Reflections: Romans 9:16

What’s Man Got to do With It?

Romans 9:16 (ESV)
16  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Romans chapter 9 is one of the most contented chapters in all of Scripture and for a good reason. In this one chapter Paul, without flinching, paints the picture of God’s relationship with man in terms of authority. His conclusion? God has total control over the situation. What does this mean for us? Better news than you might think.

Our verse today reminds us that God has mercy, for which we ought to raise our hands into the air and give praise. God being full of mercy means that we do not get the consequences we deserve at the time when we deserve them. And if we think that we haven’t really done anything that bad? Well Romans 9 has words for you as well. As we reread verse 16 it becomes clear that our exertion towards earning God’s favor doesn’t do much, whether that exertion is good or bad. Instead we come to the humbling conclusion that we are totally at the mercy of God. Once again, this is good news!

Once you and I realize that we are powerless we can come to rely on the power of Christ! This is where salvation lies! When I confess that I cannot save myself, that my effort is fruitless, then I can also confess my need for Christ to save me from that sin, proclaim his lordship over my life and in my heart believe that he really was raised from the dead to conquer it forever. When this takes place then we move from sinner to saint and God is well pleased. This week I would encourage you to share this simple Good News with somebody. This is not to be kept a secret or locked away in a closet.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your mercy and grace, that you did not punish my sin when punishment was due. Please lead me to opportunities to share your Son Jesus with those who have never heard or need to hear again. Give me boldness in my speech and fire in my heart. Amen.