"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
A. The Relation of The Potter to his Clay affords a good illustration of the Relations Between God and His human Family.
1. Jeremiah was Not sent down to learn just what his own Unaided Observation might tell him concerning the potter and the clay.
2. God wanted him to Clearly Understand this truth, that as the potter is to the clay, in respect of the Control which he has over it, so God is over us.
B. This story is a symbol of the Eternal Action of God.
I. Men Are Under The Absolute Power of God --- Like Clay In The Hands of The Potter.
A. God Formed Man, the same as a Potter forms his clay.
Gen. 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
B. The potter has power to Leave The Clay Untouched or to make out of it either a vessel of Dishonour or a vessel of Honour.
2 Tim. 2:20-21, "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the masterís use, and prepared unto every good work."
Rom. 9:20-21, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" --- V. 16, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy."
C. Our Dependence on God is --- like that of the Infant on itís Mother --- the security of our own welfare.
Rom. 9:18, "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
II. Man Can No More Attain A Worthy End In Life Without God Than The Clay Can Become A Shapely Vessel Without The Potter.
A. Isaiah 29:15-16, "Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potterís clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"
B. There lies a dead, heavy mass of clay with No Possibility of Making Itself Beautiful without the potter --- We are as this clay.
Isa. 64:8, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
Eph. 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
1 Cor. 15:10, "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
C. If We Are More Than Mere Clay, it is because God breathes His life into us and sustains us every moment by his indwelling Spirit.
John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
1 Cor. 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís."
III. God Has A Purpose In Every Life As The Potter Has With The Clay.
A. Eph. 5:17, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."
B. Every life does Not Have The Same Purpose.
Eph. 4:11-12, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
1 Cor. 12:12-18, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him."
C. The potter makes vessels of Innumerable Shapes.
1. Yet, Each Life Is Only Successful As Its Particular Purpose Is Fulfilled.
2. You must be Happy In The Service that you are in or you are not in the service that God has purposed for you to be in.
John 15:11, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
D. Is You Your Full? --- It is, if you are in the service that God has purposed for you to be in.
IV. God Shapes Our Lives By The Discipline of Providence As The Potter Does The Clay Upon His Wheels.
A. The clay is Pressed On All Sides in order to shape it the way that the Potter Wants it.
B. Our lives are pressed on one side and then on the other sot that we might be what God Wants Us To Be.
Prov. 16:9, "A manís heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."
Prov. 20:24, "Manís goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?"
C. Sometimes, something which in our eyes is Indispensable is taken away, something which to us seems Needless is added.
Eccl. 6:12, "For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?"
D. Out of this dizzy whirl, God Is Steadily Working Out His Purpose In Our Lives.
V. God Will Ultimately Accomplish His Purpose In Us --- Though At First, It Seems To Fail.
A. Jer. 18:4, "And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."
B. The clay is sometimes Stubborn, Sullen, Self-willed, and Unmanageable --- It must be broken up and remodeled.
C. Man Is Sometimes Like This Clay.
1. Sometimes his life must be disturbed and shaken up, but only That God May Begin Again to fashion him for his destined end.
2. Then, if he still remains stubborn, sullen, self-willed, and unmanageable so that God canĎt use him in His service, God Will Take Him Out of The Way and use him as an Example unto others.
1 John 5:16-17, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."
VI. How Can We Know The Will of God For Our Lives?
Rom. 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
VII. Godís First Work With Us Is In Forming Our Souls Aright.
A. The First question is not as to What We Do, but as to What We Are.
B. God Will Receive Glory Out of Every Life:
1. In your Salvation, or
2. In your Condemnation.
C. He Is The Potter, We Are Only The Clay.
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