Unlimited: It Depends on God’s Mercy
Mar 15, 2023 442
It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy (Romans 9:16).
With the word “therefore”, Paul is clarifying what the point of his argument is about God having loved Jacob and “hated” Esau, and that he shows mercy and compassion on whom he chooses.
The point isn’t that his love, mercy and compassion are restricted only to some people whom he chooses, so that God isn’t loving and kind to all. Paul would have been shocked to think that anyone would come to that conclusion based on his words.
Rather, the apostle’s point is that God’s calling, the promises, and ultimately our salvation isn’t in the slightest dependant on human will or on our works, but on God’s will and mercy toward us. No matter how desperately we may have desired to have been saved, our salvation would have been impossible if God hadn’t willed it and shown us his mercy through his Son.
Our salvation isn’t dependant on human will or on our works, but on God’s will and God’s mercy toward us.
Paul uses such strong and polarising language to shock the Jewish-oriented readers of his letter out of false notions that they played a part in their salvation, or that somehow they contributed or were partners with God in their salvation. They weren’t. It was all God’s doing and not of them. It was all of grace and not of works.
The one who accepts the gift is not the one who creates and offers the gift. And so it is with the Cross and with its fruit, your salvation.
If your salvation does not depend on your own desire or effort, then you must entirely rely on Christ’s desires for your life, and what he has already done at Calvary. Examine yourself carefully. To what extent are you continually surrendering your will to him?