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22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction;

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22, 23. What if God, willing to show—"designing to manifest"

his wrath—His holy displeasure against sin.

and to make his power—to punish it

known endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath—that is, "destined to wrath"; just as "vessels of mercy," in Ro 9:23, mean "vessels destined to mercy"; compare Eph 2:3, "children of wrath."

fitted for destruction—It is well remarked by Stuart that the "difficulties which such statements involve are not to be got rid of by softening the language of one text, while so many others meet us which are of the same tenor; and even if we give up the Bible itself, so long as we acknowledge an omnipotent and omniscient God we cannot abate in the least degree from any of the difficulties which such texts make." Be it observed, however, that if God, as the apostle teaches, expressly "designed to manifest His wrath, and to make His power (in the way of wrath) known," it could only be by punishing some, while He pardons others; and if the choice between the two classes was not to be founded, as our apostle also teaches, on their own doings but on God's good pleasure, the decision behooved ultimately to rest with God. Yet, even in the necessary punishment of the wicked, as Hodge observes, so far from proceeding with undue severity, the apostle would have it remarked that God "endures with much long-suffering" those objects of His righteous displeasure.




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