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: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory (Romans 9:22–23 KJV)
Paul describes the sharp contrast between the Old and the New Testaments in the verse above. He uses the words “vessels of wrath” for God’s people under the Old Covenant and “vessels of mercy” for those under the New Covenant.
I often call your attention to the use of figurative language in the scripture. Paul uses the word vessel or container to convey the ideas of “filled” and “express.” A vessel receives and contains any fluid. The people of God in either Covenant were used to manifest or express something about God. As vessels, they received from Him and then showed it forth. God revealed His wrath in the OT and His glory in the NT.
In the NT, we receive an abundance of grace and mercy from the Lord. Christ died for sinners, forgave all our sins, and gives us God’s very righteousness all free! Because of this great kindness, He makes us partakers of the divine nature, gives us His Spirit, and brings us to share His life. God is using us to show forth or show off His beauty! Believers are the visible manifestation of the invisible God. We are His glory in Christ.
Read more: I am the glory of God on the earth today!
What is the symbolic meaning of the word “vessel” as used in this verse?
Apply the Word
God calls you a vessel of mercy. It is His choice to fill you with mercy and grace so that you become partakers of the divine nature and show forth His excellencies and beauties to the world! God has spoken great things over you! Do not lose heart. Keep growing and moving forward with the Lord.
Thank the Father for making us vessels of mercy.
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