The Need for Mercy      Romans 9:1-6,14-18,19-24     Dec. 04, 2005
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A rather famous story tells of a lady asking a governor to give mercy to her son.  The reply came back saying, “The crimes your son committed demand the penalty of death.”  The lady wrote back, "I did not ask what my son deserved, but I asked you to grant him mercy."  Who among all of mankind does not need mercy?  The only place to get it is in the grace of God.
1.    The Need for Mercy and the . . Comprehension of Paul. 9:1-5
    A.    The Need for Mercy A . . Truthful Comprehension.  9:1
                1.    I speak the truth in Christ I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with
            the Holy Spirit.
    B.    The Need for Mercy A . . Tender Comprehension by Paul.  9:2-3
                2. that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart.  3 For I could wish that
            I myself were cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my
            countrymen by physical descent.

    C.    The Need for Mercy A . . Thoughtful Comprehension by Paul.  9 :4-5
                4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the
            giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. 5 The forefathers are theirs, and
            from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed
            forever.  Amen.

                God gave Paul a great mind with a tender, thoughtful, and truthful comprehension.  To us it

seems needless for Paul to say "I am not lying," but it underscores the truthfulness of his               statements.  His truthfulness is confirmed by his Spirit-led testimony.  This brings forth his                tenderness in proclaiming the need of his kinsmen to receive salvation from the mercy of God.
Paul thoughtfully evaluates the history of Israel, their forefathers, and the fact the Messiah descended through them.  We must ask how have they missed this truth, and The Need for Mercy, given through Christ.
2.    The Need for Mercy and the . . Compassion of God.  9:6, 14-17
    A.    The . . Scriptures and God's Compassionate Mercy.  9:6, 17
                6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended
            from Israel are Israel. . . . 17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up:
            so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the

    B.    The . . Showing of God's Compassionate Mercy.  9:14-16, 18
                14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not!  15 For He tells
            Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have
            compassion. 16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows
            mercy.. . . 18 So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.

            We may receive mercy because God is compassionate.  This is confirmed through the

scriptures, and the showing of God.  Paul tells us God shows His mercy as He chooses, and to whom He chooses. It is harder for us to understand He can refuse mercy as He wills; but we must remember He is sovereign.  Great theologians have debated this, and I cannot answer all questions here even if I were able. I praise Him that He has granted mercy to you and me.
3.    The Need for Mercy and the . . Choices of God.  9:19-24
    A.    The Choices of God and the Question of . . Resistance.  9:19-20
                  19 You will say to me, therefore, "Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist
            His will?"  20 But who are you anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the
            one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"
    B.    The Choices of God and the Question of . . Rights.  9:21-22
                  21 Or has the potter no right over His clay, to make from the same lump one piece of
            pottery for honor and another for dishonor?  22 And what if God, desiring to display His
            wrath and to make His power known,  endured with much patience objects of wrath ready
            for destruction?
    C.    The Choices of God and the Question of . . Riches.  9:23-24
                23 And [what if] He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy
            that He prepared beforehand for glory  24 on us whom He also called, not only from the
            Jews but also from the Gentiles?
            Can a person resist God's will?  This verse seems to indicate it is not possible, but Jesus said
"How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing!" (Matt 23:37).  Stephen said "You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you. (Acts 7:51) I must say if Christians resist God's Will, they will be out of fellowship, and will live a less-than-fulfilling life.  If the non-Christian resists the Lord's will they will ultimately end up in Hell.  Does God have the right to create some for great honor and some for less honor? YES!  Note how God endures, with patience, the vessels of wrath.  It is amazing to me how and why God endures the vessels of wrath.  If I were God I would zap them when they blasphemed His name, or the name of Jesus.  But I am certainly pleased He has as much patience with me as He does.  God’s choices concerning His patience, and the riches of His mercy, are also controlled by His wisdom and will.  Surely we must all say we display daily, The Need for Mercy. Amen? Amen!