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Old 05-13-2020, 05:15 AM   #1
In the Shadwow India
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Default Vessels To Contain God?

Does Romans 9:23-24 teach that man is a vessel to contain God?
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:54 AM   #2
UntoHim
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Actually Romans 9 is not about man becoming a vessel to contain God. The emphases is not on the vessels, it is on the potter, the maker of the vessels. The emphasis is on the wrath, mercy and ultimate sovereignty that God has over the vessels.
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So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (vr 16)
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Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory (vrs 21-23)
Please take special note: "Has the potter no right" - "What if God" - "Which he has prepared". I believe the teachings of Nee/Lee place too much emphases on the vessels, and not the one who created, who formed and who sovereignly decides the function, and even the ultimate destiny, of the vessels. In short, Lee's teachings are man-centered, but the teaching of the apostle Paul in Romans 9 are God-centered.

There are other places in the New Testament that do teach about man ostensibly "containing" God, but they do not place the ultimate emphasis on man, but on God himself. "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col 1:27) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16)
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

I agree with UntoHim that this section in Romans is more about the Potter's right over the clay, to shape the clay vessel as He sees fit. Of course, as pointed out, many other places talk about man being a receptacle for God's Spirit, and various terms are used to express this in scripture. For instance, Ephesians 2 talks about us being His temple, a dwelling place of God in Spirit. And the church being His body, etc. Fact is, we will be filled with something and can only express what we are filled with.

Here's a link to a verse list regarding man being a vessel: 100 Verses on Man as Vessel
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

So how about 2 Corinthians 4:7 does it not teach man being vessel to contain God?

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Old 05-13-2020, 08:55 PM   #5
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I like you In the Shadow India! Please come and register at LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com I have already reserved the UserName "ShadowOfIndia" for you.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

So how about 2nd Corinthians 4:7 Thanks my friend, it proves my point again! What is the emphasis in this verse? Is it "the jars of clay", or is the emphasis "this treasure" and "the surpassing power belongs to God"? Of course you know the answer, don't you In the Shadow India?

I'm reminded of the Local Church song:

"Earthen vessel I was made,
Christ in me the treasure laid.
His container I must be
As the content He in me"


Here is a young sister singing this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BCO0qss6k8

What a beautiful reality! Christ in me the treasure laid! Thankfully, God's people have been teaching, preaching and singing this wonderful reality for over 2,000 years now! Are you aware of this, dear In the Shadow India? As a matter of fact, I know for that there are quite a number of dear brothers and sisters in India hearing about and praising the Lord that Christ is in them as the treasure! Isn't this wonderful?!
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

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Originally Posted by In the Shadow India View Post
So how about 2 Corinthians 4:7 does it not teach man being vessel to contain God?

Greetings from India!

2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.


Greetings, India—

Not every verse in the Bible is a “teaching”. The passages you refer to don’t prescribe a teaching regarding use of the word “vessels”. Rather, here, the word “vessels” is an analogy to describe his dwelling place in man.

As such, these verses illustrate the concepts of descriptive vs. prescriptive passages in the Bible.

I heard a funny example of prescriptive v. descriptive, when Paul told Timothy (I think Timothy) “when you come bring my cloak with you”. This isn’t a teaching about cloaks...it’s just Paul asking for a favor. There are many such verses in the Bible. UntoHim has given you an eloquent description of a beautiful reality of the potter and the clay.

Without more context, your questions about the “vessel” verses would seem to fall into the “descriptive” column.

Nell

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Old 05-14-2020, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

UntoHim & Nell: I get that the whole point of the vessel is the Treasure within (Christ in us). And that there is a danger in focusing too much on the vessel - it's real purpose is simply to contain the precious Ointment. Nonetheless, the Bible doesn't exclude talking about the vessel, and we should be very grateful and see clearly that He took our broken, filthy vessel and made it all new and clean in Him! We can still be very thankful for what He has done for us as vessels for His good pleasure and the Incredible Treasure it was meant to hold, without going off the mark and being all vessel-centered. Therefore, we should not be ignorant of who we have been made in Christ, right? I don't think that's what you-ins are saying here, but simply wanted to clarify.

(and some here would probably say this is something WN/WL did too much, i.e., focusing on and perhaps exalting the new vessel excessively. . .)
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:50 PM   #8
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Well, In the Shadow of India asked a specific question and Nell and I have given him a specific answer. I think it's safe to assume that our new friend asked the question with the teachings of Witness Lee in view, and I don't think he really expected us to cover every aspect and theological implication in Romans 9.

I'll repeat: Witness Lee teachings concerning these verses are man-centered, whereas the apostle Paul's teachings are God-centered. This was one of the main, underlying errors in the teachings of Nee and Lee.

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Old 05-14-2020, 04:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

Okay, let's ask him about this: Guest "In the Shadow" - are you wanting to make a specific point . . . or can you give us some more detail as to what you exactly want to know or get from us?
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

I was reading a particular passage in Romans 9 where it has been quoted several times in gospel preaching. A year ago, I met this evangelical preacher shared to me the gospel. I pointed to him that man is a vessel to contain God. He explained to me that verse is not talking about being vessels to contain God. I can't remember his explanation from the passage.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:30 PM   #11
UntoHim
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Thank you In the Shadow of India for your thoughtful reply!

Have you been able to see the replies of Nell and UntoHim? I think if you carefully review our posts you will see that these verses are not talking about man being vessels to contain God. And they are certainly not talking about man being vessels to contain God as an essential item of the Gospel.

There are others here on our forum who hold a different view. I'm sure you will hear from them soon!

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Old 05-15-2020, 11:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Vessels To Contain God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Thank you In the Shadow of India for your thoughtful reply!

Have you been able to see the replies of Nell and UntoHim? I think if you carefully review our posts you will see that these verses are not talking about man being vessels to contain God. And they are certainly not talking about man being vessels to contain God as an essential item of the Gospel.

There are others here on our forum who hold a different view. I'm sure you will hear from them soon!

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BTW - In case you thought of me when writing that - I don't hold that view. If you do think that, then I have not communicated well! (or did I also misunderstand your lost post?) Let me know, and I will attempt to communicate more clearly . . .
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