ROMANS 9 & JEREMIAH


But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? – Romans 9:20-21 Romans 9 is a lynchpin of Calvinism, as it is used as a prooftext for Unconditional Election of individuals by God to salvation or damnation. The above portion is actually harkens back to the Old Testament book of Jeremiah: So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. – Jeremiah 18:3-6 But notice what happened to the clay vessel – it became spoiled. That is why the potter repurposed it for a different usage. The potter did not toss the misshapen clay into the trash. Vessels are used to carry contents – oil or perfume or waste fluids – not made for the specific purpose of being smashed and trashed. And take heed what follows immediately after: If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’ “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ – Jeremiah 18:7-12 Did you get that? The full context of the Potter quote is God stating that He will change the original purposes He had for a nation (NOT INDIVIDUAL) if the nation DOES OR DOESN’T TAKE HEED. This clearly is at odds with Total Depravity. This is what Leighton Flowers means when he talks about the historical context of the passages Paul references. Speaking of Determinism, let’s see what else the book of Jeremiah contains. And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. – Jeremiah 14:14 Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind – Jeremiah 19:4-5 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. – Jeremiah 32:35 Catch that? Repeatedly God states that He did not command, decree or even think the horrible things the people are doing – such evils are a deceit of THEIR OWN minds. As has been said: A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.

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