Choice verses responsibility (Romans 9)

16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. Romans 9:16-18

Whoever first said, “life is filled with choices,” really knew what they were talking about.  In a lifetime you and I will make untold numbers of choices.

Here is a big deal truth: We have responsibility for every choice.  Question: What choices are before you today?

Your choice maybe in buying a car or maybe where to eat tonight.  It could be more serious, a choice of marriage, a choice of career, or the choice to retire.

In Romans 9 we find 2 choices being made:

  • Paul chose to love his fellow countrymen.

He was so burned for their souls that he was willing to give his own life if it would mean their salvation.  However, he knew this could not be.  Despite the love of God poured out through Paul, most of Paul’s countrymen would not turn to Jesus.

  • God chose to show mercy to those He desired.

In God’s providence he chose to have mercy on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many of Israel.  He also chose to have mercy on Gentiles.  Pay close attention to what I am about to write: “Somethings are beyond our understanding.”  This part of Romans falls in the somethings.

Many people read Romans 9 and say, “So my sin is not my own fault.”  God responds, “Not so, you are responsible for your own decisions.”

God is sovereign in the affairs of this world.  God’s church is tasked with sowing the gospel in all the world.  God is sovereign in saving all who say “yes” to Jesus.  God is also just in judging all who say no to Jesus.

My calling and your calling is to praise Him for His mercy and to proclaim His gospel to the nations.

This very day, I am at peace because God is at work.  But at the same time I am productive because I know I am going to be judged for my choices when He returns.  I leave you with I Corinthians 3:10-16

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled[b] master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

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