volition towards Him, the more He is glorified.

In the same way, that Pharaoh’s great stubbornness in the end brought a more glorious victory and manifestation and praising of His character and nature so Israel’s great stubbornness in Paul’s day has brought a more glorious victory and manifestation and praising of God’s character and nature.

Pharaoh’s great stubbornness resulted in the evangelization of the entire world in Moses’ day and now Israel’s great stubbornness in Paul’s day has also resulted in the evangelization of the entire world.

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