“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” (Romans 9:23-24
That’s what we are: vessels of mercy. Receptacles, if you will, of the mercy of God, neither self-generated nor self-perpetuated, but received by faith. In fact, as the verse indicates, God made preparation for our inclusion in His eternal plan long before we made our entrance into the world He created. God, in order to give us a glimpse of His glory, made provision through the intervention of Calvary, so that you and I might share in the glories of Heaven.
What a difference between this and the Bible’s description of the condition of the man or woman without Christ in this world:
“What if God, willing to shew his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” (Rom.9:22).
God’s dealings with us are a picture of His mercy and glory; while, after “much longsuffering,” it is wrath and destruction that characterize His attitude toward unbelievers. They are “vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction”; we are “vessels of mercy…prepared unto glory.” They “make his power known”; we “make known the riches of His glory.”
What mercy, what grace, and what love! These verses bring out the little bit of poet in me:
A Vessel of Mercy
I had no claim to stand with the righteous,
Nothing good in myself could I bring;
But His death made me worthy of Glory
To the Christ of the Cross I now cling.
When I see the great King in His beauty,
And I ponder the price that He paid,
Then I, a vessel of mercy,
Will become a vessel of praise!
A vessel of mercy,
A trophy of grace;
A vessel of mercy,
In Heaven a place;
Prepared unto glory,
I’ll look on His face;
A vessel of mercy…and grace.