God’s Mercy (Romans 9:19 – 29)

In the first century, there were three major schools of thought concerning the circumstances of life. The Essenes believed fate determined everything; mankind was helpless and could not interfere with what was already determined to happen. The Sadducees, by contrast, believed man mastered his own destiny; we make our own future and chart our own course. Meanwhile, the Pharisees were convinced certain aspects of life are the working of Fate and everything else depends on mankind’s cleverness. Now Paul comes along (and he is trained as a Pharisee) saying none of these are accurate! What gives?

All these schools of thought fall short of accuracy because they leave God out of the equation! None of these philosophies balance God’s work with mankind’s responsibility. That is exactly what Paul is trying to emphasize in this passage – God is very merciful, but man has to take responsibility! Look at how merciful God is toward mankind…

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