Clay, not Robots

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by KenH, May 2, 2003.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    From: martinzender.com/clay.htm

    Clay, not robots

    by Martin Zender

    Like rillets of water is the king’s heart in the hand of Yahweh; Wherever He inclines, He turns it aside.

    Proverbs 21:1

    He turned their heart to hate His people, To plot against His servants.

    —Psalm 105:25

    All abiding on the earth are reckoned as naught: According to His will is He doing...with those abiding on the earth.

    Daniel 4:35

    [He] is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will.

    Ephesians 1:11

    Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of God, the Merciful.

    Romans 9:16

    Consequently, then, to whom He will, He is merciful, yet whom He will, He is hardening.

    Romans 9:18

    Has not the potter the right over the clay, out of the same kneading to make one vessel, indeed, for honor, yet one for dishonor?

    Romans 9:21



    God and man. I looked into Scripture one day to discover the relationship between these two. This, to me, seemed like such an important question that I could not imagine God ignoring it. Surely among the many, divinely-inspired pages of Scripture would be a simple, easy-to-remember explanation of what man was to God. I found it in Romans 9:21:

    Has not the potter the right over the clay, out of the same kneading to make one vessel, indeed, for honor, yet one for dishonor?

    Potter and clay. Here was the divine explanation, so simple, yet so difficult to believe, so damaging to man’s pride. God controls man as a potter controls clay. Even a child could understand that. The revelation was embarrassing and wonderful at the same time. It was embarrassing in that it humbles one to be compared to clay. The Greek word is pelos, which means mud. Yet it was wonderful in that all power, honor, and glory for anything that happened with the clay would go to the Potter.

    Yet when I tried to relate this news to some of my friends, they refused to believe that God was the Potter and they were the clay. Instead, they told me they made independent decisions. They called this "free will." This was a good name for it, I thought, for one who is "free" is, by definition, unaffected by outside influences, including God. Free will means that not even God can cause a person to act. Otherwise, that person would not be free.

    I was having a hard time believing that my friends actually believed what they said they believed (that they were not influenced by God), so I showed them the verses I quoted at the beginning of this article. These verses, I thought, would prove to them that God does influence man, and that no man whom God influences can be called "free."

    "But we are not robots!" my friends objected.

    This response puzzled me, as I never suggested that they were robots. Robots buzz and blink. Robots creak, squeak, and often work out of reach of their masters. Some robots will even bump into refrigerators with an impressive clank, should their masters doze at the switch.

    Most robots have lights of different colors and whirligig circuitry that befuddles even the repairman. Robots impress their makers, they say, so that the technicians themselves have to sit back and admire the machinery they’ve wrought.

    Robots? No. I never said that. Nowhere in Scripture are men compared to robots. But they are compared to clay—Romans 9:21. What a difference. Clay neither buzzes nor blinks; it makes no noise or movement of its own. Clay can do nothing apart from the Potter’s hand. It cannot wander from the wheel. It cannot run into a refrigerator, should the Potter sleep.

    A hammer is required to reshape the robot; or a vise, or a welding torch, or a pneumatic drill. The Potter need only bend His fingers, and the ashtray becomes a water pot.

    Those who resent the idea of being robots give themselves too much credit. They are not robots. They are clay.
     
  2. William C

    William C
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    Talk about taking an analogy too far! :eek:

    Us being compared to clay in the hands of a potter was not intended to say that we cannot act independantly of God's desires. Man sins, is that too of God's design? If you take this analogy as far as this guy has you must give credit or blame to God for all the activities of man.

    The analogy of clay, specifically seen in Romans 9, was in reference to the question, "Who can resist God?" Which was in reference to the statement, "God can have mercy on whomever he want and he can harden whomever he wants."

    Hardening of Israel was temporal and purposeful it was not gaurenteeing that they might not believe and be saved as seen in Romans 11. So, this is not about being saved or not being saved. Its about being hardened or not. There is a big difference.

