Objects of Wrath and Mercy
Rom 9:22-24 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-- prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Who are the objects of wrath? Paul writes to the Christians in Ephesus, "Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." Eph 2:3b At one time or another EVERYONE has been an object of God's wrath, including those elected to eternal life. But those who hear and believe the gospel have their status changed from being an object of wrath to an object of mercy. Paul continues, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved.” Eph 2:4,5 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” Eph 2:8a
God “wants all men to be saved” 1Tim 2:4a and consequently “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2Peter 3:9 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” Rom 2:4
Sometimes His patience does lead to repentance, as in the case of the apostle Paul who writes, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-- of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1Tim 1:15,16 And other times it doesn't as in the case of Judas whom the Lord chose as an apostle and tolerated such misbehavior as his stealing from the money bag. (John 12:6)
Whether Jew or Gentile, the great patience the Lord has shown towards us who have been led to salvation will be the theme of our eternal praise to Him. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-- kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1Peter 1:3-5
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