So then, it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. (Romans 9:16)
Why do some people come to faith in Christ, proclaim him as their Lord and Savior, and experience the life-changing power of the Gospel, while others remain hostile to God, feel indifferent about their sin, and perceive no need for Christ, from their first breath until their last? Why does one seek the righteousness of Christ, but not the other?
Is it because one has an innate desire to do what is good, and the other does not? Is it because one understands the logical evidence behind the resurrection of our Lord, but the other does not? Is it because one can muster up just enough faith on his own, but the other cannot? No, not at all!
Paul declared that we were all dead in our sins, by our very nature, children of wrath (Eph. 2:1-3), with minds hostile to God and unable to submit to God’s law! (Romans 8:7) Could we will or work our way to God’s acceptance? No, “it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy.” Only by his mercy are we rescued from death to sin, our captivity to wrath, and hostility to God. Praise God for not only sending his only Son to die in our place, but also, in his mercy causing us to desire him! When we think about how God has saved us – may our response be, “All glory be to Christ! For he alone is worthy, he alone is perfect, and he alone has saved me from myself!”
Now despite this wonderful truth, we are quick to ask: “Is this unfair? Is there injustice with God because of this?” Absolutely not! Paul quotes the Lord from Exodus, who declares, “I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Praise God, that though we may not understand why and though this truth is hard to grasp, God’s mercy is perfect, and his glory is displayed when he shows his overflowing mercy, and when in his perfect will and judgment, he does not.
May we again proclaim: All glory be to Christ! For he alone is worthy, he alone is perfect, and he alone saves!