Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
December 2, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<456> Thesis: God's irresistible intentions do not constitute a "flaw" in God. Introduction: We have been considering Paul's presentation of the trustworthiness of the Word of God as a most fundamental aspect of man's ability to "live". In that consideration, we have come upon some elements of Reality that many men find seriously objectionable. One such element is God's declaration that He has taken "works" off the table in respect to His decisions. He has not created an "open" creation that has the fundamental character of being "whatever" the choices of created personalities make it to be. Man's dissatisfaction with God on this point led Paul to raise the question of 9:14. Inherent within that question is the determined intention of man to attempt to "force" God into the "open creation" concept by claiming that it would be "unrighteous" to create a "closed system" that has predetermined characteristics and a predetermined end. But, the claim is false because "righteousness" is irretrievably tied to "Justice" and "Justice" only deals with one question: Does God ever do anything to man that is unwarranted by that man's own actions? A second such element is God's declaration that, since man has, by his own actions, forfeited every level of "blessedness by works" under "Justice", He retains the legitimate "right" to extend mercy, or not. Without mercy, man's behavior is predetermined by his sinfulness and his end is predetermined by Justice. But the extension of mercy opens the way for the Kingdom of Righteousness to be populated by human beings with that "predetermined end" being established by mercy. But, as with God's refusal to let men be the "gods" of an "open creation", men are dissatisfied with God on this point. Thus, we find in Romans 9:19 that Paul anticipates the typical response of men and introduces his answer. So, this evening we are going to consider Paul's words regarding this second major matter of man's dissatisfaction with God.