    BTW, Clay once it hardens becomes like stone. John said if God wanted to make children of Israel he could make the stones become children. He could cause the stones to cry out. If God wanting that he would have done it that way, but He didn't. He wanted independant people with a heart, soul, and a mind to choose whom they would follow...to decide whom they would love. He didn't want worshipping rocks!
     
  3. Frogman

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    Clay dries and cracks beneath the sweltering heat of the Sun; but is refreshed and nourished by the merciful cooling Rains of the Cloud.

    Too much analogy?

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Frogman

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    I suppose the clay had a choice in whether or not it wanted to be used to form man?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother Dallas you made my day! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. William C

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    I suppose the clay had a choice when it decided to sin?
     
  7. Frogman

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    Bro. Bill,

    I am so glad you asked me that question. I do know what I believe concerning this question and if you will read what I am going to post you will also know what I believe.

    In fact, the clay having been formed into the image and likeness of man possessed no life within nor of itself; God had already formed life on earth, but it is too the clay that he defers the honor of being formed in his likeness and image and further to grant dominion over all of his earlier creation.

    Further, it is not until that God breathes life into the clay, though it is formed no doubt in his image (though not the express image his glory, that is said of but one man), it does not possess life.

    Now, above are some things for your consideration. To that I would add that yes, man in this original capacity had the ability to choose to sin or to obey, in this original capacity then man chose to sin. As a result all men are born sinners and posses not the ability to change this nature.

    There is more, this analogy of which you detest stretches alway back to the truth pictured in the original creation.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. William C

    William C
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    No. I believe the rain and clouds represent the Holy Spirit's work through the proclaimation of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

    You believe the rain and clouds represent the Holy Spirit's work through a secret irresisable inward calling that only benefits a select few.

    Which does the analogy best represent? The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
     
  9. Frogman

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    But only the just are eternally effected.

    Really, I don't care how you apply the analogy, yes, men preach the Gospel, but if man must enter the work to preach the Gospel, then he cannot preach a work free salvation, for if he had not entered into that work, then none would be saved, right?

    Even the preaching of the Gospel by man is made effectual by the Holy Spirit and when it falls upon one of the eternally elect, then it is made effectual by the voice of Christ which the dead do hear and are quickened to life, then they are able to see their nature as God sees it and then they are willing to reprent, but not before regeneration of the old spirit that tells them they have no need of being saved, they are after all essentially 'good'. having done no harm to any one else. etc etc. etec.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. William C

    William C
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    Dallas, you are assuming that having faith in Christ is a work. Please go back and read Romans 3:27-31 and notice that Paul says works have been replaced by faith as the means by which righteousness is applied. In fact, Paul goes on to say that faith has always been the means by which a man was reconed as being righteous. Faith is not a work. Why?

    Is it not a work because it is something that God does for us or is it not a work because there is no work required to accomplish it?

    If its the former then its not our faith, its God's faith and that just doesn't make sense. Why condemn people for not having that which you failed to give them in the first place??? That is like beating your children for not unlocking the door with a key that you never gave them. Jesus shouldn't be saying to people, "Where is your faith?" He should be saying, "Why hasn't my Father given you any faith?" This is nonsense.
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    Let us go back to the pottery illustration. I believe the book of Jeremiah illulimates this illustration well. When talking about man being the clay, and God being the potter, God says that if man responds a certain way to His words, then God will, in turn, respond accordingly.

    We cannot ignore this passage if we are to take the analogy of the potter seriously.
     
  12. Frogman

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    Colossians 1.20-23
    Philippians 2.12-16

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  13. Frogman

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    How can the clay respond to the potter; it is in the hands of the potter, portions of it are sometimes cast away and refused; what can the clay, which is dead in itself (in the analogy of man even he being formed in the image and likeness of God possessed no life prior to God breathing the breath of life into his nostrils, then he became a living soul, but not before). So, how does the clay respond, if this is a true analogy? I conclude that it cannot, but must say with the apostle 'by the Grace of God, I am what I am'.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     

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