Romans 9:16-17 – Used of God

Romans 9:16-17
16
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

-Despite Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to submit to God, God makes it clear that He is in control and is still Master in Pharaoh’s life.  It is evident in Scripture that God can find a way to use even the most rebellious of sinners.   Proverbs 16:4 tells us that “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”  He can turn any of us “as the rivers of water“. (Proverbs 21:1)  But there is a difference between being used by God and being used of God.  We learn in 2 Timothy 2:21 that “if a man therefore purge himself from [dishonour], he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”  God must sanctify us before He can use us.  But how can God sanctify us if we hide the areas of our life that are dirty?  How can we have godliness without repentance?  Consider Jesus’ words when Peter tried to hide from His offer of cleansing, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” (John 13:8)  “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

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