Questions for Littles: What had Paul heard some people say about God if election and predestination are true (v14)? But what two things does v15 highlight the Lord as being determined to have? What does salvation depend upon (v16)? But how does He glorify Himself in Pharaoh (v17-18)? How does Scripture respond to a sinner who complains about being hardened in his sin (v19-21)? What does v22 say God wanted to show and make known? What does v23 say that God wanted to make known? What kinds of people does He save, despite their not deserving it (v24)? Where had He taught this truth before (v25-26)? How many of the Israelite people had Isaiah said would be saved (v27-29)?In this week’s Epistle reading, we come to one of the hardest passages of Scripture. It’s actually not that hard to understand—mostly just hard to accept.
We deserve Hell. Not one of us deserves to be saved. In fact, apart from God’s mercy and compassion (v15), there is not one of us who even wishes to be saved, let alone is able to put forth effort to be saved (v16).
One thing that is important to see here is that it is part of the glory of our holy God that He has wrath against wickedness. His wrath is part of His perfection!
But notice how He prioritizes the displays of His perfection. He wills to show His wrath and make known His power (v22), so that He may also show His mercy (v23).
This is the same priority demonstrated in Exodus 34:5-7. Of all His perfections, the Lord seems to like to display His mercy the best!
The same is true for both Jews and Gentiles. No one is saved because of who they are. All who receive salvation do so because of who God is. He gives to us opposite what we deserve!
In fact, the Lord makes this abundantly clear because the people who had the greatest advantages (Israel) are saved in such a manner that it is just a little remainder of them (v27-28), or else they would have been wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah (v29).
What have you learned today about predestination and election?Suggested songs: ARP51A “God, Be Merciful to Me” or HB282 “God, Be Merciful to Me”